Politics Has Made 29 Percent Of Us Worse At Our Jobs
Feb 13, 2017
Quick: How many times have you said the word “Trump” today? Maybe you’ve scattered in a “Bannon” here, a “Warren” there, and a “Russia,” “Mar-a-Lago,” and “Spicer” for good measure. There’s a decent chance you read The Washington Post before you checked your work emails, and you know more names in the President’s Cabinet than people in your department. Regardless of your views, you’re probably a little politics-crazed right now—and you’re not alone. But just like how any obsession can hog up all your brain space before long, your government fix may be getting in the way of your daily grind: Twenty-nine percent of American workers say they’ve been less productive since the Presidential election, according to a survey from BetterWorks and Wakefield Research.
The survey of 500 full-time employees found that 87 percent of workers read political social media posts during the work day—an average of 14 per day, and 18 for millennials—which equates to around 2 hours every day. Seventy-three percent of respondents have talked about politics with their colleagues, and 49 percent have witnessed a political conversation escalate into an argument at work. Obviously these distractions aren’t great; according to unaffiliated research from UC Irvine, it takes around 23 minutes to truly resume your work at full mental capacity after each distraction.