28-11-2019

Is your worplace toxic?

Have you been in the same company for such a long time that you’re not sure whether the company you work for has become toxic or whether your role and mundanity of it all has become stagnant? Sometimes when you go to the same place day in and day out, you lose touch with whether an atmosphere is normal or not, our lives are often so busy, and so stressful that establishing the root cause of those stresses isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions to work out whether the environment you’re working in is healthy one.

Do those around you seem happy? Look around you… what kind of mood do your colleagues portray? Are they happy? If you look around and don’t see smiles, genuine motivation in people’s roles, then perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong with the atmosphere in which you are working. It can be really hard to maintain feeling positive and happy if those around are not feeling the same way.

What is the turnover of staff like? If the turnover of staff is very high and you’re always a bit apprehensive to get to know anyone because they don’t stick around for very long, then this speaks volumes. People only stay in a workplace where they are valued and happy. Moving jobs is hard and stressful, people don’t do so unless they have good to reason to.

What are your relationships like with those around you? Do you have close friends in your workplace? Do your colleagues take a genuine interest in those around them? We spend a long time with our colleagues, and relationships can be vitally important. If those around you only spend their time gossiping and putting down others for their own personal gain, it is often one of the first indicators of a toxic workplace, and it’s certainly not a healthy environment to be working in.

Is your workload realistic? If your workload is completely unrealistic, and you’re never reaching targets because they are all unachievable, then you are never going to gain any job satisfaction. There are few worse feelings at work than feeling like you are never going to achieve what you need to. Every day will begin and end feeling like you’ve failed. And if that’s not toxic, I don’t know what is! Your work life balance is vitally important in maintaining your physical and mental health, and if you are having to work far beyond the hours you are meant to be, this is going to be detrimental to your health.

How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Do you roll out of bed with a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach? If so, then it sounds rather like your job isn’t harboring very many positive feelings for you. I’m not saying it’s realistic to be jumping for joy when your alarm goes off at 7am, but equally waking and feeling instantly awful because you’ve got another day at the office is not something that you need to put up with long term.

Can you bring up legitimate concerns with your manager? Managers should be approachable, and you should be able to discuss your thoughts and feelings on your workload, processes, colleagues etc, without fear of not being listened to or taken seriously. The very best workplaces place good communication at the top of the priorities list, and so should you.

Do you question your own worth? If your job has made you constantly question your ability to do something you know you are good at, then it’s time to get out of there. A toxic workplace will grind down a person and remove their self-worth until they don’t believe they are good enough to go elsewhere anyway. Meaning you are stuck in a vicious circle of misery!

If you think your workplace is toxic, then be proactive, either address the toxicity, or get yourself out there. Sometimes, just making steps to get your CV out there are pursue other opportunities can do the world of good to make you feel better!

Zara Lilleycrop

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