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Identifying a toxic work culture and how to cope with it.

All of us here know that work can be stressful, you cannot avoid that, your boss is on your neck and your colleagues are stressing you out, but it is manageable because you can just clock out and go about your day unfazed. The problem arises when your work starts to affect your personal life negatively and are not able to cope.

In this economy we all want to be employed and stay employed. So, in today's blog I'm going to help you equip yourself with some tools that will enable you to recognise toxicity in the workplace and how you can cope with it.

What is a toxic work culture ?
There is no one definition for this but from all my research I can say that a toxic work culture is an environment where behaviours such as bullying, manipulation and discrimination are baked into the work culture, and this causes employees distress that bleeds into their personal life affecting their emotional, psychological and physical health.

The danger of such work environments is that this type of behaviour can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and even insomnia. You may even find yourself crying and feeling fearful just at the thought of going to work but also feeling stuck because you need your job as it provides a sense of freedom while simultaneously causing you to feel trapped.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, it should serve as a good starting point for anyone looking to understand whether they’re in a toxic environment.

Lack of healthy boundaries
Toxic work environments often love to normalise an unhealthy work to life balance that encourages employees to make work their number 1 priority even outside of working hours. Employees are made to feel as though sick days and holidays are a hindrance to the company’s progress, rather than an opportunity for them to recharge. Your management may expect you to overexert yourself till you reach a burnout.

Chronic stress
Do you wake up every morning with fatigue and stress and force yourself to go to work? Any job that leaves employees feeling stressed and often infringes on their personal time is chronic stress and can be seen as a toxic job.

Bullying
We tend to associate bullying with young children, but adults definitely do it too, even at work and often goes unaddressed. Workplace bullying is defined as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees; abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; work sabotage; or verbal abuse. If going to work makes you feel scared and threatened and even causes your self-esteem to drop this is definitely a toxic situation.

HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE TOXIC WORK CULTURES ?

Now that you know what a toxic environment might look like, it’s time to decide how to deal with it. Below are some tips on how to navigate your path at, or out of, a toxic company.

Consider you options

Generally speaking, you have two options: stay and navigate the toxicity or leave. It may sound like an easy choice, but the truth is that you may need to stay, at least temporarily, for multiple reasons. Perhaps you can’t leave the job abruptly (or at all) due to financial reasons. It could also be that your company offers you something relatively uncommon like remote work if you’re in an industry that hasn’t fully embraced it yet, or a hefty childcare stipend that’s crucial to your household finances that makes any decision more complicated.

Stay focused on your goals
Do your best to stay in a positive state of mind. You may not be here forever, and you have bigger and better things ahead of you.


Stick with a few trustworthy coworkers
It’s a good idea to keep a few work allies, so you can support and confide in one another.


Engage in regular stress-coping techniques:
Take up meditation, yoga, or engage in daily exercise to help you handle chronic stress. It's also important that you ensure that you get enough sleep. Here at Yoni Healing we have something for you if you happen to be struggling with stress and insomnia.


Start your exit strategy.
It is possible that things could improve at your job, in which case it might make sense to stay. However, while waiting it out, begin your search for a new job. This will help you stay positive when things get rough. If you needed to leave yesterday, consider a bridge job that will keep you active while you find something in line with your career.


BOTTOM LINE
If negativity, harassment, or extreme micromanagement are the norm in your workplace, you’re probably in a toxic work environment.
Like a literal toxin in the air, emotional toxicity can make you sick. Feeling unsafe and unappreciated in your job can lead to mental health problems, including insomnia, stress, depression, and low self-esteem.
If you’re still unsure about whether you should leave, write down the pros and cons of staying where you are. If there are more cons, consider looking for a new job where your mental health will be a priority.
Keep your chin up, as there are bigger and better things ahead of you!

 

 

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Comments

  • Posted on Tumi

    Thanks a lot. Indeed bullying, harassment and abuse is what we experiencing in our work places. Thank you for your information. Much appreciated.

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