Data, Meeting Scheduling, Productivity

How the 2018 election affected your workweek

Data, Meeting Scheduling, Productivity

Blue wave? Red wall? We’ll leave the political analysis of the 2018 midterms results to the pundits. We’re interested in how the 2018 election affected your workweek. More specifically, what happened to meetings scheduled on Election Day and the day after? 

Following the 2016 election, we reported a substantial dip in meetings scheduled. With what was touted as the most momentous midterm election ever, would we see a similar drop off? What else can we learn about how Election Day tangles up our calendars? Let’s get to the data.

First, a little context: based on logins, here’s where most of our active users are, compared to the statewide results from both 2016 and 2018:

Blue-leaning metropolitan centers dominate our user base (Austin is one of the bluest parts of Texas, more on this later), which helps bring our election week calendar data into clearer focus. Trump’s surprising 2016 victory likely shocked many voters in our user base, correlating with a 24% drop in meetings scheduled the next day. Given that Hillary Clinton was predicted to cruise to an easy victory (especially in most of the states where the majority of our users reside), people may not have felt as urgent a need to vote, scheduling 22.43% of their weekly meetings on Election Day itself.

This year, with record turnout at the polls for a midterm election, we saw meetings scheduled for Election Day decline by 2.03% from 2016, suggesting a larger chunk of our American users kept their Tuesdays open so they could cast ballots. In Texas’ Travis county (home to Austin, our 5th most active U.S. user base), 480,705 people flooded the polls, with 74.3% of the vote going to Beto O’Rourke (vs. 24.7% for Ted Cruz), in a key senate race.

Other high-profile battles in House, Senate, and Gubernatorial races across the country made Tuesday a day where people weren’t looking to have as many meetings. We’ll refrain from suggesting whether those results support the argument for or against Election Day being made a national holiday, but they’re interesting nonetheless.

So how about the day after? How would productivity fare after the races were (mostly) settled?

In 2016, a substantial 23.1% of meetings were canceled the day after the election, perhaps a result of the reported productivity drop off following Trump’s win. That number tumbled 7.3% after the 2018 midterms, with only 15.47% of meetings scheduled for Wednesday ending up cancelled. Meanwhile, meetings initiated also increased, shooting up by 4.4%, suggesting that largely pro-Democrat results for our major user bases had people getting back to business as usual.

While we can’t prognosticate how the votes will tally up in 2022, there’s no doubt your calendar will  be affected, no matter how you vote.

How did the results of the 2018 midterms affect your workplace? Let us know on Twitter!

Data Sources: x.ai, Google Analytics, Texas Tribune