Space for political exchange in companies: A guide for leaders

Urs Merkel
December 11, 2023

In today's globalized world, the boundaries between politics and business are often blurred. Therefore, it is important that companies create the space for political exchange without jeopardizing the corporate culture. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of this approach and suggest possible guidelines for leaders.

1. advantages and disadvantages of political discussions in the workplace


  • Promoting critical thinking: Employees are encouraged to think about various topics and keep themselves informed about current events.
  • Diversity and inclusion: A more inclusive working environment is created when all employees can express their opinions freely.
  • Better understanding of colleagues: A deeper understanding of the views and backgrounds of colleagues can promote teamwork.


  • Possible conflicts: Emotionally charged political discussions can lead to differences of opinion or conflicts.
  • Distraction from work: Endless debates can affect productivity.
  • Possible discrimination: Employees may feel discriminated against or marginalized if their political views differ from the majority.

2. creating a safe and constructive environment for political discussions

Neutral room: A specific room or period of time, e.g. a monthly meeting, can be set aside for political discussions so that they do not disrupt the normal workflow.

Moderation: A neutral moderator can lead discussions and ensure that they remain constructive and respectful.

Escalation procedure: A clearly defined escalation procedure should be in place in the event of conflicts. Employees should know who they can turn to if they have problems.

3. recommendations for managers

Leaders play a critical role in creating an environment in which political discussions can be conducted in a positive and constructive manner. Here are some guidelines for leaders to follow:

  • Clear communication: Clear guidelines should be established on what is acceptable behavior in political discussions.
  • Emphasize common ground: The focus should be on common ground and shared goals to make discussions less polarizing.
  • Obtain feedback: Regular feedback from employees can help to constantly improve the space for political discussions.


Creating a space for political exchange in organizations can be challenging, but it also offers many benefits. With the right guidelines and commitment from leaders, a safe and respectful space for discussion can be created that enriches company culture and strengthens employee engagement.

Urs Merkel
September 1, 2023