Do you tremble when you hear your boss’ voice? Do you dislike starting your workday by logging on to the computer or traveling to the office?¬†

If any of these apply to you, or if you’re feeling burned out and having worse physical or emotional reactions to work than usual, you probably work in a bad culture and you must know how to deal with toxic office environment.

Toxicity is a serious issue that can have a negative impact on both employees and employers.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the definition of workplace toxicity, its common causes, and how to deal with toxic office environment.

We’ll also share tips for creating a healthy and positive work environment.

Let’s start reading

What is toxic workplace?

Workplace toxicity is “a work environment characterized by high levels of stress, conflict, and negativity.” This can manifest in several ways, including bullying, harassment, and discrimination. 

In toxic workplaces, employees may experience decreased job satisfaction, increased stress levels, and even physical health problems. Employers may see decreases in productivity and increases in absenteeism. 

A toxic work environment results from various factors, including systemic problems and aggressive behavior on the part of your employer and coworkers.

Common causes of toxic office environment

Several factors can contribute to office toxicity but given below are some of its common causes:

Poor management

Toxicity in the workplace can be caused by poor management. This can include things like unrealistic expectations and a lack of communication.

Many a times managers and leaders have to take some tough decisions to get things done. They push their colleauges who are often unhappy about unrealistic expectations of management. This situation may lead to a workplace conflict and also cause toxic work environment.

Little growth in an organization 

One of the signs of a toxic workplace is little growth in an organization. It may be because of a toxic work environment if you feel stuck in a rut and not moving up in your career.

At some of work places, employees are not encouraged to finds innovative solutions of problems. When leadership does not have growth mindset and does not support creative ideas then this work culture is bound to produce toxicity.

Negative environment

This can be caused by things like bullying, harassment, and discrimination. It can also be caused by a general feeling of negativity or hostility and can further lead to workplace toxicity. 

Its quite natural that humans have negative emotions and they tend to express these emotions when they interact and work together. But if these are unchecked and go unnoticed then it becomes a problem and cause toxic work environment.

Unmotivated Coworkers 

Unmotivated coworkers can be a major contributing factor to workplace toxicity. Several things can cause coworkers to be unmotivated, including a lack of support from management, feeling undervalued, and feeling like they are always fighting an uphill battle. 

If you are having trouble motivating your coworkers, it may be time to reevaluate the work environment and see if any changes can be made.

Poor work-life balance

Toxic environment is also caused by poor work-life balance. This situation is result of long hours, unrealistic deadlines, and a lack of flexibility.

When managers expect their colleagues to be available to them any time then this is a real problem.

Micro aggressions frequently occur

There are times when a toxic workplace doesn’t present itself practically. It can often be difficult to distinguish, and it may manifest as small slights. 

Microaggressions are imperceptible exchanges of words or actions that express prejudice towards historically oppressed groups, particularly those of different genders, races, ethnicities, or sexual preferences.

Negative effects of a toxic office environment

Several negative effects can come from workplace toxicity. These include:

a) Decreased job satisfaction

When toxic in the workplace, it can lead to decreased job satisfaction. This can be due to many factors, including increased stress levels, feeling unappreciated, and being subjected to bullying or discrimination.

b) Increased stress levels

Workplace toxicity can lead to increased stress levels. This can be caused by several factors, including feeling like you’re always fighting an uphill battle, not having enough resources, and feeling unvalued or appreciated.

c) Physical health problems

Physical health problems can occur as a result of workplace toxicity. Chronic stress can lead to physical health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. 

Additionally, toxic workplaces can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

d) Decreased productivity

Decreased productivity is another negative effect of workplace toxicity. This can be due to employees taking more sick days, decreased motivation, and increased stress levels. Moreover, employers may see an increase in turnover rates as employees leave to find a less toxic workplace. 

e) Absenteeism

Toxic workplaces can also lead to increased levels of absenteeism. This is because employees may not want to come to work if they are subject to a hostile or negative environment. Physical health problems can also lead to increased absenteeism as employees take time off to recover from illness.

Types of Toxic Workplace

There are some different types of toxic workplace behaviors. Some of the most common include: 

Bullying

Bullying is one of the most common types of workplace toxicity. It can include things like name-calling, intimidation, and ridicule. 

Harassment

Harassment can include things like sexual harassment, racial harassment, and religious harassment. 

Micromanagement

Micromanagement is when a supervisor or manager excessively controls and oversees their employees’ work. This can include constantly checking in, nitpicking work, and not allowing employees to make decisions. 

Exclusion

Exclusion is when an individual or group is left out of the workplace. This can include things like not being invited to meetings, being excluded from social events, and being left out of important decisions. 

Sabotage

Sabotage is when someone intentionally tries to undermine the work of another person. This can include deliberately not doing their fair share of work, causing problems, and spreading rumors. 

Backstabbing

Backstabbing is when someone talks behind another person’s back. This can include things like gossiping, spreading rumors, and talking badly about someone to others. 

How to deal with toxic office environment?

If you’re experiencing workplace toxicity, there are several things you can do to address the issue. 

1. Talk to your supervisor

If you feel like the toxicity in your workplace is getting too much, talk to your supervisor. They may be able to help you address the issue or provide you with resources that can help.

It can be one on one conversation or writing through email. But its important is go prepared to make him/her realised about the situation and find some solution.

2. Seek out support

There are many support groups available that can help you deal with workplace toxicity. These groups can provide helpful resources and allow you to share your experiences with others who understand what you’re going through. 

3. Take care of yourself

It’s important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally when dealing with workplace toxicity. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. 

Additionally, it’s important to find ways to relax and relieve stress. This can include reading, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family. 

4. Set boundaries

One of the best things you can do for yourself in a toxic workplace is to set boundaries. This means knowing your limits and sticking to them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and assess the situation. If you need to, take a break or ask for help. 

It’s also important to set boundaries with your coworkers. If someone is being toxic, don’t engage. Walk away or, if possible, find a way to avoid them altogether.

It cannot be easy to stick to these boundaries, but it’s important to remember that you’re doing this for your well-being. 

5. Avoid gossip 

Gossip can be the root of a lot of problems in the workplace. It can create an environment of mistrust and suspicion and damage relationships between coworkers. If you find yourself in a toxic workplace, it’s important to avoid gossip.

6. Document everything 

If you’re experiencing workplace toxicity, it’s important to document everything. This includes keeping a record of incidents, conversations, and anything else that might be relevant. 

This documentation can be helpful if you decide to take action against the toxicity. It can also help you track what’s going on and identify the patterns.

Conclusion

A toxic workplace is not healthy, so it’s important to do whatever you can to protect yourself. A toxic workplace can stunt your growth and prevent you from reaching your full potential. If you’re not being challenged or learning new things, it’s time to reevaluate your work situation. There are many negative effects of workplace toxicity that is why it is important to know how to deal with toxic office environment.