Regardless of chosen profession, no one can perform at their best in a work environment that doesn’t foster positivity, growth, and encouragement. If the prospect of going to work in the morning fills you with dread, you find yourself avoiding coworkers, and you can’t focus on doing the job because you are so worried about the vibe at the office, you need to ascertain if yours is a toxic work environment.
You COULD be going through a slump, it’s true. Not everyone can be psyched about going to work EVERY day, even if it is to your dream job. Depending on what is happening in your life, it may be a struggle to get to the office when you are thinking about personal problems. However, there are some sure signs of a toxic work environment that can help you decide to start looking for something else.
- Employees flee a toxic environment like rats from a ship.
The first sign that a workplace is becoming unsuitable is when there is a lack of warm bodies in the office. Whether this is because everyone is calling in sick or quitting, something is wrong if you look around and observe a marked lack of coworkers. This is also observable in the remote work and hybrid models by a notable lack of involvement via video conference participation and email response. This usually indicates poor leadership and lower employee engagement, particularly if former employees present as being much happier after having quit.
- Only bullies thrive in a toxic environment.
According to a February 2021 article in Forbes Magazine, sexism, bullying, and unequal pay are very much still in practice. These things are even more shocking TODAY when it seems unlikely that a company would allow so much room for litigation, but these perpetrators count on those victimized to move on or deal. Most of us want a decent job in our chosen profession with employers that value our contribution and treat us fairly. But ultimately, it is up to you, the employee, to value yourself and make that happen.
- The toxicity might be killing you
If you dread going to work, talking to bosses, or taking on new projects that you would generally find exciting, to the point that you are being physically sickened in any way, you have been exposed to workplace toxicity. This can lead to weight loss (or gain), headaches, lack of sleep, acid reflux, and ulcers, to name a few stress-related maladies. Additionally, your personal life may suffer as you become short-tempered and bitter, possibly lashing out at loved ones, if and when you can spend any time with them.
Remember that you spend most of your waking hours working. If that time is spent miserable with no hope of meaningful change, that is a lot of your life to be unhappy! Not to mention that the constant negativity certainly compromises your physical and mental health. The definition of toxic is very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way; poisonous. Being aware of this circumstance is the first step towards getting out of it.