Did you know that an average person spends one-third of their life or 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime? Which makes work feel like a second home. It is safe to say that you spend more time interacting with your coworkers and team than your family and friends. With so much time spent at work, it is natural that we have our bad days. However, if you feel like you have to face these challenges on repeat without a single break, then that is a clear sign that you are working in a toxic work environment.
Many criteria can deem a workplace “toxic.” Some of them are too much competition, extremely low morale, any form of bullying, constant stressors, and more. What’s worse about toxic workplaces is that it will suck the life out of you and eat you away not only at work but also at home, during conversations with loved ones, when you’re in bed and are about to fall asleep, or just your most significant source of stress and worry. If the thought of going to work makes you feel mentally and physically tired or depressed, then we are here to help you clarify whether your workplace might be the cause of it or not.
1. Low Morale
While you shouldn’t judge your work quality based on those around you, you can’t deny that nothing is worst than surrounding yourself with unhappy coworkers who do not support each other and have the tendency to say, “that’s not my job.” A company that lacks culture appreciation may be the cause of poor connections between the leaders and staff, employees not feeling supported by their employers or teams that just don’t care about the organization’s goal and are only there for their paycheck. If you find yourself in a workplace filled with unmotivated coworkers, it will take a toll on you in many ways. You might have to shoulder work that your team members refuse to or their lack of motivation might be seeping into you and cause you to burnout.
2. Rapid Employee Turnover
If you’re working at a place where you frequently have to see someone go every few months, that is a clear sign that your workplace is toxic. To leave a job is a tough decision to make. Hence if there’s a rapid employee turnover, it might be due to the company’s disorganization, lack of leadership, little to no opportunity for growth, lack of direction or goal, and many more. Pay attention to this sign, and if you can sense it, whether it be employees are continuously being laid off, fired, or they decided to quit, you might have to start planning your escape.
3. Leaves You Feeling Burnout
Talking about burnout, little you may know, it is a recognized medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization. If you’ve ever felt even a hint of burnout, it is a sure sign that you are working in a toxic environment or at least an environment that is not working for you. There are three types of burnout which are Frenetic Burnout, Underchallenged Burnout, and Worn-out Burnout.
- Frenetic is when you’ve put in a significant amount of effort in your work hoping that the outcome will be rewarded, but when it doesn’t, that’s when the burnout hits you.
- Under challenged is the type of burnout you get when you’re feeling under-challenged and bored with your work. When you fail to feel satisfied with your job, you find yourself with low morale.
- Worn-out is someone who resigned from their work after experiencing prolonged stress and pressure overwork. This leads to you feeling uninspired and unmotivated at work.
4. Lack of Communication or Negative Communication
Have you ever felt left out at work? Do you ever feel like you’re so out of the loop regarding essential updates than other coworkers? This pervasive lack of communication is one of the characteristics of a toxic workplace. You may find that you rarely get any constructive criticism or feedback on your performance when asked about your work. However, when you do, it is always given harshly and negatively. You may also be in a position where you are doing the work of maybe two or four people. It is also common for your boss or colleagues to take credit for your achievements.
5. No Work-Life Balance
Whether you love your job or not, work-life balance is crucial to keep yourself sane from overworking. It’s important to remember that you deserve to have a life, turn off your notifications, and leave your emails unread outside of working hours. You should never feel guilty about taking the vacation days that you are entitled to. If your work requires you to be on-call at all times, to answer emails on weekends, to be on the clock 24/7, then your job is toxic. Remind yourself to set some boundaries with your work. No work calls after working hours and no last-minute tasks on the weekends. If your workplace can’t respect your boundaries, then it is probably not the place for you.
If You Feel In Your Gut That Something Is Off
Do you ever feel like going to meetings is a complete waste of time because nothing gets accomplished? Can you slowly see that your company’s operations are slowly falling apart? A toxic workplace gives you all types of confusion and a lot of “this is how we’ve always done things.”
If your intuition says something is amiss and the management is giving off some poor leadership vibes, trust your gut. Take note of any physical symptoms you’re experiencing. Sleepless nights or a racing heartbeat is your nervous system alerting you of danger. Don’t ignore it and remember; there are so much more opportunities out there. Don’t waste your time and effort in a company that doesn’t leave you feeling content at the end of your day.