How Dysfunctional Is Your workplace? 4 Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment

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Do you feel like you’re burning out at work and don’t know why? Maybe you love your job and the people you work with but you still don’t feel valued. Our workplace is where we spend most of the hours of our day every day. We spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families. It’s the only time we get to utilize the skills and certifications we worked so long and hard to master.

While we could argue why the work system itself could be toxic, right now we’re only interested in what we can control and that’s finding a work environment that is functional. Here are the signs of a toxic workplace.

Lack Of Work/ Life Balance

woman working on a bed

Andrew Neel / Unsplash

Andrew Neel / Unsplash

Work is not the priority. Your health and well-being are. While your contribution and your efforts should be valued, they shouldn’t replace your personal life. We need to take the time to reingerize by spending time relaxing, bonding with our loved ones, and releasing stres through our preferred activities. This is what helps us then come back to work and do it well.

When work takes over, and an employee feels pressured to sacrifice their life balance in order to meet expectations, then their employer is guilty of enforcing a toxic environment.

Circulating Gossip

three women whispering gossip while sitting on bench

Ben White / Unsplash

Ben White / Unsplash

While gossip between employees could be unavoidable, what that gossip reveals can be important. Often employees feel like they have no control over their environment and need to vent about it to each other. Maybe they’ve tried to bring it up to their superiors and weren’t heard.

Rumors and general gossip are equally toxic as they are a sign of immaturity that makes adults look like they’re still in high school Rumours can destroy reputations and even careers and if they can’t be handled, then they often reflect the environment in which they started.

Lack Of Transparency And Communication

three people stand by building windows

Charles Forun / Unsplash

Charles Forun / Unsplash

Employees need to feel secure in their roles through mutual trust between each other and their workplace envioromemt. It’s often easy to tell when a company hasn’t provided open and honest communication through the way teams operate in the disjointed and incohesive matter.

No one really knows what’s going beyond their role or how they can grow to benefit themselves and their company. Just like trust and honesty are the foundations of any relationship, their lack creates a toxic environment.

Unequal Treatment

close up of man's hand fixing tie

Ruthson Zimmerman / Unsplash

Ruthson Zimmerman / Unsplash

If rules are in place and enforced on some, then they should be applicable to all. Environments that play favorites or allow for leniency with the higher-ups while treating junior staff like they don’t deserve the same freedom is toxic. Privileges may be earned on a merit level but that process should be made clear and justified.

Standards of conduct should also be applied to everyone and tailored to fit situations that work on a case-by-case basis. When this isn’t the case, it’s often a sign of narcissistic leadership or even bullying.

Feeling Like You Need A Change?

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives