Do you have a co-worker who is gaslighting you? Are you uncomfortable at your workplace because of the behavior of your colleagues? Is your boss showing passive-aggressive behavior towards you? If your answer to the above questions is yes, you see the signs of workplace toxicity.
Monday is hard. Sometimes we have to work on the weekends. We sometimes have to deal with demanding clients and difficult situations at the workplace. However, we can navigate through these situations, get through the difficult times and finally learn valuable lessons about how to tackle these problems if they arise in the future. However, when you suffer from workplace toxicity, the situation is entirely different. In this blog post, I will discuss workplace toxicity signs. You need to understand the red flags to know if there is toxicity in your workplace going on.
What is workplace toxicity?
Workplace toxicity is when you suffer from mansplaining, gaslighting, and microaggressions in your workplace. Toxicity in the workplace can make it very difficult for you to be productive and happy at your workplace. Unhealthy communication, gossiping, favoritism, lack of recognition, and higher turnover are just a few reasons that have resulted in the current work culture of constant burnout. Toxicity also includes bad management skills, poor leadership, lack of communication, and a loose code of conduct.
If you are stuck in a hostile workplace, You will face conflict, morality, illness, negative results, and excessive tension in your body. If the conflict becomes too high, it can also lead to abusive behavior amongst the employees.
Why does workplace toxicity occur?
Workplace toxicity often occurs because your colleagues and managers lack the proper leadership skills and credibility. Thus, people make the environment very negative and make it hard for others to work at peace. A toxic employee affects everyone around them. When bosses start spreading negativity at work, employees are forced to take more sick leaves, feel stressed and cause a reduction in productivity.
The primary purpose with which a person spreads toxicity is to gain more power and money or acquire a specific social status. This may also occur because the perpetrator is trying to distract everyone’s attention from their own failures and misdeeds and the absence of good work performance.
To know whether you are facing workplace toxicity or not, you need to know the workplace toxicity signs.
Workplace toxicity signs
There are many signs and ways to identify if you are suffering from workplace toxicity. However, the following toxicity signs are some of the most significant.
Do you not feel like going to work anymore? Do you dread the idea of going to work? When you wake up, do you feel fatigued and have to kick yourself out of bed to get to work? If you feel the above-mentioned symptoms, you are suffering from chronic stress because of your work. A study done by a monster has observed that in the US, over 42% of working people have left their jobs because of work stress.
If your work is causing you to constantly be stressed out and hampering your interpersonal relationships, it is a sign that you are suffering from chronic stress due to work.
Overworked: primary amongst the workplace toxicity signs
Do you constantly feel overworked? Does your boss ask you to change your already done task repeatedly? Are you overloaded with tasks that you cannot finish on time? Are you bringing your work back home and working till late hours to complete your tasks and still feeling that you have a lot to finish? These are the signs of overworking. Such workplace toxicity signs can lead to excessive burnout and resentment among employees.
Workplace bullying is a real issue. This arises because bosses take their employees for granted. In most cases, bullying in the workplace goes unaddressed. If you feel that your employers are making you feel threatened, scared, or burdened with work, it is a workplace toxicity sign.
If you notice that your coworkers are bad-mouthing one another and the bosses, it is another toxic workplace sign. Such behavior is not okay and must be discouraged. However, when bosses and people in positions of authority start to spread rumors and gossip, the culture keeps rising.
Your gut says something is wrong.
Never ignore your gut. We have a sixth sense that must not be overlooked. You may feel that something is wrong. There may be weird sensations in your gut. Never ignore them. This is your mind telling you that something is wrong. Learn to trust your own intuition. If you are constantly surrounded by such a feeling, it clearly shows that something is wrong in your workplace. It is another of the workplace toxicity signs.
If the nightmares hounding you are related to your workplace, you must understand that this is a sign of workplace toxicity. Most likely, the problems of your workplace are weighing you down and giving you nightmares. Sleeplessness is a huge red flag that something is not right. This is one of those workplace toxicity signs that must never be taken lightly. If you find it hard to sleep, ask yourself, “what is bothering me?”
You have joint pains, migraines, and tightness in the muscles.
Constant stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body. If this is left unchecked, it can lead to further problems like migraine and chronic pain down the line. It is also a sign that the environment at your workplace is toxic and not welcoming. Because you constantly expect things to go wrong at your workplace, your brain keeps releasing adrenaline. This adrenaline causes the muscle tightness that you experience.
The toxicity of your work environment doesn’t need to show up in physical symptoms only. There may be times when people do not even realize what they are, like being a bully to others. This specifically happened in the form of microbrews. Microcredit refers to subtle behavior or communication methods that indicate the presence of a bias towards historically discriminated groups. The groups that fall under this category belong to those of different genders, races, sexual preferences, or ethnicity.
The sign of this would be feeling left out, singled out, or targeted during conversations. You may feel unheard, not given enough importance, or bothered at your workplace.
If you feel that your colleagues or seniors are not respecting you or giving value to your opinions, it is another workplace toxicity sign. You are entitled to receive the same respect as others, and your views must be heard. If your needs as a part of the working crew or as an employee are not being met, you are being subjected to faulty leadership. This type of behavior makes the employees feel unappreciated and overlooked.
This has started to happen since the work-from-home culture has taken effect due to COVID. The boundaries between work and home life have diminished. Working from home has led to a lot of imbalance in interpersonal relationships. This problem can be applied to a variety of situations where you may face physical and emotional breakdowns in the long run.
If your boss is constantly hovering over you, your colleagues are trying to micromanage your every move, and you feel that your bosses don’t trust your work, it is a clear sign that you are facing workplace toxicity. Bosses need to understand how to delegate in the right manner. Micromanagement turns the environment into a very toxic one and makes it difficult for the employees to work comfortably.
How to deal with workplace toxicity?
Now that you know what the workplace toxicity signs are, it is time to put on measures to counteract them. The easiest way is to change the job itself. But will that solve the problem? What’s the guarantee that you will not notice workplace toxicity signs in the new workplace you join? Therefore, changing the workplace is not a workable solution. Other strategies need to be put in place so that you can survive at the same place without switching jobs.
These other strategies can be finding coworkers who are supportive and positive and care about your well-being. Remember to indulge in self-care as well. Taking some time out for yourself is crucial. Most often, we forget to pamper ourselves due to work pressure. But taking time out for yourself is non-negotiable. Keep some time to go for a walk, do some skin care, go on hikes, meditate, indulge in art, or do anything that makes you happy and helps you relax.
Workplace toxicity is on the rise, unfortunately. Gaslighting, gossiping, display of entitled attitude, taking employees for granted, micromanagement, and others have become fairly common in the workplace. Due to this, there is a huge rise in cases of anxiety, depression, and workplace stress.
One way to deal with this problem is to change the workplace itself. But, this option may not always be available. However, taking the time for yourself, practicing mindfulness techniques, breathing exercises, walks in nature, and other activities that allow you to take the time out for yourself are possible. Make use of these and focus on yourself.
I will release a whole post on dealing with workplace toxicity next week, so remember to watch this space and subscribe to Guilt Free Mind, so I can update you about the release of the latest blog posts. If you like watching videos, please subscribe to the YouTube channel of Guilt Free Mind. Do not forget to ring the notification bell.
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See you in my next blog post