Toxic Work Culture: 3 Ways It Is Making Your Health And Life Miserable.
BY DEORAO K.
Much has been talked about on this topic both online and offline. As the name suggests toxic work culture is affecting our life in one or more ways. Such as toxic work culture can affect our health, lifestyle, productivity, relationships, and day-to-day progress.
If you ever experience what toxic culture looks like you can easily resonate with this topic. You might have heard a lot about it, here we will focus more on the causes and effects of toxic work culture on health and lifestyle.
Excited? Let’s go then…
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY TOXIC WORK CULTURE?
The term toxic work culture refers to a bad, immoral, and sometimes inhuman environment at the workplace. There may be rivalry, politics, less or no coordination in work, less or no active communication among people are the common practices in a toxic workplace.
Multiple factors are responsible that lead to a toxic workplace.
Toxic work culture influences people working there negatively. Can cause several problems to the person working there.
In such a workplace, employees don’t hesitate to leave the job instead of getting paid well and settle for low-paying jobs somewhere else. Toxic work culture makes bright employees to quiet. This can affect the earning potential of the company.
REASONS THAT LEAD TO TOXIC WORK CULTURE?
As per one research, my organizations don’t actively take part in creating positive work culture as management lacks the necessary skills. Every one of you will be agreeing to this if you ever experienced a toxic workplace.
There could be several reasons, some significant and others less significant which are responsible to create toxic workplace culture. Following are some important and significant causes starting from top management to bottom,
Management is primarily responsible for creating toxic workplaces. Because if management is toxic it percolates to the boss and later to the employees. Let’s understand it in more detail,
1. UNSUPPOTIVE AND CARELESS MANAGEMENT.
If the management is careless and doesn’t keep a tap on officers working in the office, then they may take the advantage of this thing and can humiliate the employees according to their convenience. Or the boss becomes careless and workers keep working randomly.
Management may be unsupportive to the people when they get into trouble or when they raise complaints about wrongdoing like bullying, discrimination, favoritism, and targeting with purpose by higher officials.
All this leads to toxic work culture or a toxic work environment.
2. MANAGEMENT FOCUSES ON WORK THAN WELFARE.
When management focuses more on work done than welfare, health, and ease of employees. Workers can tolerate this up to a certain limit, the time comes when employees feel tired, frustrated, and burnout.
3. MANAGEMENT UNAPPROACHABLE FOR QUERY AND COMPLAINS.
In this case, management is unapproachable and inaccessible to the query and complaints. This creates insecurity and hopelessness in the employees. They prefer to quit.
4. NOT TAKING STRICK ACTION FOR WRONG DOING.
Management not taking strong decisions and string actions whenever required is leads to a toxic work environment.
5. NO GOAL AND DIRECTIONLESS.
If the company management does not have a clear goal and vision for future operation, it becomes hard for them to create a work strategy. As in, like Simon Sinek said, “if they don’t know ‘WHY’ it becomes hard to find out ‘HOW’.”
6. LACK WORK ETHICS.
Management is unethical and indulges in wrong work practices. This unethical practice eventually comes down to the boss and later to employees.
2. TOXIC BOSS.
Whenever I hear the term toxic work culture the first thing came to my mind is toxic boss. Boss is the main governing officer at the workplace. And it is in his hand how to manage in and around the office.
We can typify toxic bosses into different types such as,
1. WORKHOLIC BOSS.
This type of boss is serious about work and assignments. They themselves keep working overtime daily sometimes at week holidays also. Now you might say it is good quality then why do you label him toxic.
Wait, I agree that there is nothing wrong with being hardworking, problem arises when workaholic bosses expect all the employees should work extra hours like them.
Except few not, all the employees can manage to work extra hours all the time because they have other things to work on. These types of bosses make employees’ life miserable.
2. PERFECTIONISTS BOSS.
Perfectionists focus on doing things perfectly at any cost. They are so obsessed with perfectionism that they forget about the number and amount of resources being used just to achieve perfectionism which often practically isn’t possible.
But because of this nature, employees often suffer and assignments don’t seem to complete at times. Or employees get less time to focus on other assignments. This leads to the postponement of the deadline and sets a bad reputation in front of the client.
3. NARCISSIST BOSS.
Narcissistic bosses are famous to create chaos. These types of bosses are highly self-centered and don’t have empathy for others at all. Narcissists are famous to steal credit for others’ work done and put blame on others if a mistake happens.
They are sadists and love to humiliate and harass people without any reason. They don’t bother about the feelings of the workers.
