Is Office Politics Decreasing Your Productivity at Work?

by Jennifer Miller on June 18, 2012

in Office Politics

office politics red-white-blue buttonAccording to an infographic offered up by Tempo blog, 47% of people say office politics is a work-related distraction that takes time away from their productivity. Interesting. Nearly half of office workers see office politics as a “distraction” that keeps them from being optimally productive?

How very convenient.




Someone didn’t get a promotion? Well, it was because of office politics.


People don’t get along with the boss? Most likely it’s office politics at play.


Have a co-worker who just won’t seem to cooperate? Clearly, they’re playing office politics.

Oh, really?

I smell people making excuses.

 “Office politics” is a convenient scapegoat. It’s a catch-all phrase that’s used to cover up the real problem: a lack of measuring up. Office politics isn’t the cause of decreased productivity; the real problem is the inability to get things done.

The website defines office politics as “the ways in which the people in a workplace relate to and behave towards each other, especially the ways in which people use the power and status they have.”

So, yes, maybe somebody is abusing his/her status or power. But it’s up to you to learn to deal with it. The other part of the definition is the “ways in which people in the workplace relate to one another” and that part you have full control over. Sometimes, it’s a matter of owning up to your part of the interaction. So the next time you hear someone (or yourself) tout “office politics” as the reason for a lack of productivity, ask, “Let’s suppose something besides office politics is getting in the way. What could that be?”

Does office politics exist? You bet. But not to the degree that many people think it does. Make office politics work in your favor by being interpersonally astute. When you influence with integrity, lead with character and communicate like a professional, you won’t need to blame office politics. You’ll be a strong player able to stand on your own merit.

Want more ideas on win with positive office politics? Try The 3 Myths of Office Politics and Office Politics CAN be Positive.

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