In these politically charged times, it can sometimes feel like politics have seeped into just about each and every facet of our lives. Once upon a time, it was common for people to say that they “weren’t very political” or that they didn’t really have any strong political opinions in one direction or another.
These days, however, finding a person like that is rare. Indeed, it seems like just about everyone doesn’t just have political opinions, but rather very strong and steadfast political opinions. In such a politically charged era, a lot of people are wondering what sort of role politics should play in the workplace.
Even though times have changed, that doesn’t mean that the rules about what’s appropriate at work have changed. Although our society is more political than ever, it doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly become appropriate to bring your political opinions with you to work. In fact, many people have lost their jobs over expressing controversial political opinions in the workplace.
To ensure that you never meet a similar fate, here are some things you should know about politics and the workplace.
Consider The Consequences
Sometimes when politics come up, it can feel impossible not to express your own opinion, especially if you take issue with the points being expressed by the person speaking. However, it’s important to consider the consequences before you speak. Most human resources departments have rules about political discourse in the workplace. These rules don’t come from a desire to censor people, but rather stem from a desire to keep employees on task and maintain peace among coworkers. While it might feel good to express your opinion, especially in such politically charged times, the consequences might not be worth it in the long run.
Enjoy The Break
Even when we’re at home, we’re inundated with political rhetoric on social media and on television. Truthfully, all of the political talk can be a bit exhausting. Even politicians like Senator Mike Crapo say that they occasionally like to take breaks from talking about politics. If even a professional politician like Mike Crapo says that he needs an occasional break from politics, you should take that to heart. Start viewing work as a time when you unplug from politics and instead choose to focus on different things.
Don’t Let Politics Get In The Way Of Your Relationships
It’s common for coworkers to have a great relationship, only to watch that relationship fall apart when they realize that they have wildly differing political views. Of course, this could be avoided if politics were removed from the workplace altogether. There’s no benefit in having a bad relationship with a coworker. When you discuss politics at work, you set yourself up for disliking people with whom your previously got along well. Instead of running that risk, avoid politics altogether.
We live in quite interesting times, where politics seems so deeply entrenched in all areas of our lives. However, that doesn’t mean that political issues need to play a role in your professional life or your career. If you avoid discussing politics in the workplace, you’ll find that your relationships with coworkers remain in good standing and that you avoid the risk of getting in trouble with management.