Is Your Workplace Toxic?June 9, 2017
The unfortunate reality of life is that most of us have to work to pay our bills and the daily grind can get even the most optimistic person down after a time. If you’re lucky, you may have found a workplace that is a great match for your personality, and you get to work with colleagues who support one another and function as a team.
On the other hand, workplace relationships don’t always work out to be healthy, and in some cases, you may find yourself in an outright toxic workplace. While frustrations and aggravations are a normal aspect of any day, there may come a time when you have to ask if the problem is your attitude, or if you are working in a toxic environment.
Since most of us spend more time at work than we do at home with our family and friends, our workplace often becomes a secondary home. This intimacy often leads to workplace relationships that are as complex as our most personal relationships. Much like if you find yourself in a toxic personal relationship, a toxic workplace can damage your emotional wellbeing and thwart your ambitions.
If much of your time is spent fighting with coworkers, struggling to meet your responsibilities and not getting ahead, you need to examine your office dynamics to determine if your workplace is toxic.
Are the rules fair?
While life isn’t always fair, how and when management enforces should be the same for every employee. If you find that your boss has different standards for some employees and not for others, consider that a major red flag that you are not working in a healthy environment.
Is everything above board?
Illegal activity or acceptance of illegal activity is another major indication that you are in an unhealthy workplace. Whether the problem is with illicit drugs or illegal accounting practices, you should never be pressured to participate or overlook activities that are against the law.
Are abusive behaviors tolerated?
How do you and your coworkers treat one another? Abusive behavior may include everything from sexual harassment to threats of physical violence. Management in a healthy workplace will not tolerate these actions. Even if it is said to be a joke, you should not ever be intimidated or frightened by how your colleagues treat you.
Once you realize that you are working in a toxic workplace, there are a few courses of action that you can take to remedy the situation. Now you must ask yourself if you are willing to confront the problems face-to-face.
Whether you do it with a personal conversation, or turn to your supervisor or HR department for assistance, this is often the ideal way to handle most workplace issues. However, if you are concerned about your safety or retaliation, a confrontation may not be the wisest course. If that is the case, do what you can to protect yourself at work and make sure your resume is kept up to date!