In today’s political climate, talking about politics at work is often a tricky endeavor. Jokingly, many etiquette books will tell readers to avoid the five B’s: booze, boys, Bible, bill, and Biden. In other words, avoid discussing substances, romantic relationships, religion, finances, or politics while in polite company, as these can all be polarizing subjects. Unfortunately, some coworkers may have a difficult time remaining silent on these issues. For those who choose to participate in these types of conversations while at work, keep the following guidelines, according to a top employment lawyer, in mind:
Conflict is just a fact of life. Even when we were toddlers, it seems we had issues and were verbal about what we didn’t like. We argued with our siblings about our possessions and our “standing in the family”… even though being the oldest didn’t always trump other factors. Things didn’t change once we got to school either – there was always something to whine about it seems. No two people are alike and we are not cut from the same cloth so there is always bound to be disagreement among our peers.
In the workplace, disagreement and dissension among the ranks is also common. Sure, there is the differences of opinion over college sport teams and that rivalry is acceptable. Even the occasional political bickering over one’s favorite candidate or values, as long as it does not get out of hand, may be the topic bandied about the water cooler.
Chances are if you work in a company, business or even a store, that water cooler talk is always prevalent in the office. Especially true when there is some sort of a presidential election going on like there is right now. People always want to chime in as to who they want to win, think should win, or what their different outlooks are in terms of the election, their political choices, etc. People often talk about all sorts of things at work, but politics should definitely not be one of them. In fact, the more you think this is innocent, the more people keep proving you wrong – recently a survey was done on the Career Builders website where 36% of people said that they talked about politics at work and 46% said they planned on talking about politics at work.