While most conversations around politics were good-natured or even-tempered, 23 percent of workers who have discussed politics at work reported they had a heated discussion or fight with a co-worker, boss or someone else higher up in the organization. One-in-ten workers said their opinion about a co-worker changed after they discovered that person’s political affiliation, with most stating it changed for the negative.
Politics By Gender
Men were more likely to share political opinions or commentary at the office. Forty-four percent of men discuss politics at work compared to 28 percent of women. Men were also more likely to report an altercation with a co-worker over opposing political views – 25 percent compared to 19 percent of women.
Politics By Age
Workers age 55 and older were the most likely to discuss politics at work while those under the age of 25 were the least likely:
Are office politics more combative than government politics?
Forty-six percent of workers believe the competitive nature of government politics is strikingly similar to that office politics. Nearly one-in-five (19 percent) said office politics are more vicious than national politics.
“Most workers opt to keep political debates outside of the workplace,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Anytime you’re dealing with subject matter that is sensitive or potentially inflammatory, it’s important to always be respectful of your colleagues’ opinions and avoid emotionally-charged exchanges.”
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 7,780 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 9 and December 5, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 7,780, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.11 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
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