All employees have an opinion about their workplace. So do the managers, and so do the stakeholders, and so do their friends, and so do the kids who pass by on the way to school. This is a normal part of life. Nothing serious or wrong there – just sharing one’s opinions with others, in a variety of ways, from talking to coworkers to sending emails to having meetings or being interviewed for a job.
But things start to get dicey when these opinions turn into workplace politics, as they often will. This does not happen overnight. It usually takes years for it to occur. But sooner or later, this happens – and when it does, it can be almost impossible to stop (especially if you are new at your job).
We will give you an overview of what workplace politics is and the downsides it has. The first thing you must know is that workplace politics exist in every industry and in almost every office. Some industries or offices may have a reputation for being more political than others. This can reduce your chances of getting a job there, even if you’re great at what you do. It’s best to avoid politics altogether if possible!
In this article, we take a look at workplace politics and the downsides associated with it. Even after billions of years on this planet, humans are yet to coexist together, and your typical workplace is an example of that.
Workplace Politics can Question Security
Workplace politics can make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
You may be the victim of office politics, which includes behaviors that are inappropriate, unethical and possibly illegal. The following are some examples:
- Bullying and harassment in the workplace.
- Unethical behavior (such as theft).
- Hiding information from management or coworkers about legal problems with your company’s products or services.
Angry Outbursts Become the Norm
The problem with workplace politics (and every other form of communication) is that we don’t always know how to express ourselves properly when our emotions get hurt. In fact, sometimes, expressing how we feel can make things worse! And because most people aren’t used to dealing with this kind of situation on a regular basis (you’d be surprised at how common workplace conflict can be), they often don’t know what else to do besides avoiding eye contact or speaking up about their thoughts and feelings at all costs.
Suppose multiple parties are vying for power within any given office. In that case, one party will almost always win out over another as there is only so much power available within any given organization (especially smaller ones). This means that anyone not involved in the process could lose ground from lack of access to information or because someone else rose to power without them noticing first (and there were never any signs for them to notice!).
People in a workplace with politics have no other means but to show their resentment through public outbursts, which can disturb culture and disrupt workflow.
No Workplace Relations
One of the biggest downsides of workplace politics is that it may ruin relationships between coworkers. If everyone knows everyone else’s weaknesses, then they will quickly find out who can be manipulated and who isn’t. People who aren’t involved in the political process are often left out of conversations and decision-making processes because their opinions are typically ignored by other employees with better connections to management or upper management employees.
Many people dislike working with coworkers. They feel they can manipulate or push around in order to get ahead or improve their own position. The result is an unfair work environment full of backstabbing that usually leaves the people doing it feeling unhappy and threatened by their colleagues’ efforts to create a power structure within their company or office environment.
You Can Lose Promotions Because of Workplace Politics
As you might imagine, workplace politics can have a profound impact on your career. If someone is not happy with your work and approaches their supervisor to complain about it, they will be more likely to lose out on a promotion if that person is the most qualified candidate for the job. This can be especially true if another member of staff has been promoted recently and feels threatened by losing their position in the company hierarchy.
You also need to keep in mind that some people may be less willing than others to voice their grievances about workplace politics directly; instead, they’ll take their frustrations out on other employees who don’t seem as successful or popular as them (or perhaps even just because they’re not like them). This is why it’s important not only for yourself but also for those around you who may be affected by this kind of behavior: stand up against bullying behavior whenever possible!
Another downside comes from not acting responsibly when dealing with others on your team: people who participate actively in workplace politics can easily become selfish, manipulative jerks because they get away with things on many occasions simply because nobody saw through their schemes until it was too late! Even if someone did see the antics, they didn’t make a concrete decision to ruffle their feathers.
Working in a Negative Space
If you feel like your workplace is a negative space, it’s probably because you’ve been there long enough to notice the way people treat one another. Having negative feelings about your workplace is not good for your health and well-being.
You may have witnessed coworkers gossiping and taking advantage of each other. You might even have felt excluded by coworkers who are less qualified than you or who don’t share your interests. The downside of this kind of atmosphere is that it can make us feel sad and depressed—which isn’t good for our health!
Hence, the best course of action is to leave a corporation with dirty politics. Take the jump and try the pastures somewhere else; they might turn out greener.