A recent survey by instantprint has revealed that politics in the workplace is a contentious issue for many Brits, with nearly 1 in 5 having engaged in heated debates with colleagues over political views.

The survey, which included over 1,000 respondents, uncovered that more than a quarter of Brits believe politics is not a suitable topic for the workplace. This sentiment is echoed by the fact that over 53 percent of respondents choose to keep their political opinions to themselves while at work

The study highlighted that 60 percent of participants find it inappropriate to inquire about a colleague’s voting preferences, signalling that political discussions remain largely taboo in professional settings. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents feel that discussing politics at work can lead to conflicts.

Interestingly, 21 percent of those surveyed mentioned that their workplaces have specific rules regarding political discussions, while more than a third support the implementation of such rules. However, a majority of 51 percent prefer to maintain the status quo, allowing political conversations to occur without formal restrictions.

Despite the general hesitance to openly discuss politics, almost 1 in 5 respondents have experienced conflicts with colleagues over political matters. One in twelve admitted to actively trying to influence their colleagues’ political views, while a third confessed to sharing political news and memes at work.

The survey also revealed generational differences, with younger team members reportedly facing pressure from older colleagues with strong political opinions. This generational divide adds another layer of complexity to political discussions in the workplace.

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.