Magazine article USA TODAY

Be Wary of Talking Politics in the Office

Magazine article USA TODAY

Be Wary of Talking Politics in the Office

Article excerpt

As the number of early entrants in the presidential race continues to grow, one employment authority warns that divisive campaign politics could leak into the workplace and adversely impact productivity and morale.

'While the 2016 election is still almost a year-and-a-half away, hopefuls are announcing their candidacy and the political rhetoric is already getting heated. The campaign fervor can easily spill over into the workplace, as supporters share their political perspectives--verbally and through social media," cautions John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., Chicago, Ill.

"Differing political viewpoints can coexist in a workplace, but in hotly contested campaigns, as the 2016 race is expected to be, emotions can run high. What may have started as a civil discussion can quickly turn into a heated exchange--and the once-congenial workplace can easily become a toxic one."

A CareerBuilder poll conducted during the 2012 mid-term elections found that 42% of respondents say they avoid talking politics at the office, while 44% indicate they talk about it, but shut down the conversation when it gets heated. …

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