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The current political climate on social media could cause low productivity in the workplace

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 22, 2017

Right now, there's no shortage of articles and people arguing about what's going on in Washington, D.C.

We're reminded of the charged political climate every time we log onto Facebook and Twitter.

Now there's proof those posts online are impacting many of us on the job.

This surge in political chatter on social media is actually slowing some employees down.

Surprising new findings reveal nearly one-third of American workers say they feel less productive at work since the election.

Megan Jones is spending a lot less time on Facebook these days.

"It is a different experience now than it used to be," said Jones.

Her newsfeed during the work day, which was once full of light-hearted moments, now few and far between.

A recent survey by a performance management company shows 87% of us are reading political social media posts on the job.

"I tend to find myself skimming through things and being a bit more selective with what I'm reading," said Joe Lanzilotta, Land Studio employee.

On average, employees are reading 14 political social media posts each day, which eats up about two hours of their shift.

"It's been kind of bombarding," said Lanzilotta.

The endless stream of stories and comments are now prompting co-workers to also spend more time talking about what's happening instead of focusing on work.

"It can get heated," said Jones.

That's why Jones and her colleagues at Land Studio in Ohio City are avoiding social media while in the office.

"If you were really involved in a task that was work specific you could break away from that, go on social media and kind of have this mindless escape. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore," said Jones.

Productivity at Land Studio has not been impacted, as the staff discovers new ways to recharge while on the clock.

"We have decided to do a lot more Mitchell's Ice Cream breaks and West Side market trips as our respite, rather than getting on social media," said Jones.

49% of people have witnessed a political conversation actually turn into an argument between co-workers, according to the "Better Works" survey.

That number goes up to 63% for Millennials.

So clearly, if we're not careful, this charged political climate can lead to some serious problems on the job.