A toxic work culture eats you up... slowly. In the beginning, you might think of it as an isolated incident or a bad day at the office. But as the bad ju-ju keeps on going so much so you don’t want to get out of bed to go to work – Houston, we have a problem.
That’s how a toxic workplace gets to you. How do you know if your office is toxic? Check out this cute Pixar short, Purl.
Like most Pixar films, this one has a happy ending. But yours might not.
Whether it’s your boss or colleagues causing this, a toxic environment emits negative vibes that are well, toxic. And this can have dire consequences on both your career and mental health.
SIGNS OF A TOXIC WORKPLACE
Favouritism/office politics: It’s normal to want to work with people you like. But it’s toxic when your boss or colleagues treat you unfairly and put others ahead of you despite having equal skills!
Blaming and punishment: Making mistakes is normal. What’s not normal is when your teammates refuse to accept mistakes and take responsibility but instead point a finger. This culture leads to team members being timid as they’ll be afraid to take up new responsibilities.
High turnover: It’s simple, when a place isn’t pleasant to be in, people leave. So if the company you’re working for has a high turnover rate despite everything else going well, there’s a problem.
Lack of communication: Communication is an important aspect in any relationship whether it’s personal or professional. The right communication plays a key role in motivating employees while lacking communication will leave employees at a loss of direction. You may be given enough information to do your job but only get minimal feedback (or none at all!). This further brings down your morale.
Bullying: Bullying at work can come in the form of unfair criticism, threatening, blackmailing and ridiculing among many others. Getting bullied will take your self-esteem to rock bottom.
WHAT TO DO
There’s only so much you can do to fix a problem that’s not your fault. Unless of course you find yourself a culprit of the above traits, stop immediately! If you’re a suffering from a toxic workplace, here are some things you can do to help cope with it.
Don’t bring work issues home: Why bring back the negativity? Learn to separate your work and personal life so that you don’t let that toxicity affect you personally.
Take frequent breaks: Do yourself a favour and step outside for five minutes for fresh air. It can be a little coffee break or a stroll to get away from all the bad energy. Ignorance, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can be blissful!
Surround yourself with positivity: Not all your colleagues are toxic. Be around the positive ones and stay away from the rest, being in contact with them ONLY if it’s work related. Paste inspirational quotes around your workspace and have a nice little desktop background that makes you smile.
Write that resignation letter: When things are getting too overwhelming and you feel that your mental health is worsening while your career is going nowhere, you do one thing – you get out. And don’t look back.
Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash