Telltale Signs That Your Workplace Environment is Toxic

February 25, 2013 No Comments by Mareisha Winters

Telltale Signs That Your Workplace Environment is ToxicWe are just coming out of one of the worst recessions in modern history. This type of event makes us all a bit more cautious, maybe even cynical. We think more about how we can stay safe and protect ourselves from those “bad things that can happen to good people”.  This month we will focus on tips and advice meant to guide you through situations that you may face in the workplace or as you navigate various aspects of your life.

Do you love your job but dread going into work every day? Most people who find joy in what they do are looking forward to getting into the office. Have you ever stopped to wonder why going into work to do the job that you love puts an unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach? Perhaps it’s because your work environment is toxic.

A toxic workplace can cause both emotional and physical effects that diminish one’s productivity and happiness. During these uncertain times, it may be more common to see a toxic work environment emerge as employees are more stressed and doing anything to keep their job. According to Dr. Barbara Bailey Reinhold, author of Toxic Work, a toxic workplace is “when the demands of your job, and your response to them undercut the quality of your family life and friendships, you are robbed of the very things you need in order to be fully alive and most creative and productive on the job.”

A toxic workplace may not be easily detectable at first glance. Here are some telltale signs that you may be working in a toxic work environment:

  1. Low morale. Does the atmosphere at your job lack enthusiasm? Are you and your co-workers unmotivated and frequently in a bad mood? Are you and your co-workers just going through the motions at work without any effort or real interest?
  2. Physical and Emotional Illness. Do you find yourself more stressed or physically ill than normal? Do you or your co-workers feel the need to take “personal days” often to mentally regroup?
  3. High Turnover. Are people quitting at high rates? Most people hate changing jobs in this type of economy, so it must be something seriously wrong for them to voluntarily leave!
  4. Unfairness. Are some employees treated better than others? Are your co-workers taking credit for your ideas or work? Does your boss deflect blame for project failures onto others? The number one reason employees get sick is due to perceived unfairness at work.
  5. Your Boss or Co-Workers Are Abusive. Are employees being harassed or bullied? Do you feel that you are being sabotaged by a co-worker? Are your teammates just downright mean?
  6. Illegal or Immoral Activity. Are you asked to cover up or lie for your co-workers or your boss? Do your co-workers falsify documents?

No one wants to work in an environment that causes them undue stress. If only one of the signs above is present at your workplace, it may be a good idea to flee! If you are unable to quit your job and move onto something better, don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the toxic ways. Remember, one of the best things you can do is rise above the turmoil and toxicity in your workplace and operate on a different frequency – that of peace and love.

Related Articles from LTAW:

  1. Caution: Toxic workplace ahead!
  2. Go from Toxic to Terrific
  3. Get out! One person’s story of leaving a toxic job

Be Aware and Prepare!

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