Zimbabwe’s 2018 general elections are around the corner and they have been a source of heated debates, locally and abroad. In the workplace, political discussions seem to be the order of the day. Approximately a month from the elections, our country may be polarized by politics as never before. This survey sought to measure the prevalence of political discussions among employees in the workplace. It also sought to determine the extent to which political discussions have an impact on employees’ overall productivity.
Summary of Key Findings
Political discussions are very prevalent in the workplace. Approximately 7 in 10 (71%) employees regularly engage in political discussions in their respective workplaces.
7 in 10 (68%) employees do not avoid their co-workers because of their political views and 3 in 10 (32%) of employees avoid their co-workers because of their political views.
Male employees are 1.4 times more likely to regularly engage in political discussions with their co-workers than their female counterparts.
A significant number of employees agree that because of their political views, they feel isolated in the workplace. 8 in 10 (79%) employees agree to this.
Generally, employees feel that the effect of political discussions on their work is minimal although they agree that they are now taking a considerable amount of time following political discussions on social media during working hours. 2 in 10 (21%) employees are now spending a considerable amount of time on social media following political discussions.
While the majority of employees feel that there are not punished for having political views contrary to the Boss, 1 in 10 (8%) reported that they are punished.
Half (50%) of the employees who have been forced, or feel that they have been forced to attend political rallies during working hours are members of a political party. Employees who are members of a political party are twice more likely to be forced to attend, or feel that they have been force to attend political rallies than their colleagues who are not affiliated to any political party.
The majority of employees who took this survey are registered voters. 9 in 10 (87%) employees say they are registered to vote. Note that this survey covered employees in formal employment in a number of industries. Refer to participants’ profile.
8 in 10 (75%) employees are clear on which candidate they are going to vote for in the upcoming presidential elections.
Employees who do not regularly discuss politics with co-workers are twice more likely to be unsure of the candidate they will vote for.