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How to identify if your workplace is toxic

Written by Lizanne Dsouza-Founder Liz Lyn Careers

All of us know the effect a toxic work environment can have on our general productivity and overall mental wellness. Working in a toxic environment can slowly become really bothersome. Most times, we do not even realize it until we are completely burnt out and feel tired from the entire experience of dealing with things in a toxic workplace.

So then how does one realize if the place that they work at is toxic? here are only some of the signs.

  1. You feel a sense of anxiety when you walk into the office: The numero uno rule for anything is "DO NOT IGNORE YOUR GUT", anxiousness is a feeling that you get when you walk into a place/situation that makes you nervous, do not ignore your gut feeling about this, if just being at the workplace makes you feel apprehensive then this is something that needs to be checked.

  2. You feel like you have to defend yourself: If you constantly feel like you have to defend yourself in front of your boss or your colleagues about why you performed your task in a certain way then this is a clear indication of there being a lack of trust and without trust, you will eventually find it hard to accomplish your goals in a timely manner.

  3. "Clicky" work colleagues: Need I say more? Groupism can automatically create a toxic environment and go against the values of teamwork.

  4. Public humiliation but no public appreciation: Alot of workplaces have a culture where employees are humiliated publically for not performing well but are never appreciated in public for acheiving anything, this pattern is toxic and will make you feel like you are not valued enough.

  5. Your boss is part of the gossip: a few workplaces have an issue where there is gossip amongst the team about each other, this in the first place shouldn't be encouraged by your boss, let alone them being part of it!

  6. You feel like you have to lie: If you feel like you have to lie to your boss if you need time off, or about a task delegated to you, then the environment that you are working in is definitely not one that is supportive and hence can affect you in a very negative way eventually

  7. Unprofessional language: The use of unprofessional or casual language at work can create a good amount of disrespect amongst colleagues and management, which eventually becomes toxic for all as there are no defined boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not.

It's very hard to change a toxic environment unless it's coming from the top person in management and sometimes even then the only way to make this change is to change the team completely. This is mostly impossible and hence the easier option is for you to take yourself out of that situation and thrive in a non-toxic environment that doesn't put pressure on your mental well-being.

Do not be afraid or ashamed to put yourself first, always

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