Political Talk Negatively Affecting Employees This Election Season

This year’s presidential campaign is taking a toll on American workers, some of whom report feeling stressed, argumentative and less productive because of political discussions on the job, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Among all workers surveyed, nearly half (47%) said people are more likely to discuss politics in the workplace this election season than in the past. Although a majority of working Americans (60%) indicated that people at work are generally respectful toward others with differing political views, more than one-quarter (26%) have witnessed or overheard their coworkers arguing about politics, and about one in 10 (11%) have gotten into an argument themselves. Overall, more than one-quarter of working Americans (27%) reported at least one negative outcome as a result of political discussions at work during this election season.

More than half of respondents (54%) said they avoid discussing politics with colleagues, and 20% reported avoiding some coworkers because of their political views.

Although some workers have bonded with their colleagues over political discussions this election season, with nearly one-quarter reporting they feel more connected to coworkers (24%) and have a more positive view of them (23%), a small but significant number of employees reported a more negative view of coworkers, and said they feel more isolated from them, perceive more workplace hostility and that team cohesiveness has suffered (13% each).

As a result of political discussions at work this election season, at least one in 10 working Americans said they have felt tense or stressed out (17%), have been more cynical and negative at work (15%), have had more difficulty getting work done (10%), have been less productive at work (13%) and that their work quality has suffered (10%).

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