If we were all to take a good long look inside our souls, many of us would find that they'd been replaced by a deep, dark void. This void is called "the 2016 election," according to multiple surveys showing that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's face off for the presidency took an enormous toll on Americans' mental and physical health.
In March, therapists confirmed that "Trump-induced anxiety" is real — the thought of Trump being elected to the presidency was keeping people up at night and giving them stress dreams. After Trump's victory, some attested to waning libidos or said they'd turned to stress eating to relieve their emotional pain. And in the most extreme cases, others reported ending relationships over election-related conflicts.
Now, a new survey shows politics have infiltrated yet another facet of everyday life: the workplace.
According to a study commissioned by software company BetterWorks, reported on by the Atlantic, 29% of those surveyed reported a dip in productivity post-election. What's more, 50% of participants reported witnessing a political conversation become confrontational in the workplace.
The new survey's results somewhat mirror those of the American Psychological Association, whose researchers found in September 2016 that 25% of employees have been "negatively affected" by political talk in the office, with young people in particular experiencing greater levels of stress and lower levels of productivity on the job.
Employees said they also found themselves in political conversations with coworkers more than ever, with 47% reporting that they were more likely to discuss politics at work this election season than before.
But the APA's survey focuses on at least one silver lining resulting from politics' invasion of the workplace: While some of these politically-charged chats with coworkers led to division — with 20% of those surveyed saying they have avoided certain coworkers due to their political beliefs — it's brought others more closer to their colleagues.
Nearly a quarter of those who participated in the study reported feeling "more connected" to their colleagues and taking on a more positive few of them.
There's nothing that will bring a workplace together like a collective fear over the fall of democracy.