Startups · HR

How to stop politics talk shedding office productivity?

Jen Fuerte Founder at TeachrTec

October 26th, 2016

Need ideas and guidelines how to keep up the office productivity in the face of political discussions, especially now with the elections coming up. We have various viewpoints and some are very passionate.

What is the best way to curb this distraction, and keep a friendly atmosphere?

Gabriel Cornejo

October 26th, 2016

What about leaning in to it? At the heart of the matter is people want the same thing, they want happiness, just different ideas on how to get there. Try steering the conversation about what your company is doing to improve the matters being discussed..

If education is your companies focus, giving credence to the discussion and state that your company (We) recognizes said issues, that's why WE are doing something about it. "We are turning ideas in to action!" 

Ema Chuku Product Developer. Founder.

October 26th, 2016

I highly doubt political talks would keep a responsible person from performing their duties. Political talks is seen as a brain stimulating conversation in Europe and Africa. Could it be you are overreacting? 

Btw, if otherwise, it's perfectly fine to have a one on one conversation with the employees in question and express your views and concern. Communication is key in workplaces.

K. Robbins Head Moose at Moose WorldWide Digital

October 27th, 2016

It's nationwide.  We saw this in 2008 and again in 2012, we call it the "Fourth Quarter Election Year Slowdown"

New business went from a flood in August and September to a trickle this month.  I am encouraging everyone to take time off, work on administrative tasks, and get well rested for the floodgates to open right after the election.  From the past two cycles, it doesn't matter who wins.

I would never try and control what my employees are passionate about, as I have a company of very smart, very responsible knowledge workers.  As long as they do quality work and meet deadlines I trust them to be responsible.  

John Hall

October 27th, 2016

Hi Jen,
Congratulations on building an environment where your employees feel comfortable expressing themselves.  In the near term, I agree with Ema that some level of office talk is stimulating, can build comradery, and excesses can be reined in where appropriate with 1:1s.  I also agree with Gabriel that you should steer the conversation in a direction that is beneficial for your company.  However, longer term, this type of concern may be a sign that you've outgrown your current performance appraisal system.  Have you thought about putting a more formal review process in place?

Susan Patton Staffing Specialist, Writer, Executive Coach, HR Consultant

October 26th, 2016

  • There are only thirteen days to go until Election Day.  Tough it out.  Passionate engagement in civic matters is a good thing!

Valeriia Timokhina Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development

October 28th, 2016

You can track the employees' productivity by time-tracking tools like UTrack and TimeDoctor (you can read about time doctor here - "Tool #6: Time Doctor). I really understand you, because for our company productivity tracking would be a problem. We are software development outsourcing provider and need not only to track employees' productivity but also provide our clients with this information, to make them sure that their resources are spent correctly.

Jen Fuerte Founder at TeachrTec

October 26th, 2016

Thanks Susan Patton, sounds good but I wish there was a way to keep everyone focused on work instead. 13 days is still a lot of time in potential work!

Any ideas how to strike a balance and keep focused?