It’s The Most Unconventional Presidential Election In Recent History: Is It Okay To Talk Politics At Work?

Nexxt announced results from a national survey of more than 5,000 job seekers, which revealed that a majority (72%) of job seekers said talking about politics at work is inappropriate, and almost half (46%) said they’ve felt uncomfortable at work due to political chatter. While job seekers want to remain professional about politics in the office, posts on personal social media accounts are acceptable. In fact, 65% of respondents feel it’s appropriate to post passionate political views on social media or other public forums where their colleagues can read it. The survey shows that the traditional admonition to avoid political speech at work applies to the most unconventional presidential election in recent history, while social media is the go-to medium for sharing opinions.

“This election has been anything but ordinary, and the acrimony between the two candidates can spill out over the watercooler—making politics even more unwelcome in the workplace than normal,” said Joe Weinlick, senior vice president at Beyond. “With the workplace out of bounds, many are turning to social media to vent their political opinions. Social media is a core component of today’s political campaigns, and social media posts pose less risk than sparking up a political debate in your office.”

While the majority of job seekers feel political conversations at work are inappropriate, many also believe that the workplace is too politically correct, especially those who stated they plan to vote for Donald Trump. Of respondents who plan to vote for Donald Trump, 66% said they believe the workplace is too politically correct compared to only 29% of respondents who plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. And, only half of all respondents believe that they can be honest about political views. Fifty-one percent of respondents who support Clinton and 52% of those who support Trump feel they can be honest with their political views in the workplace.

When it comes to employment in the U.S., job seekers are taking what the candidates have to say seriously. According to the survey, 77% of respondents said how the candidates are talking about the U.S. employment situation will have an impact on who they elect president. However, the survey also revealed that many aren’t sold on the candidates. About one-third of survey respondents said they do not plan to vote for a major party candidate. And, 56% said the candidate they plan to vote for is the “better alternative.”

Additional findings from the survey show:

  • Millennials are more comfortable with politics at work – only 40% of millennial respondents said they feel uncomfortable talking about politics at work compared to 51% of baby boomer respondents. Additionally, 42% of millennials said employees should not have political paraphernalia in their cubes/offices compared to 59% of baby boomers.
  • Women are more optimistic under Clinton – more women feel optimistic about their career under a Clinton presidency (51%) than a Trump presidency (31%).
  • Clinton wins the job seeker popular vote – when asked who they plan to vote for 39% of job seekers said Clinton, 29% said Trump, and 32% said they’re not voting or other.

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