For most of us, we see our workplace as our second home. We spend a lot of time there and our office mates become our family.

However, there are times that your workplace feels like it’s choking you down and you are starting to feel unhappy. If you keep working, your relationships will be at risk and your self-esteem and health will also take a hit.

If you feel unhappy with your work environment, it is possible that your workplace is a toxic workplace.

Here are the signs that you should look for to determine if your workplace is toxic:

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Office Drama

In every office, employees are divided into groups and you would always see them together. They share the same interests and they would not actively reach out to other groups.

If these “groups or cliques” are very active in the office, it will feel as if you are back in school because it would feel like they are judging you and talking about you behind your back.

They are also the source of gossip and misunderstanding, making your work environment hostile and hard to navigate.

Lack of Transparency

A toxic workplace disables employees to know how their performance is measured. The job details are not explained to you properly and there is no communication between you and your team leaders.

If you were able to finish your task, you would just be told that your goal has changed without being informed in advance.

Inconsistent Rulebook

If you want to have a mutiny at work, you only have to add in an incomplete and inconsistent set of rules in the mix.

If there is a conflict at work, you have no idea how the involved parties will be investigated and how others will be graded. Rules and regulations are also not applied and they are just there to maintain some order.

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Expected to work overtime without compensation

Sometimes, doing overtime work is good to support your paycheck. However, it should be optional and you should be paid correctly based on the extra hours you have done.

If you are always expected to put in some extra hours and not get paid, it is inevitable that you are heading towards a major burnout. In Japan, it is not unheard of the term “Death by Overwork” where many office executives work themselves to death or to suicide.

Bullying or harassment in the office

Bullying and harassment are also very common in the workplace, and if you are in a toxic workplace, you will see this a lot. There will even be times you will experience it yourself.

If you notice it happening around you, speak to your company’s HR about it. If your HR team does not do anything about it, you may need to find a new place to work in.

People keep Quitting

When you feel like you are in a toxic work environment, you are not the only one who notices it.

Some of them may feel like the stress is too much and resigned to escape the toxic environment. If you notice people are resigning left and right, there’s bound to be a reason: perhaps the reason is the toxic environment.

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Dysfunction reigns

Finally, a toxic workplace is filled with chaos. You do not know when the deadlines are, who is doing what, and there is no goal for you to target.

Your employers also tend to add new rules on top of the other and they overlap. It may mean there is no organization in the workplace and you cannot even take a leave off.

Conclusion: Run As Far Away As You Can

If your workplace ticks all these signs, you should start looking for a new place to work in immediately. Remaining there would be dangerous not just for your career but also for your health.

Remember, your health is more important than your career if you are in a toxic workplace. You can always resume your career when you find a better company to work for.

For disastrous workplace issues, we have it all here:

Death by Overwork

Guest Post: Workplace bullying – The silent epidemic and the long term psychological damage. by Sudhir Suvarna

No Place For Abuse


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13 replies on “What Is A Toxic Workplace?

  1. If you could change for the better from within first and then from without the outer situations , then go for it …
    If you become better from within but could not change the outer situations including the workplace and fellow employees or at least improve the relationships , then better walk away to find something better …

    Liked by 2 people

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