SURVEY SAYS: Political Tensions in the Workplace

This Presidential election season has been rife with controversy.

We recently covered a survey that revealed three in 10 employers and 17% of employees have argued with a co-worker over a particular candidate this election season.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Have you engaged in conversations at work about the Presidential candidates, and have you had an argument with a co-worker about a specific candidate?”

More than three-quarters (76.1%) of responding readers have engaged in a conversation at work about the Presidential candidates, while 23.9% have not.

However, nearly three-quarters (74.6%) also said they have not argued about a candidate with a coworker. Nearly 6% of respondents have had an argument with a co-worker about Donald Trump, only 1.5% have had an argument about Hilary Clinton, but 17.9% have had an argument about both candidates.

Though I asked for general comments about discussing politics at work, a few readers gave their opinions about one candidate or another, and many said neither are suitable. Most advocate against discussing politics at work, or at least against arguing. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “I just don’t argue with anyone about their political beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion—even if it is wrong! :-)”

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!


The general consensus is that none of the candidates are desirable.

It's all done for fun. Everyone agrees that there is not much of a choice for either candidate.

My final answer...Don't!

Everyone here hates Hillary - she should be in jail

Be careful

I try not to, but sometimes people say outrageous things and if you are silent people think you agree with them. It truly shocks me that anyone can possibly think that Donald Trump is even remotely capable of running this country. He is a con man, a liar and will do anything to make an extra nickel for himself.

I keep my political beliefs to myself at work, it's just not appropriate in the office. Being said, several other employees broadcast their politics for all to hear or make assumptions about those of us that don't and trying to use it as a negative.

We are all in agreement that the BEST candidates are not the (presumptive) nominees for either party.

I refuse to argue about politics. I have my views and opinions and someone arguing about why their candidate is best or why mine's worse will not change my mind. I will tell people who try to engage me that I will not talk politics with them. It takes a few times of me saying that before they eventually give up.

It's good to know where people stand. Anyone voting for the murderer Hillary is not worth my respect...

That age old saying - Best not to talk religion or politics - very good advice in the workplace

My state, unlike me, is overwhelmingly blue, as are my co-workers; however, neither they nor I can figure out which is the lesser of the two evils to vote for come November. My son was excited because this is the first general election where he will be able to cast a vote; now, not so much.

Water-cooler or cafe conversations happen all of the time. It's when people become rude that problems arise.

I NEVER discuss politics at work unless I know the person agrees with me. It's pointless to do otherwise as you are NEVER going to get someone to admit they are wrong or change how they vote.

Verbatim (cont.) 

The presidential candidates have been mentioned in our workplace but I refrain from commenting, as our policy is to refrain from discussing politics in the workplace.

It's really very strange...everyone with whom I had a conversation about these two candidates is appaled at the choice. I mean every, single one. If so many people feel this way...that this election will truly be a choice between evil and evil, how in the name of all that is sacred about America, did we end up with these two? Time to review history...anyone remember the Fall of the Roman Empire?

this year it happens more

I don't bring up the topic. If others do, I may make general comments, but stay away from endorsing one side or the other.

I'm an executive at an organization in which my personal political beliefs are diametrically opposed to the rest of the leadership as well as most of the staff. I've learned to keep my mouth shut.

After 30 years in the professional workforce I have learned to stay away from all subjects with co-workers other than children and vacation plans 🙂

Bad idea. .

Conversations in my area tend to focus on the antics and dishonesty of Hillary and The Donald. A lot of laughing and eye-rolling occurs. There is no "good" choice.

The co-worker that I've argued with is also a close friend. I would never have the same conversations with a co-worker who was not also a friend.

No argument because if I find we have differing views, the conversation is steered away. Having an intellectual discussion is fine but if it gets to the point of arguing it's wasted time. Luckily my direct coworkers, although having differing views on candidates, follow my general same stance on political discussions. Yes, I do realize how lucky I am.

I work with all liberals so can only discuss what they want at work.

I just don't argue with anyone about their political beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion - even if it is wrong! 🙂

I generally try to avoid it as most of my co-workers already have their minds made up and it is a waste of time exerting energy to try to change closed minds. Maybe a better time for those discussions is at happy hour after work.


Verbatim (cont.) 

No arguments just conversations about both candidates and the wonder of how the greatest country in the world could not offer better candidates for its highest office.

Most of my co-workers have different political views than I do. I have learned to be very quiet.

We do it all in fun. One of us is a true conservative (who is disgusted by The Donald) while another is a true liberal. We post in each other’s office photos and quotes from our respective candidates.

Generally not a good idea, though I've shared my views with a few closer colleagues about some issues that they might not otherwise consider.

It's not worth arguing about. I have not talked with anyone who is a staunch supporter of either candidate. Everyone here thinks there is no good option. It will be about trying to select the lesser of 2 evils.

Really there's not much to discuss--both major candidates are less than ideal. Where is Ross Perot when you need him!

Fortunately surrounded by "none of the above" like minded individuals.

I don't have any desire to talk about politics at any time. I find it ironic that we're supposed to be "United" yet we're so divided when it comes to political views.

You're making the same critical mistake that the mainstream media is making: you're ignoring the only qualified candidate on the ballot in all 50 states. Gary Johnson / Bill Weld -- both successful two-term governors. Abandon the carcass of the two-party system; vote for real hope and change. You in?

Usually I do not discuss politics at work (can't win anyhow). I have had one occasion to briefly correct someone who was misinformed about a candidates leanings. I will not do this again. Politics should be out of the office and back in the alleys where it belongs.

Oh he**z no. I never discuss politics at work, unless a common bashing of regulations. "Nothing good could come of that." Especially this election, healthy conversations turn into arguments.

With my slightly left-of-center views, I was heartened by the comments of my colleague who is a staunch conservative Republican when he said that Donald Trump is such a disaster that he is going to vote for Hillary even though he hates her. There was no need to argue!

What's there to argue about? Who would want to support either candidate?

Verbatim (cont.) 

Religion, politics, sports... it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

I've more important things to do, you know, like dealing with over-regulation and mountains of paperwork.

I've been arguing with myself more than my co-workers. Also many of my co-workers don't vote.

never assume you know what someone else's opinion is

No problems with most. However, this co-worker loves to argue about everything

This is election is like going to the fridge for a snack. Not finding anything, you stare at the shelves for a while, but the candidates don't change…

Problems can occur when different candidates are supported as conversations can become quite heated

There is no qualified candidate who can run this country because one has no censor and one is bi-polar!! As looking to be leaders of our country, it’s sad to see them bashing each other and acting like two year olds. We wonder why our country is self-destructing....well it’s because our potential leaders are not leaders, but idiots who show no respect, have no integrity nor are they worthy of anyone's trust....

The Trump backers are more aggressive with views.

When I was younger I was told never discuss politics, religion or sports at work. Now that I am older I know why! The conversations deteriorate and nothing is usually gained from them.

No arguments only because I choose to walk away instead of's kind of frightening what you learn about your coworkers during times like this.

I'm in favor of civil conversation in any public sphere. There's a reason the first amendment was first.

I try to avoid it. My conversation ender is to mention a shirt I saw that states "I already hate our next president."


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.