What is a toxic work environment?
A toxic work environment can be a workplace with constant gossip about the manager, gossip and innuendo about people around the boss and just steady undertones of selfishness. A toxic workplace can also be a workplace where people have to fake smiles all the time and pretend to be happy when they are hurting. It can be where you go to work, and the boss has no problem pointing at subordinates and criticising and making fun of them. A toxic workplace can also be a place where management allows people to break the company’s rules.
When working in one of these toxic work environment, you will ask yourself some of the following questions: how to survive a toxic workplace, explain why you left a toxic workplace, and how to deal with a toxic workplace.
Toxic work environments and stress
Toxic work environments can cause significant problems in employees’ mental and physical health. Stress can increase blood pressure, chronic illness, mortality rate, hypertension, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, depression, and other emotions. Workplace stress is a significant problem that is increasing every year. One in three employees is always stressed out. The cause of workplace stress is workload and lack of autonomy, workplace harassment, discrimination, and a bad environment. Worse, toxic workplaces make workers with health and mental disorders stressed out and unable to cope with the problems at work.
Signs that your office may be toxic
- Employee churn or high turnover If there is trouble recruiting good employees because the atmosphere is so toxic, some action may need to be taken. Some toxic people have difficulty letting go of a job. However, they may leave if they sense the environment is a positive workplace.
- Unhealthy work environment If you constantly break the rules, you might not like your job or the work environment. It may be time to find a new job. The way your manager treats you shows their willingness to have a calm workplace and they may have an awareness of their employees’ wellbeing.
- Lack of professional interaction If you can’t talk to your co-workers, you may want to look for a new job. Some toxic people are very guarded. They may not speak to each other or may hide it.
How to fix a toxic work environment
The healthiest way to cope with stress and a toxic work environment is to ensure that you eat healthy meals and get plenty of exercise. Not only are these two basic human needs critical, but they are also the most effective ways to regain control over your emotions. Give yourself some time. ‘Stress about work will always be there. Take a lunchtime break out of the office, spend some time with a close friend or relative, go shopping, do something completely different’, says Sabrina Margetts, CEO of Chive Company. By taking a break, I mean: Take an hour or two out for yourself, stop all communication about work (emails, phone calls) and concentrate on your physical wellbeing. Employers can organise a team building day to feel a part of the team and air their grievances.
Toxic workplaces are less to do with the words we use but the way we think. When we hear the word toxic or toxic workplace, the first thing that comes to our mind is envy/jealousy among employees, argumentative, not harmonious environment. But what if it’s all about how we think. Why should we focus on: how we think, feel instead of using toxic or toxic words? It would save a lot of trouble if you could remember the power of the term toxic.