Even though COVID has prevented many from going back to work at an office, the politics have not changed. Now it’s more like Zoom or 365 or Skype politics.

What are they wearing or not wearing? I never knew Cherelle wore glasses! Why doesn’t Harry shave? Do they have pants on? Or shorts? Or maybe a kilt? Is this supposed to be professional or not?

Office politics, zoom politics, workplace politics, organizational politics – I call it high school.

Nothing much has changed since the cliques of high school – although today’s clique categories are a bit different, they still include what you recall from your high school, just with different labels.

In high school, cliques are part of social development.

In the office, your job and your reputation can be at stake.

All workplaces are political because we are human beings who bring all our baggage, good and bad, into the workplace.

What does one do if you are new to the game of politics or do not want to play this game?

Set clear boundaries.

Start by staying out of it. What game you do not join, you do not have to play.

Be nice, at all times; be as nice as possible.

Be fair to all you speak to. When someone attempts to engage you in a Gossip Round, simple, non-committal replies are best.

Use lots of ‘Ohs?’ and ‘Ahs’!  and ‘Unhuhs’. Really – no one will care and they will move onto the next person who will agree or disagree, therefore getting snagged into a revolt, big or small.

Don’t gossip about anyone in your office, building, or company especially on the internet. The internet does not go away. It may hurt you on the way up the ladder and send you spinning down quickly.

You never know who’s watching or listening or who is anxious to pass on your words to someone else. Don’t let anything you say bite you in the butt.

Establish your office ‘line in the sand’ and do not engage anyone who wants to play the game of gossip, bullying, or any other not-so-nice means. As I said prior, this is high school.

Be yourself at all times and enjoy yourself as much as possible while you contribute your skills – the ones they pay you for – to your company. If being an employee of whatever rank doesn’t work for you, start your own business.

Remember, you are not being paid to argue local or national politics

Have a question or two? Click here and ask away!

Joanne

Joanne Victoria
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