The workplace is probably where you spend time with different people and build connections.

Thus, it is important to find a workplace that takes good care of its employees.

Toxic work environment is more than just the Monday Blues you ‘hate’. It is a nightmare that become reality in the workplace.

If you are in a toxic workplace, it might be a sign telling you to quit and get a better job.

Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Toxic workplaces are work environments where employees find it difficult to work or progress in their careers due to the negative atmosphere created by coworkers, managers, or the company’s culture.

A toxic workplace can negatively affect both your mental and physical health.

1. You find yourself googling ‘How to survive a toxic workplace’?

If that describes you, there is a high chance that the company you are working have a toxic work environment.

Simply check your search history, what do you see?

Do you find searches like these?

These searches are your deepest desire.

Not convinced?

Keep reading…

2. Constant fear of failure

No one wants to make mistakes. But a survey done with 420 participants shows that one in four employees feels that making mistakes at their job is their biggest fear at work.

There is a big difference between just feeling disappointed for making mistakes and learning from them, and feeling paralyzed by fear.

The feeling of being threatened to be punished for each failure is toxic.

The total lack of psychological safety is an obvious indicator of a toxic work environment.

3. Narcissistic Leadership

The boss is always right, and you are always wrong!

Does that feel like your workplace?

Your boss demands that you always agree with them, and tell them they are right.

If you disagree, they will belittle you and makes you feel worst than your Monday Blues.

Narcissistic leadership is one of the worst toxic work cultures you can ever face.

Not only you’ll feel stressed and “hate” your job, but it will also have a lasting impact on your mental health as well.

4. Poor Communications

Confusing and insufficient instructions?

Poor communication is the root cause of many problems in the workplace.

Bad communication between coworkers can lead to misunderstanding, which can cause disharmony between employees.

Communication includes both parties:

  1. Manager
  2. Employee

A good communication consist of both listening and communicating.

This can be through verbal communication or written communication.

Here are some examples of poor communication in the workplace:

  • Lack of clear instructions
  • Contradicting instructions
  • Different coworkers receive a different message
  • Passive aggressive communication
  • Management or employee failing to listen
  • Consistent after-work-hours communications

Great communication, makes successful companies. Bad communication, can make working at the company unbearable.

5. Unmotivated Coworkers

If you find yourself in a work environment full of unmotivated coworkers, you know something is off.

Employees don’t usually become unmotivated in a day or two. It is usually the combined result of a bad boss and a toxic work environment.

Having unmotivated coworkers can lead to 2 outcomes:

  1. You are going to take up the work they are not handling, which leads to the feeling of physical burnout.
  2. You are going to absorb all the negative energy from them, which leads to the feeling of mental burnout. 

In both cases, it doesn’t end well for you.

6. Gossipy Behaviors

Do you hate people talking behind your back?

While having workplace friends and buddies is great, any gossipy behaviors should be avoided.

When there is a lot of gossipy behavior in the workplace, there will be coworkers, who will feel alienated or even bullied.

Here are a few signs of gossipy behaviors in the workplace:

  • Consistent feeling of exclusion from the ‘cliques’
  • Coworkers spend most of their time chatting or whispering
  • Disinterest in anything unless it involves some ‘drama’

When gossipy behavior leads to favoritism at work, that’s the worst it can get.

7. No Work-Life Balance

You work in your job to get a life, not the other way around.

There should always be balance in both your work and your life.

  • You should have friends and ‘things to do outside work.
  • You should be able to set your phone on silent and don’t need to worry about your boss.
  • You should be able to enjoy your vacation and not feel guilty.
  • You should spend your time with your family and not bring work home.
  • You should be able to put your family as your priority instead of your work.

Work-life balance is about getting yourself to switch off from work-related stuff during off-hours, and spend the rest of your time on things you really want. It is about the balance of having a healthy life in both mind and body.

8. Makes you Feel Burnout

Feeling burnt out from work or job burnout is a medical condition recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Burnout is a state of vital exhaustion that is a disease caused by a toxic work environment. As per, WHO, job burnout is a work hazard. If it is not taken seriously, it can lead to bad consequences.

3 main types of burnout in the workplace:

  1. Overload Burnout: People who are initially highly passionate, work harder than anyone in the hope to find success. These coworkers are willing to risk their health and personal life while pursuing their ambition. They cope by complaining.
  2. Worn-out Burnout: People don’t feel appreciated for their work, lack learning opportunities, and are overall unmotivated. These coworkers lose their passion or no longer enjoy their time at work. They cope by distancing themselves from their colleagues, boss, and job.
  3. Under Challenged Burnout: People who feel bored at repetitive tasks during work. These coworkers are unable to find any satisfaction in their job. They cope by gossiping and creating drama in the company.

Burnout can have scary psychological effects on you:

  • Insomnia
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Use of psychotropic and antidepressant medications
  • Hospitalization for mental disorders
  • Psychological ill-health symptoms

9. High employee turnover rate

The turnover rate is one of the most obvious indicators of the company’s current work environment.

A high turnover rate usually indicates a bad work environment, and a low turnover rate usually indicates a good work environment.

The work environment may include but not be limited to; the boss, the coworkers, the organization, and the culture.

According to recent studies, almost 1 in 5 employees left their job in the last 5 years due to the work culture.

  • Companies that focus on creating a positive work culture have a 14 percent turnover rate.
  • Companies that ignore creating a positive work culture have a 48 percent turnover rate.

Employees are 3 times more likely to leave their job, if the work place have a toxic work environment.

You’ve found yourself smiling and agreeing with most things on this list.

Good news, you’ve just identified a toxic workplace.

So… what’s next?

Maybe you want to try fixing the toxic work environment?

Or maybe, you simply want to find another job and leave this dreaded place?

Or quit even without a job.

Regardless… you’ll need to learn how to deal with a toxic work environment.

What is considered a toxic work environment?

A toxic working environment is defined as a place that makes you feel anxious, physically ill, or even depressed about going back to work. This is the unhealthy work culture that gives you more than general work stress; it impacts both your mental and physical health.

Even when you are working from home, a toxic work environment can go beyond physical boundaries.

You can get calls at the wee hours of the night, or work way past your office hour.

How Common Are Toxic Workplaces?

A toxic workplace is very common, especially as our work environment becomes more stressful.

  • 1 in 5 employees leaves a job because of a toxic environment.
  • 1 in 4 employees doesn’t feel safe voicing their opinion about work-related issues.
  • 2 in 3 employees don’t think their management will take action against any harassment complaints.
  • 3 in 5 employees think their workplace is considered toxic to work in.

When a work environment becomes toxic, it becomes self-perpetuating unless some actions are taken.

As employees experience health issues, increase stress, and performance impairment, these employees become perpetrators contributing to workplace toxicity.

Why Recognizing A Toxic Work Environment Is Important?

Recognizing a toxic work environment can help you in your career.

If you want to grow in your career, you need to nurture your skills in a good environment. This will help you to accelerate your progress in both pay raises as well as career progression.

Working in a toxic environment can affect your relationships, health, and personal worth.

If you are convinced that your workplace has a toxic work culture, knowing when to quit might be just as important.

Up Next… Signs you should QUIT your job now!

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