While the tumultuous year that is 2016 has seen a swell in political discussion, it would appear that Brits are still reticent to discuss recent events in the workplace.
A study of 1,000 small business employees by Peninsula Law has revealed that one in five are negatively affected by politics talk in the workplace.
Some 65% of employees avoid talking politics at work, with 32% reporting that workplace hostility has increased because of political discussions.
Alan Price, HR director at Peninsula said: “The workplace brings people together from different backgrounds that might not usually interact with each other. When you add politics to the mix-a deeply personal and sometimes emotional topic for many, there is potential for tension, friction and problems for both employees and the business.”
The fervent nature of the year’s political events, be it the polarising issues of Brexit or Donald Trump, has led to a lack of respect filtering in to political discourse. Rather than discourage any discussion in the workplace, employers should remind employees of the need to be mindful of others beliefs.
Price added: “While you can't prevent political discussions at work, it is important to remind employees to be respectful. Political views are a personal matter.
“Ensure that employees are sincere in their interest for another person’s views, and have them truly consider why another person may feel the way they do on a certain topic. By taking a civilised approach, employees can respectfully share opinions with each other without getting confrontational.”