Dealing with politics in the workplace

Whether you're new to the working world, or you're an old pro, workplace politics can be difficult to understand. Now that more people are working from home, politics in the virtual office can make things even more complicated. Often, it's hard to tell what's an appropriate response to a situation in which you are uncomfortable. It can feel like you have to navigate a maze just to do your job effectively. However, this doesn't need to be the case. With the right understanding of workplace politics, you can avoid the drama and get ahead.

Can you skip the politics?

Most people want to avoid workplace politics as much as possible. They figure if they can just keep their head down and do their work, no one will bother them. And while this might be possible some of the time, there's no way to completely skip politics at work. For example, if you don't fully understand the hierarchy of your organization, you might take a business problem to the wrong person - and that can make you seem inattentive to detail.

That said, some companies have more dramatic internal politics than others. According to University of Southern California professor Kathleen Kelley Reardon, writing in the Harvard Business Review, it's important to think critically about how politics play a role in your office. Observing your colleagues who seem to be doing well can show you, by way of example, how best to navigate the unique political situation of your office.

To learn more about how to stop workplace politics from getting the best of you, check out our latest infographic: