Labor/Employment » Workers Depressed, Distracted By Politics

Workers Depressed, Distracted By Politics

Young African man looking exhausted and covering his face with hands while sitting at his working place

March 7, 2017

Politics is taking a toll on workplace productivity, according to a new survey by worker efficiency software company BetterWorks. About 87 percent of workers in the survey said they read political social-media posts during the day, and nearly 50 percent reported seeing a political conversation turn into an argument at work. Nearly 30 percent said they’ve been less productive since the election. The survey polled 500 nationally representative, full-time American workers. Companies have been aware that heightened political conversation is a potential problem, and BetterWorks said some firms now consider it to be an HR challenge. The findings compound problems unearthed by other surveys, which found workplace civility was already waning for many reasons, including an increase in remote workers and a lack of face-to-face interactions in the age of email and Slack. “I don’t think you can say we’re going to turn off Facebook, we’re going to turn off social media,” Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks, told The Atlantic. “[I]t’s a tight balance between letting people have a voice and being too tight on the workforce. It’s definitely an issue leaders should be thinking about right now.”

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