Shut Up About Politics at Work, Americans Say

If you're one of those people who likes talking politics at work, take note that most of your colleagues would far rather you kept quiet, according to a new poll.

The latest Morning Consult survey found three-quarters of U.S. workers believe that personal political views don't belong in the workplace, while only 18 percent feel there is space for politics at work.

Voters on the left and right agreed on the matter. Seventy-two percent of liberals told Morning Consult that personal politics don't belong in the workplace, while 79 percent of conservatives felt the same way.

A little more than a quarter of liberals under 45 feel there is space for personal politics in the workplace, putting them at odds with most people in their age bracket.

When asked whether employees should have the right to express their personal political opinions in the workplace, however, Americans were much more receptive.

Fifty-two percent of those polled agreed that workers should always have the right to speak about their personal politics, even if they aren't necessarily keen to listen to others' views.

Thirty-nine percent disagreed with the principle that people should have the freedom to express their views at work, and a further 9 percent said they were unsure about the matter.

Liberals were more likely to accept a person's right to talk about their personal politics in the workplace, with a little less than two-thirds agreeing with the idea, while only 48 percent of all conservatives said the same.

The Morning Consult survey was conducted between May 20 and May 22 and surveyed 1,000 U.S. workers, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Morning Consult released the poll a month after Basecamp, a software firm, banned political talk on the company's virtual workspace. Basecamp CEO Jason Fried noted "sensitivities are at 11," and said political discussions served as a "major distraction" from work at hand.

"People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can't happen where the work happens anymore," he added in a blog post.

The company co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson added in a separate blog post that employees need to be able to work "without having to deal with heavy political or societal debates" not connected with their job.

The cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase also said the company wouldn't "debate causes or political candidates internally" or "expect the company to represent our personal beliefs externally" in a mission statement last September.

Uncle Sam shushes in propaganda poster
A WWII American propaganda poster shows Uncle Sam holding his index finger to his lips, indicating silence. Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images