Research Outline

Election Productivity Loss


To provide insights into the loss in productivity during the U.S. election from employees checking the news.

Early Findings

Election-Related Productivity Loss

  • According to a publication by Human Resource Executive, the U.S. presidential election is said to have a profoundly negative impact on employee productivity.
  • U.S. employees averagely spend over an hour per day consuming political news at work across the current year. This equates to more than five hours of loss per week per employee in every organization.
  • The report also pointed out that 60% of employees said that "the topic of the U.S. presidential election has negatively impacted their ability to get work done."
  • A pre-election survey by Gartner of 500 employees across the U.S revealed that 78% of people talk about politics at work.
  • 47% of employees surveyed opined that the 2020 presidential election had impacted their ability to get work done.
  • One-third of those surveyed said that "the 2020 presidential election has led them to spend more time getting political news while at work, which has the potential to take time away from other important tasks."
  • Andrew Challenger, the senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement company, said that productivity could be diminished due to the delayed outcome of the presidential election, as well as tight state and local races.
  • The firm's survey showed that election-related productivity loss costs the country about $3.6 billion per hour.
  • This was higher than the estimated loss in the 2018 midterm elections, which was valued at $3.5 billion per hour.
  • Not accounted for in the estimate are the losses in productivity from discussions and obsessions among voters and non-voters alike awaiting the results.