5 Signs Of A Toxic Workplace: Causes & How To Escape It

Last Update on May 19, 2021 : Published on May 19, 2021
5 Signs Of A Toxic Workplace

We all have bad days at work from time to time, right? I mean, hatred of Mondays, challenging tasks, and meeting deadlines… all of these are what makes the workplace environment, right?

While we can easily and (if I’m honest, quite grudgingly) accept the above pointers, the thing that makes a workplace toxic is enduring all of the above constantly, 24/7, 365 days. A toxic workplace faces issues such as burnout, low morale, low motivation, constant stress, and negativity without pause.

In this article, you’ll explore the signs of a toxic workplace, what can be the potential causes of a toxic workplace, and how you can go dealing with a toxic work environment.

Let’s begin by understanding a toxic work environment.

What Is A Toxic Workplace?

When the people, the job, the overall aura of your workplace begins to cause your mental, physical, social, and emotional health to go down the drain, it can be described as a toxic workplace. A workplace becomes toxic when your productivity and job performance gets low and you can’t seem to escape the constant stress of your work.

A toxic workplace can seriously affect your overall wellness and can make you feel stressed and anxious all the time.

Read: How To Improve Your Mental Health In the Workplace? 7 Easy Ways

Let’s learn the signs of a toxic workplace.

6 Signs Of A Toxic Workplace Environment:

Signs you work in a toxic environment can be if your workplace:

1. Have Bad Leadership

Have Bad Leadership

We count on our leaders to guide us and help us grow into our work and careers but if you’re in a workplace with bad leadership, it’s a sign of a toxic workplace. Bad managers, supervisors, or bosses can make your workplace toxic.

A big sign of a toxic environment is when your boss constantly undermines you or your decisions, blames you for their mistakes, and doesn’t respect your boundaries or privacy.

If you’re experiencing this, contact your HR department so that proper action can be taken.

Read: Managing Stress at Workplace: Understand and Deal with it

2. Has No Motivation

Has No Motivation

Whatever your job, your career field, the quality of your matters and so do the people you work with. If you find yourself surrounded by no motivation or challenge from either the job or your coworkers, it will eventually make you feel burned out – emotionally.

Your coworkers should inspire you to do better, learn new things, but if you’re surrounded by no motivation, it will wear you down. If your work environment has no motivation, it’s a sign of a toxic workplace.

Read: Why Use Humor as a Motivational Tool in the Workplace?

3. Has A Lack Of Opportunities

A workplace should offer growth opportunities and if you’re not experiencing any growth or potential opportunities to climb up the ladder, it is a sign that you are in a toxic work environment.

A workplace should be able to offer you learning opportunities, mentorship, and growth. If you have no opportunities in the workplace, you’ll not be able to explore your potential.

If you’re feeling stuck in your workplace, it might be time to reconsider your options.

4. Has No Work-Life Balance

No Work-Life Balance

Having a healthy work-life balance is important not only to your social life but also to your overall wellness. You deserve some time off work without feeling guilty about it.

If you’re checking your emails and replying to work messages at 11 at night, or on weekends, it is a sign that you are in a toxic workplace. If boundaries between work and life are getting blurred constantly, then it is a sign you work in a toxic environment.

5. Leaves You Feeling Burnout

feeling exhausted emotionally

When you are left feeling exhausted emotionally and mentally after work, it can be a big sign you’re working in a toxic environment. Workplace burnout can drain you of your energy, leaves you feeling low and underappreciated, and affects your productivity.

If you’re constantly stressed and anxious about going to work and if going to work makes you feel dread, it is time to consider changing your workplace.

Causes Of A Toxic Work Environment

The question here arises is who or what is responsible for a toxic work environment? Do we blame the economy or the sector?

No, I don’t think we need to blame the economy or stress for a toxic workplace. I read somewhere that it’s not the place that makes home, it’s the people in it. This stands true for the workplace as well. People you work with daily, at any level, in any department, can account for a toxic workplace, be it managers, supervisors, coworkers, or other employees.

Read: Workplace Wellness | How to Deal with Stress on the Job

Dealing With A Toxic Work Environment

Once you’ve recognized the signs of a toxic workplace, you can follow these ways to deal with the toxic environment.

1. Acknowledging the problem. Talk to your supervisor about the toxic environment.

2. Take time for self-care during your shift. Go for a walk in between breaks or create a list of all things you’re grateful for.

3. Create healthy boundaries and stick to them. Turn off your work emails after hours and speak up if you feel someone disrespecting you and your boundaries.

4. Find a strong support system. You are not the only one who might find the workplace toxic. Find allies in the workplace or reach out to your support system.

5. Focus on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Take breaks when you need them and don’t feel guilty for it.

It’s important to understand that a toxic workplace becomes toxic because of the people and not because of your career or your demands. Prioritize your mental health needs before your workplace because if you’re not mentally healthy how are you going to focus on your work?

If after taking the above steps, you’re facing issues at work and are unhappy where you are, try considering changing jobs.

I hope this article helped you understand the signs of a toxic workplace and how to escape it. If you need additional help, you can contact us at info@calmsage.com or follow us on our social media to stay updated on more content.

Until then, stay happy, take care, and stay safe.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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