Signs of a Truly Toxic Workplace

Monday morning blues are perfectly normal. But do you feel grey everyday when you walk into your office? Does your jaw clench as you look around to see your co-workers equally embittered, cynical and disillusioned about working in that zone? Watch out, for you may be working in a highly toxic workplace.

You have been warned about toxic fumes since your childhood. They are baleful, crippling and deleterious. While you might be staving off such detrimental environment consciously, you may not even be aware of your office ambience turning the butt of the same malicious haze.

Spotting a hostile, dire workplace is anything but easy. For the symptoms which go to label it as “toxic” are often subtle. Before you may realize, this hairsplitting toxicity may engulf you completely and land you up in a terrible mental state. So, look out for these signs looming in your workplace that could mean you are being a part of a toxic office environment.

  • Moody Demeanor, Prevalence of Frustration and Anger

You hardly notice any zeal among your colleagues and they are not ready to go beyond their specific job roles to help the organization accomplish a goal.  They are for most of the time reeling under frustrations for being in such a surreal environment and feel de-motivated and disenchanted to work without any positive incentives proffered. If such is the ambience of your workplace, you can be sure of turning a victim of the detrimental toxicity sometime sooner, even if you have not been already feeling the effects of it.

  • Absence of Work-Life Balance

There may be times when you would need to put in extra-something for your job and this is perfectly alright to be expected out of an employee. But if your organization demands more than 40 hours of your precious time a week regularly for which you require curtailing down on your other commitments, then it is a serious issue. You are then working under an employer who considers you solely as a productivity factor to generate revenues, nothing more.

  • Prevalence of Workplace Bullying:

Does it often happen that the leaders or winners are revered in spite of their inappropriate demeanor towards others at the workplace? If such a leader goes beyond the ethical work culture to abuse or embarrass a subordinate do most of the significant officials tend to negate such behavior as a trifling affair? When leaders such as these dominate the workplace scenario, there are augmented rates of turnover with valuable employees quitting jobs. Organizations are then left to operate with the existing bullies and a new set of scapegoats replacing those who relinquished those positions.


  • Dysfunctional Relationships, Employees Unwilling to Socialize

Of course, you need not try making best friends out of your colleagues but some degree of compassion, compatibility and amicability is required to ensure that the environment is conducive to healthy working. Weekly or monthly get-togethers, some time devoted to healthy, fun-filled chatting and engaging in team activities are favorable for a healthy workplace ambience. Without healthy socialization social creatures as men are likely to falter. However, a toxic workplace is characterized by unwillingness to socialize among colleagues, seeping misunderstandings leading to anger, frustrations and consequent inefficiency and prolonged feelings of antagonism among co-workers.

  • Inappropriate Leader

No one can possibly go wrong in identifying an inappropriate leader who is highly inefficacious and dysfunctional to the core. You are imposed with a work load that is impossible to accomplish with success and the expectations set by your leader are unreasonable and excessive, failing to attain which can again pose as a threat to your job. There is a noticeable lack of moral values, decency and ethical considerations in his dealing with his subordinates which are often inflicted at the expense of their welfare. He refuses to depict empathy even in dire situations and exhibits bullying attitudes by means of which he attempts to grill in fear in the minds of those under him. Team members can hardly expect to be appreciated for their good work and during the times that feedback is provided it is almost always negative. There is a sheer lack of clarity in expectations while hypocritical attitude is practiced blatantly.

A toxic workplace can be an alarming thing to fall prey to. So if you notice the above signs permeating in your office space, it is time to gear up and learn to challenge the toxicity and help other around brave it too instead of staggering under its pernicious fumes.

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