Indications of a Toxic Work Environment and How To Survive

Indications of a Toxic Work Environment and How To Survive

Trying to get through a workday in a toxic environment can feel like you’re constantly treading water, afraid to get pulled under. However, not everyone can identify what a toxic work environment looks like, which can lead to prolonged stress and affect productivity. That’s why this article will help you identify the signs of a toxic work environment and how to survive one.

Toxic vs. Hostile Work Environment

In a toxic work environment, you may feel stressed upon entering your job, either due to negative company culture, an unmanageable workload, or a physically unsafe workspace. In addition, bullying and inappropriate teasing may occur, but the main difference between a toxic and hostile work environment is that in a toxic environment your Title VII rights are never at risk.

In a hostile work environment, an employee is either being physically or verbally harassed based on their race, sex, religion, disability, age, veteran status, or national origin. This is illegal and one of the most common forms of civil rights violations in America. In this situation, it is within your legal right to pursue litigation. In a toxic work environment, there may be nothing illegal going on, but rather it’s just a miserable place to be.

Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

One of the leading signs of a toxic work environment is little to no communication within the company. If you and other coworkers aren’t up to date on policies and the comings and goings of your job, you can’t perform up to standard and may be punished for doing so, despite it being out of your control. This is likely due to poor leadership, another major sign of a toxic workplace environment.

Another sign to watch out for is a negative company culture, where employees gossip, harass, cross boundaries, or are defeatist and unmotivated. Usually, these are signs of a systemic issue, and the problems affecting the company’s atmosphere have been going on for longer than you may know.

Lastly, if you’re feeling burnt out, stressed, losing sleep, and have little to no work-life balance, your company likely has problems. While it’s normal to feel stressed once in a while, chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression due to your job are not.

How To Cope

Just because you can’t pursue legal action in a toxic work environment doesn’t mean it isn’t painful and mentally debilitating. But if leaving your position just isn’t an option yet, there are a few things you can do to stay on your feet and mitigate some of that stress to keep your sanity while you’re still working there.

Finding a way to unwind and connect with your passions and hobbies is critical. It’s a great way to remind yourself that your entire life doesn’t revolve around your job and your current situation is just temporary. In addition, while it may be difficult, you have to force yourself to leave work issues at your job and not bring it home with you. Your job is not a reflection of who you are, so while you may bring some of those emotions home, shut off your email, turn off work notifications, and try your best to stay present.

This technique takes a lot of practice and mental control, so don’t be upset if you can’t get it right immediately. It is a technique that will help you in countless situations in your lifetime.

Now that you know how to identify a toxic work environment and how to survive, you’re better equipped to keep your mind and body at ease. However, remember that you can only control your actions and reactions. Don’t get caught up trying to fix a problem that is too big and runs too deep for you to handle on your own.

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