A toxic work environment is a workplace that affects your mental state or productivity negatively. This could be the result of bullying, gossip, microaggressions, manipulation, backstabbing, infighting and various other “toxic” behavioral patterns. If you believe your workplace might be toxic, it is important to understand and identify the signs that point to a toxic work environment.
How Can I Tell If My Workplace Is Toxic?
Of course, there is a difference between not enjoying your work and a work environment that is toxic. If you and others around you are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and are not under constant pressure, your workplace is most likely not toxic. Below are five signs that indicate a toxic work environment.
Constant Burnout And Fatigue
Work should not be consistently mentally exhausting and cause severe burnout and fatigue, especially if you are working a normal forty hours per week and in a profession that you enjoy. If you are given too many tasks and your team does not allow you to load balance, you are potentially dealing with a toxic work environment.
No Room For Disagreement With Changes
A healthy work environment is one that encourages input from employees and allows for differing opinions. If you are unable to provide useful input and do your job properly, it indicates that your work environment is toxic, especially if you are ridiculed for attempting to provide input or suggestions.
Lack Of Communication Or Negative Feedback
Constructive criticism has its place in the work environment when it is productive. However, excessive and unwarranted negative feedback or suppression of your ability to communicate with others is a major sign of toxicity in the workplace.
Low Enthusiasm And Positivity Among Coworkers
Are you excited to start each workday? Or do you have low energy and a negative mindset each morning due to the workplace culture? If the latter, the work environment is likely toxic. In some toxic work environments, management may be told to act positively to hide and counteract negative energy — do not fall for this facade.
Being Urged To Work Overtime Or During Vacation
Managers and company executives should be mindful of the workload they place upon employees. Excessive overtime work or not allowing for paid time off (PTO) is a serious concern, and in some cases, is illegal for the employer.
How To Deal With A Toxic Work Environment
We encourage you to take action to improve or leave your situation if your work environment is toxic. It is important to remember that you are not obligated to stay at your job and that there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you. However, if you do wish to remain at your job in the short or long-term, here are some ways to deal with a toxic workplace:
Discover Allies Who Feel The Same
The chances are someone at your workplace in whom you trust feels the same as you do. Rely on like-minded coworkers for advice and support in handling toxic situations. Confiding in family members or friends can help you cope with and handle a toxic work environment as well.
Stay Organized And Eliminate Distractions
You may be able to find a way to remain productive while avoiding the distracting elements in your workplace. Focus on controlling what is in your control, rather than getting caught up in the office drama. As long as you are attempting to stay on task, your employer should not fault you.
Engage In Fun Activities Outside Of Work
Simply put, do not take work home with you. Once you leave the office, do something enjoyable and spend time with loved ones. If your coworkers are going out for happy hour, make sure to assess the current temperature levels of the office before deciding to join them.
Keep A Record Of All Employee Interactions
In case your toxic work environment causes you to leave the company or get caught up in a dispute, keep a record of all employee interactions, documenting precisely why you feel the workplace is toxic. Therefore, you can feel confident knowing you have this information in case something happens when you attempt to apply for another job.
Receive Guidance From An HR Professional
An HR professional can guide you through the decision-making process if you choose to leave your toxic work environment. A sound exit strategy and advisory from an HR professional ensures you are able to meet your goals. It is recommended that you work with a third-party HR consultant in this situation to avoid any ties with your organization.
Schedule a 1-on-1 with a remote HR consultant today!
If you are in the midst of a toxic work environment and want to learn about your options for improving or leaving your current position within your company, reach out to HR Search & Rescue. Our team of remote HR consultants is willing to help you navigate the situation and develop an action plan. Call us at (844) 934-3293 or schedule a 1-on-1 meeting to get started today.