September 22, 2021

Should I get out?: The top signs of a toxic work environment

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You dread going to work. But then, everyone hates going to work, right?

Actually, that’s not true at all. Many people love their jobs.

If you hate your job, it may be that it’s not the right job for you. But most of the time, it’s because you’re stuck in a toxic work environment.

A toxic work environment sucks the joy out of any job. Even a mundane or low-paying job is enjoyable when it includes a good work environment. But in a toxic work environment, even your dream job becomes a nightmare.

So how do you escape this black hole of job satisfaction? First, you’ll have to learn if a toxic workplace truly is the problem. And to do that, you’ll need the guide below.

Read on to learn the signs of a negative work environment.

1. Low Morale/Poor Work Performance

Are you totally unmotivated at work? Has your work performance gone way down since you started? If so, it seems you’ve stopped caring.

Everyone has days when they don’t feel like going into work. But that shouldn’t be how you feel every day on the job.

Of course, these feelings might indicate you just don’t like the type of work you’re doing. So ask yourself, have you always felt this way about your job? Or did you used to enjoy it?

As coworkers and bosses come and go and company policies change, sometimes your work environment can go downhill. This can happen gradually enough that you don’t notice. But if you notice your work performance and job satisfaction have nosedived over the years, you may be in a toxic workplace.

2. You Feel Like Crap

It’s not a joke. If you seem to feel generally horrible all the time, it’s probably related to work.

It’s true that this is obviously an oversimplification. The state of one’s mental health depends on a myriad of other factors as well. But the fact is, if you’re stressed, anxious, depressed, etc., your job is the second-most-likely cause.

Are you currently seeing an anxiety therapist? If you are clinically diagnosed with any such mental health disorder, consider it red flag number one that your job is toxic. If you are undiagnosed but feel bad most of the time regardless, a toxic job could still be to blame.

Take inventory of your stressors. What has been stressing you out the most lately?

Make a list of your biggest stressors. If most of them have to do with your job, that’s a dead giveaway of workplace toxicity.

3. You Take Way Too Many Sick Days

For some people, unmanaged stress manifests as mental health problems. For others, it leads to physical illnesses.

Stress leads directly and indirectly to poor health. For one thing, it messes up your sleep pattern. People who are stressed often have stressful dreams or even insomnia, preventing their body from getting the quality rest it needs. This weakens all systems of the body, including the immune system.

Stress also leads to bad eating habits. Stress eaters snack too often on junk food, which also weakens the body.

If you seem to be sick all the time, it’s most likely from stress. And that, as stated above, is second-most likely because of your work.

4. Your Coworkers Keep Disappearing

Does your job have a ridiculously high turnover rate? Do most of your coworkers last no more than a couple weeks? Then, clearly, you’re not the only one who hates your job.

High turnover usually means one of two things. Either your company is bad at hiring people or it’s bad at caring about its employees. Either scenario means a stressful work environment for you.

5. You Hate Your Boss

This may seem pretty obvious. But to some, it’s so obvious it often gets overlooked.

It’s a common misconception that everyone hates their boss. This is completely false. There’s little reason to hate a boss who’s doing a good job.

That said, it may be true that everyone hates your boss. If that’s the case, then, clearly, you have a terrible boss. Any boss that’s generally disliked is one who’s not doing a good job.

Is your boss incompetent, hypocritical, two-faced, demeaning, or verbally abusive? That’s not “just how it goes.” It’s an unjust abuse of power that you shouldn’t put up with any longer.

If there are no official actions you can take to address your boss’s behavior within your company, you can try the better business bureau. Otherwise, find a job elsewhere.

6. You Hate Your Coworkers

Maybe it’s not your boss causing you problems but your coworkers. If any of the traits from the example boss above apply to your coworkers, it’s pretty much the same situation.

Are your coworkers unreliable? Do they stand around talking or texting while you do all the work yourself? Do they slack off and/or clock out early, leaving you the duties they were supposed to finish?

Are they bullies or gossips? Do they charm the boss and get away with everything just to throw you under the bus?

If so, man your work sucks. If the company you work for is halfway decent, they will not put up with such injustice. Bring the situation to the attention of the appropriate higher-ups (most likely HR).

If you can’t change anything this way, there are seriously way better companies to work for. Research similar jobs that treat employees well and apply there.

7. Chaotic Work Hours

Some jobs require odd hours, especially on-call jobs like doctors and firemen. Bot those are clearly careers you’ve firmly decided to commit to.

It’s a very different situation if it happens to those who wait tables or sit in a cubicle. Does your boss always demand you come in on your day off work double shifts at the last minute?

These should be considered unacceptable work conditions at most jobs. It’s almost impossible to have a healthy sleep pattern or a social life in this situation. No wonder you’re stressed!

How to Escape a Toxic Work Environment

Using the guide above, look for these signs of a toxic work environment at your place of business. If you see these signs at your job, there are two things you should do.

First, seek better working conditions within your current job. If that doesn’t work, seek better conditions elsewhere.

Need more work tips? Check out the rest of our blog for more articles like this one.

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