3 reasons to avoid debating politics at work

Why avoid political debates at work? Just ask Google.

According to a recent article in Forbes, until very recently the workplace culture at Google had been well-known for its openness when it comes to allowing controversial debates and conversations at work.  Much like a university campus, the Google workplace culture – and many others like it in Silicon Valley – have long promoted in-house discourse around hot topics for the purpose of learning and growing as an organization. This openness has recently backfired, however, and the loose boundaries that once existed around workplace discourse are now being reined in to more defined parameters. Many employees have even been fired from Google recently for their workplace conduct around controversial topics.

The stance being taken now at Google is one that defines workplaces as neutral spaces where employees should be able to come to work and earn a fair living without the fear of potential harassment. In fact, this has always been the case in the professional world, hence the legal boundaries that exist around harassing and discriminating behavior. But on top of avoiding crossing legal boundaries, there are some additional key benefits worth mentioning when it comes to avoiding political debates at work. Here’s our take on why it’s worth your time and energy to maintain a sense of professional neutrality among your team.

#1:  You can foster a drama-free, productive culture where employees are focused on achieving for the company. (What leader doesn’t want that?)

#2: You can maintain positive relationships between employees that are founded on mutual respect and common ground. (Fewer trips to HR!)

#3: Your clients will be more willing to put their trust in your business. Self-control is a sign of good judgment. (more trust in you = more revenue)