Is it OK to talk about politics in the workplace?

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  • 60% said it was fine to talk about politics at work
  • Politics forms part of our daily conservation for 1 in 5
  • The majority of UK workers don’t think you should ask who someone is voting for
  • 10% of employers have tried to influence the political beliefs of their staff

 

60% of UK workers think it’s OK to talk about politics at work, according to the latest research from reed.co.uk.

However, almost half of them wouldn’t share who they were voting for – indicating that political beliefs are often seen as too personal to go public with.

 

It’s almost time…

With just hours to go until the upcoming general election, UK workers are about to head to the polls to cast their votes on who they want to lead the country.

But whilst conversations around politics have always been approached with caution in the past, almost two thirds of the UK now think it’s OK to talk about politics in the office – indicating that staff are becoming may be more politically aware than ever before.

 

Office talk…

The research also indicated that workplaces aren’t just being influenced by the polls.

In fact, although 30% admitted they only talk about politics at work when approaching an election, almost 20% said it’s part of their daily conversations.

And more than a quarter of us have the conversation on a monthly basis at least.

 

Don’t ask…

Talking about poltics may be fine for many – but don’t get too personal.

An overwhelming 77% said they would never ask someone who they were voting for – indicating that their colleagues’ choices were none of their business.

Other reasons for not asking included worrying that it may offend, or just a general lack of interest in which way their political intentions lie.

A nation divided…

When it comes to sharing your own decision, it wasn’t nearly as clear cut.

52% said that they were happy to talk to their colleagues about who they voted for, while 48% said they’d prefer to keep it to themselves – proving it isn’t just Brexit that has the potential to divide the country.

Of those who voted ‘No’, the main reason given was to a preference to keep their own views private (58%), followed by wanting to avoid conflict with their co-workers (13%) and not wanting to get involved in politics at work (12%).

 

Top influencers…

30% of those surveyed also said that their co-workers have tried to influence their political beliefs in the workplace.

And, perhaps most surprisingly, 1 in 10 admitted that their own employer has also tried to influence their political beliefs at some point in time.

So it might not just be our friends at work that we need to be mindful of when it comes to deciding whether to share where our intentions lie.

 

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