A critical factor to consider when choosing to work for a company is the work environment and culture it provides. In an ideal world, every employee would along with each other, and the office politics and coworker drama would be kept at an absolute minimum. However, the reality is that no workplace is fully exempt from some form of toxicity. Toxic workers are everywhere, and they add unnecessary stress to your day; stress that could very well hinder your performance at your job. Is your work environment toxic? Read the following five indicators and find out.
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#1 The gossip is constant
A toxic work environment is created by toxic workers—employees who engage in negative social behaviors such as gossiping. In fact, a gossiper is a telltale indicator of a toxic worker. Spreading lies and misinformation about others is how they act out their own self-dissatisfaction. They often engage in gossip behind the scenes, reeling in other coworkers to "take their side." It's similar behavior to what mean kids and bullies in high school do. Look out for these individuals and try to see past their negativity much as you can. However, if need be, don't be afraid to confront them; just make sure you do so in a mature and professional manner.
#2 The morale is low
Coworkers who appear down, stressed, or de-energized may feel overwhelmed by the top-down management styles of their superiors. Working in an environment that centers on a fear-based culture can make it difficult to focus on the job. The feeling of being undervalued or being not good enough can really take a toll on an employee's mental state. If you ever feel like your efforts are constantly being disregarded, despite the fact that you've given a certain task or project your absolute all, then perhaps it's time to look for a different job... One that actually appreciates your initiative and go-getter ethic.
#3 It's always work, work, work
If a company looks after its employees, its employees will look after the company. It's really that simple. Employees need to feel like they are being recognized and appreciated. They are not just robots distinguished by ID numbers; they are humans, with names and emotions. They need vacation time, sick days and health benefits. Companies who overwork their employees will cause them to burn out a whole lot quicker, and in the grand scheme of things, that just ends up hurting the business itself because productivity levels take a hit. Find yourself a company that offers satisfactory incentives for its workers.
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#4 Health issues begin to arise
There are several scientific studies that show mental stress can directly contribute to physical ailments and sicknesses. Workers who are constantly exposed to toxic behavior are likely to experience a build-up of stress, anxiety, and depression, which can lead to physical fatigue and a lower immune system. A soulless workplace will often see a rise in absenteeism, as more and more employees start to develop stress-related illnesses. If you ever feel like you are fully capable of doing your work but you still feel mentally and physically exhausted, that means it's not the tasks and projects you're assigned that are causing you to feel sick... it's your workplace itself.
#5 It feels like a dictatorship
One of the top reasons why people leave their jobs is because they could not deal with a toxic boss. Managers who act like dictators contribute to a toxic work environment that makes it difficult for employees to perform at their maximum potential. Managers who bully their employees and only ever offer unfair criticisms are not worth sticking around for. As an employee, it can really chip away at you to constantly hear that your work is subpar when all you've ever done is put forward your best efforts.