Productivity Blackhole

I think I’ve found a way to increase business productivity considerably by adding a single line to employee policy manuals:

All discussions about politics, religion, and current events should be reserved for the employee’s personal time such as lunch and breaks.

Everywhere I’ve worked, I’ve seen the scourge of such conversations: groups of employees pointlessly arguing past each other—sometimes for hours on end—and sucking bystanders in like some sort of workplace black hole as their particular hot buttons are inevitably pressed.

You know what I’ve never seen? Someone say, “That’s an excellent point. I’ve never thought of it that way. I’ll have to ruminate on that some more. Let’s get back to work.”

I admit to having participated in such discussions, so I know whereof I speak. However, I haven’t done it for at least a year or two because I recognized what a colossal waste of time they are for all parties. Plus, the loudest and most ignorant participant indubitably dominates and frames the discussion since everyone seems to feel a need to feed the trolls. In my experience, these tend to be religious fundamentalists but your mileage may vary.

[NOTE: The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

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