Working in an environment that does not make you feel good reduces your productivity and sets you back. So if you’re conflicted about your current workplace then here are a few key signs that will help you identify if you have a toxic work environment.
1. You are constantly told you are ‘replaceable’ and ‘lucky to have a job’
If your employer makes it a point to tell you that they could fire you anytime they want, because you aren’t that important – it does promote negativity. It is bound to make you feel like you aren’t valued as an employee, which isn’t healthy.
2. You feel like your colleagues are unprofessional
Colleagues who throw you under the bus, take credit for your work, pile up work on your table and leave belong in terrible teen dramas. They shouldn’t take up any space in your life.
3. Your boss does not have good leadership skills & often blames you for their mistakes
Nobody needs a bully or a tyrant for a boss – a workplace should promote respect despite the hierarchy. If your boss preaches without practicing and makes you feel inferior, then your workplace is definitely toxic.
4. You don’t feel good about going to work anymore
Obviously, you aren’t always going to be excited about going to work. But if the idea of leaving your home every morning to make your way to work fills you with dread, fear or sadness then there is something wrong. These patterns could form over a long period of time, maybe triggered by a new boss, a new workplace or a new position.
5. Your work-life balance is a mess
It is so important to have a healthy relationship with your career. If your work begins seeping into your personal life then it is getting out of hand. One of the biggest red flags is when you start getting work emails at 11 pm. This is when it starts taking a mental and physical toll on you.
6. You have more things you hate about your job than those you love
If you find yourself complaining about your job all the time but pacifying yourself saying ‘things will get better’ then maybe it’s time you go out and make things better. When you begin counting on your fingers how many things you hate about your work, you know it is getting toxic.
7. You’ve forgotten why you started this job in the first place
Finding yourself in ‘zombie mode’ whenever you’re at work? Your gut will tell you a lot about how your workplace is affecting you. So if you find yourself questioning the reason why you began this job in the first place, then maybe your work environment is getting to you.
8. Your boss / team does not support you and is actually preventing your growth
No, you don’t necessarily need to be best friends with the people you work with. But you do need a healthy environment to grow. If your boss is giving you work that keeps you ‘busy’ when you are capable of so much more, and plays favourites when it comes to diving the workload then that is a red flag.
9. You are constantly physically sick
Physically falling sick is actually a side effect of sleep depravation and stress – both of which could be directly related to your toxic work environment. So if you find yourself falling sick out of the blue, ask your doctor if your ailments could be caused by stress.
10. Your mental health has been unstable for a long time
If you’ve been feeling anxious, having regular mood swings and are unable to control your temper then these are red flags that you must pay attention to. A toxic workplace is bound to have a long term negative impact on your mental health.
11. You feel like you aren’t respected or valued for what you put into your job
It is important to set boundaries at your workplace and be assertive about how you want to be treated. And yet, if you have begun feeling like you aren’t treated with respect, then can manifest in ugly ways.
12. Your friends and family have noticed a change in your behaviour
“You’ve become so irritable and short tempered.”
13. Your employer enjoys pitching you and your colleagues against each other
There is a difference between a healthy competitive environment and a boss who thinks increasing one’s incentives at the cost of another’s salary is the way to keep the performances high. A good leader keep his or her team together and does not pitch them against each other.
14. You have noticed cliques, gossip surrounding your workplace
If your workplace feels more like a high school, with your team wandering off to have gossip sessions by the coffee machine as you’re left doing their work – then it is clear that you might not be taken seriously.
15. You have begun questioning your worth
Self-doubt is the worst and the biggest sign of a toxic workplace. If you have begun demeaning yourself based on the way your workplace makes you feel, then maybe it is time to go job hunting.