A toxic work environment can affect more than just your workload. It can affect your mental and physical wellbeing. Worried that you might be experiencing more than just a “stressful time” at work? Here are a few signs that your workplace might be toxic.
1) There is little to no growth: Okay so this one is kinda understandable considering we are in a global pandemic and at this point we’re lucky to even have jobs. But if your company usually has slow or very little growth, this is not a good sign. Businesses (in non-pandemic times) should be growing and so should their employees.
2) People keep quitting: No job is perfect. But if your job has a high amount of people coming in and leaving especially after a few days, this is a major red flag.
3) You’re constantly worried about being fired: A moment of silence for my past self because this is something that I could relate to. Being constantly on edge because you fear you might be fired for the smallest little thing IS NOT NORMAL. If you’re an honest worker and not stealing from your company in some sort of way, you shouldn’t have to constantly be worried about being fired. If you ARE stealing from the company/doing something you shouldn’t…well that’s on you and you really should be worried about being fired.
4) Staff keep getting sick: Like I said, toxic workplaces affect you physically. Headache? Back pain? Catching the flu more often than usual? The culprit might be the office itself.
5) Your workload is unreasonable: Here’s the thing. All jobs have targets. As a team, employees need to achieve targets. If you’re repeatedly not hitting targets because they’re too difficult or you feel like you have too much work to do that you can’t cope, it might be a sign that your workplace is toxic.
6) You have no work-life balance: Say it with me now, “In 2021, we do not glamorize the grind.” Occasional overtime is okay and I am always up for taking that overtime if work needs to get done. But all work and no play makes me a cranky worker. Jobs need work-life balance. It is a “job”- it is supposed to be a part of your life for a specific amount of hours, your job is not supposed to be your life. If you finding yourself working excessive hours, especially with a workload that you cannot cope with, this is another sign of a toxic environment.
7) There’s bullying and/or cliques: This one is my absolute favorite because PSA we’re not kids at school anymore. You’re an adult. Please act like one. If you noticed that certain employees are favored over others or given the best opportunities while everyone else is ignored, this is another sign.
So You Work in A Toxic Environment, Now What?
- If you think it’ll help, speak to a manager: If you think a manager can assist, feel free to set up a meeting. Of course, this might be an issue if your manager is a part of the problem. When I first started having issues with work being toxic, I went to the head of the department. I knew the issues stemmed from a recent change in management so I couldn’t speak to my manager, my manager’s manager or my manager’s manager’s supervisor. Yes, I skipped three levels of management in order to get assistance. Did it help? Yes, for a while. And then things worsened a few months later. By that time I had already left the business.
- Ask to move to another department: If there is no other way forward, ask to be moved to a different department. Be sure to do your homework and ensure it’s a department that doesn’t have the same issues.
- Start preparing for a new job- This is my last suggestion because jobs are tough to find on a regular basis let alone through the Covid pandemic. But if you are still exposed to the toxicity, update your CV, updated your LinkedIn and start applying for other jobs.
Toxic jobs slowly but surely seep into your everyday life and trust me, this is not something you want. If you find that you are in a toxic workplace, it’s best to leave. But whether you leave the team, department or the business itself is a decision that depends on you and your work environment.
Have you ever dealt with a toxic work environment or bad work PTSD? I’d like to know below.