It’s Not Just You: Trump Talk Is Making Workplaces Miserable
Forty percent of workers have had a bad experience talking politics at work since November, says new survey
If it feels like all the stress and misery of living through the 2016 presidential election has somehow only gotten worse since November, well, you’re not alone. The American Psychological Association has the results of a new survey that found talking politics at work has gotten more stressful and cynicism-inducing since Trump’s victory.
In fact, the survey found a whopping 40 percent of American workers saying something bad has happened at work because of a political discussion. “Something bad” can take a lot of forms: worse productivity or work quality, trouble focusing on work, a lower opinion of coworkers, generally feeling stressed, or feeling like the workplace as a whole is more hostile. Only 27 percent of workers reported such experiences in the pre-election survey.
Conducted by the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, the survey featured responses from nearly 1,000 full-time or part-time workers. The results also suggest women in particular felt the effects of a post-Trump world on their workplace. While men reported only small increases in problems at work, women experienced roughly doubled rates of increased cynicism, difficulty getting work done, and poorer work quality.
Across all age ranges and beliefs, people said politics had made work more stressful, but those who appeared to feel it the worst were liberals and millennials. About a third of younger workers said they were more tense because of workplace political discussions, while baby boomers and still older workers reported little or no negative change to their post-election experience.
While the pre-election survey revealed little difference between respondents based on their political beliefs, the new survey found almost double the percentage of liberal workers reported feeling stressed as did their moderate and conservative workers, with similar gaps for issues with productivity and work quality. At the same time, liberals were simultaneously most likely to feel connected to and isolated from coworkers, and to have both a positive and negative view of their peers. The survey suggests political discussion at work just generally has more of an effect on those likely to oppose the current administration.
A quick, admittedly unscientific look at Twitter gives some sense of the toll all the post-election Trump talk is taking on our nation’s workers.
CAN OLD WHITE MEN PLEASE STOP FUCKING TALKING ABOUT TRUMP TO ME WHILE IM AT WORK THANKS
— Rebecca Mescudi (@beckyysaysmeow) March 21, 2017
I was just talking about Trump's skin color and a girl at my work told me to stop spewing my millennial liberal bullshit lmao
— ɦuɳtɛʀ (@dhunt116) March 13, 2017
This girl who I really like at work told me she loves Trump. I said that I think he's a racist misogynistic ass. She stopped talking to me.
— Charlie (@MasterOsborne) February 4, 2017
Talking to one of the residents at work (he's in his late 60's) he said trump is the best thing that could happen to this world, I feel sick
— tayla (@TaylaMac) April 29, 2017
Me listening to these 2 fools at work talking bout how Trump has done more for the country in months then Obama did in years!!! pic.twitter.com/pU1PrxbJr9
— ♊CoolCalmCollective♊ (@IamYoBuddy) April 29, 2017
everyone at work was talking about trump and i just wanted to bring up the time my dad faked a car accident so he could steal weed
— gengar for hands (@MosuraCrisis) March 17, 2017