Making a living inside of a toxic workplace is a draining experience that many workers find themselves confronted by. Despite the fact that broader society is finally waking up to the toxicity that plagues so much of our everyday lives, it’s still a simple matter of fact that many workplaces are still hostile to those operating within them. The first step towards a more equitable and healthy economy where everyone can be productive without losing their sanity is recognizing toxicity and taking steps to fight it.
Here are 5 signs that your workplace is toxic, and what you can do about it if you’re feeling fed up.
Burnout culture is the normal culture
The most blatantly obvious sign that you’re in a toxic workplace is when the prevailing company culture is a burnout culture. What this means is that there’s little to no balance between the work and lives of employees; everyone is expected to be “burning the midnight oil” at all times, never stopping until their projects are completed – and even then, there’s a new project ready and waiting to be embarked upon. Burnout culture is extraordinarily demanding and stressful, but it’s also literally harmful to employees and should be avoided at all cost.
As the Harvard Business Review has demonstrated, research has consistently proven that long working hours backfire on companies by exhausting their employees and driving their hardest workers to the brink. If breaks, vacations, and quiet off-hours are alien concepts to you and your coworkers, you may be enduring a toxic work environment.
The workforce is entirely homogeneous
When your company’s workforce is entirely homogeneous, meaning it showcases little diversity but instead has workers who are largely from the same singular background or class, there’s a high likelihood you’re in a toxic workplace. Modern companies are like the modern world, meaning they’re diverse and flexible, whereas stagnant and toxic companies are dominated by a homogenous workforce that’s unable to see past its own biases and shortcomings. Companies which are statistically more diverse than others have regularly demonstrated that they outperform their industry competitors, so the toxicity of your homogenous work environment could very well be holding you back professionally.
Furthermore, homogenous workforces are unlikely to take diversity initiatives or anti-harassment campaigns seriously. It’s hard for your company to seriously address the widespread issues of sexism or racism if all of its workers are the same, after all, nor are they likely representative of the increasingly diverse composition of the modern international economy.
You know that voicing complaints isn’t worth it
Many workers refrain from voicing their complaints or bringing up criticisms of company policy to their superiors because they think it’s just not worth it. Having tried to approach their superiors with concerns in the past, these workers have been shunned, ignored, or otherwise dismissed and unfortunately come to believe that there’s no point in even vocalizing their distress. If you feel that you can’t voice your concerns with your boss because you know what he or she is going to say in response ahead of time, you may be suck in a toxic workplace that’s unlikely to take your feedback seriously.
You and your coworkers are scared to voice the truth
During company training sessions or conference calls, at a Burlington realtor, you or your coworkers may feel too scared to voice the truth when called upon by your managers or bosses. For instance, if your company ask you how well it’s addressing an obvious social issue and you’re hesitant to speak the truth because you know the answer is “not nearly well enough,” you’re likely in a toxic workplace. When employees are scared to give honest feedback to their managers and bosses, especially when it comes to such things as diversity initiatives or how well the company is meeting the needs of its workers, it’s a surefire sign that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Employees are coming in sick
The most obvious sign that you’re stuck in a toxic workplace is when employees are coming in sick. Nobody is so dedicated to their craft that they insist on working despite the fact that they’re sick – if they were a really so committed, they’d understand that they’re really on jeopardizing progress by coming in sick at all. Employers still expect you to toil when you’re sick, however, which is why so many workers have to solicit advice on what doctors advise when it comes to working while sick. If your boss refuses to give you the day off despite your illness, you’re likely in the definition of a toxic workplace.
Try to use reason and demonstrate that if you come in anyway you’ll likely accomplish nothing other infecting your coworkers. The better option, however, is to fight the toxicity of your workplace and demand a healthier space to thrive in – after all, no one can endure a toxic work environment for long.