Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the next 78 days, between the election and the inauguration, politics will become increasingly difficult to avoid at work. Many companies aren't shying away from that.

The big picture: This election cycle marks a turning point for Corporate America. Instead of focusing solely on profits and growth, companies are wading into social and political debates — betting that the future of the workplace is headed that way.

"It’s the first thing you’re taught in business," says Asher Raphael, CEO of Power Home Remodeling, a Pennsylvania-based home improvement company. "No politics and no religion. But that rule is outdated."

What's happening: This year, more than 1,700 companies gave employees paid time off to go to polls. For many of those firms, it was a first.

  • Will Bondurant, CFO at San Francisco-based Castlight Health, which is providing Election Day paid time off, says that his company has attempted to encourage voting by creating a Slack thread for people to post voting selfies, share resources with information on how to vote, and invite staff to share personal stories on the importance of voting.
  • "We think this is the right thing to do, but we hope it has a positive business impact in terms of hiring and retaining talent," Jonathan Neman, CEO of Sweetgreen, tells me about his company's decision to give time off on Election Day.

But it's far from over. Now companies will have to navigate weeks — or even months — of a chaotic political climate that will undoubtedly bleed into the workplace.

  • The signs are already there. 44% of HR professionals observed intensified workplace political volatility — defined as increased tension, hostility or arguments between employees over politics — in 2020, compared with just 26% in 2016, per a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management.
    • But, but, but: A whopping 80% say their organizations have notset guidelines regarding how to talk about politics at work. "That's a problem," SHRM president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. says.
  • And the pressure is on. Nearly three-quarters of workers expect their CEOs to have a response plan if the election's outcome is unclear or contested, according to a new Edelman study.

That shouldn't scare CEOs who've been paying attention to office culture, says Raphael.

  • "The workplace is actually the perfect place to have these conversations," he says. "Part of the problem in the larger political environment is that the humanity is lost."
  • "But if you haven’t developed a culture in which people have a deep sense of belonging and care for one another, it’s hard to have a productive discussion about politics."

The bottom line: Says Kesi Lumumba, a public relations professional in D.C., "I think there's a catharsis in talking about everything that's going on, regardless of political affiliation."

Go deeper: CNN"s Kathryn Vasel has a useful read on how to talk politics at work without getting into trouble.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Technology

Facebook to downplay politics on its platform

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said the company will dial back on pushing political groups and content to users.

Why it matters: Facebook is hoping to dim intense political pressure from conservatives and liberals by backing away from arguments it’s long made that political speech is vital to free expression.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.