4. ALOOF BOSS.
As the name suggests they stay detached from all the activity going around. They don’t take part actively in day-to-day operations, decision making, meetings, and issues like resolving internal matters. They are disinterest in listening to the problems of employees.
Aloofness could be because of their shy and reserved nature or not being interested in their current job.
5. JEALOUS BOSS.
This type of boss is not rare in the workplaces who feel jealous if someone does a good job and gets accolades from management. Because of this these bosses try to become hurdles in the way for brilliant and high-performing employees. Or don’t leave any chance to belittle them. Or to pull them back they start favoring other employees.
6. MICROMANAGING BOSS.
This is one of the commonest types of toxic bosses you will get at the workplace. They tend to micromanage people working under them. for example, they try to trace every activity of employees, stock them round the clock to check whether they are working or not. Employees don’t get any autonomy to work and feel trapped.
7. CONTROLLING BOSS.
Controlling bosses are somewhat similar to micromanaging bosses or you can say both the qualities go hand in hand. This type of boss can go to any level to keep all control in his hand. This includes micromanaging, favoring, purposefully demoting employees.
8. BOSS WITH NO EMOTIONAL CONTROL OR LOW EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.
Some of the bosses are the worst at managing their emotions. Like they may be an emotional fool and always stays in the state of anxiety and panic or desperate or get stressed over tiny issues.
Some are with high temper. They get angry over small issues or lose their cool if some mistake happens from employees. This attitude makes them unapproachable. Employees get fearful and insecure while working under this type of people.
9. ABSENT BOSS.
The boss who always stays absent from the workplace. He occasionally comes to the office and stays out most of the time is also count as a toxic boss. Because in this scenario employees don’t get direction and support whenever they needed. They stay in a state of confusion and keep working randomly.
10. TIMID BOSS.
Timid bosses make one of the worst bosses. They are under-confident in themselves. Not able to take strong decisions, not able to raise voice against injustice, and always nervous and fearful from management.
They distance themselves from risk taking things and create an underconfident environment in the workplace.
You might also like to read, Top 5 Ways To Make Employees Loyal to The Company.
Toxic colleagues are the distal part of this toxic culture tree but are more dangerous. Because we have to deal with them all the time directly and indirectly.
The types of toxic colleagues are,
1. BULLYING COLLEAGUES.
Some workers take pleasure in bullying other colleagues to such a level that other people either go in frustration or leave the job.
This bullying may be for purposefully targeting a person because of rivalry or jealousy. Or sometimes they do it randomly as they don’t have fear of management or boss.
2. DISCRIMINATING COLLEAGUES.
They always find the chance to discriminate against associate workers on the basis of caste, creed, religion, sex, religion, region, country, and many other things.
3. JEALOUS AND COMPITITIVE COLLEAGUES.
You will find these types of toxic colleagues in every workplace. They are not rare. Jealous people are egoistic and competitive in nature.
When they find out how other peers are doing good than them, they feel hurt and jealous. Jealous colleagues can do anything to bring others down like spreading rumors, talking band in their absence, complaining to higher officials without any reason.
4. LAZY AND CARELESS COLLEAGUES.
As the name suggests they are lazy and careless because they don’t have fear of consequences or they don’t care about responsibilities. Or may not have a tap of higher officials.
If sometimes you get a chance to work on some assignment with them, all the responsibility comes on your shoulder and they become a burden for you.
5. UNDERCONFIDENT COLLEAGUES.
Underconfident and anxious colleagues are also counting as toxic one because they don’t have the guts to take responsibilities or work on assignments single-handed. They get anxious while dealing with clients and talking with management.
They become a headache for you if you are working with them.
6. OVERCONFIDENT AND PERFECTIONIST COLLEAGUES.
An overconfident is not that much harmful but you never know they can put you in trouble at any time. They often procrastinate as they are overconfident with their capabilities and talent.
Perfectionists are more focused to make the work error free but this sometimes leads to missed deadlines and scolding from bosses and clients.
HOW TO KNOW WHETHER YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT IS TOXIC OR NOT?
If you are working and you feel like the workplace you are working in is toxic but you are confused, here are the 13 points quiz or criteria to confirm whether your workplace is toxic or not.
If your answer is yes to all the 13 points given below, then your workplace is highly toxic and it is time to leave this job but only a few are YES and some are NO then you can think of continuing the job.
Excited? Let’s check it out,
1. COLLEAGUES WITH LESS OR LACK OF MORALS?
2. LACK OF WORK ETHICS BY MANAGEMENT, BOSS, AND COLLEAGUES?
3. HIGH OFFICE POLITICS INSIDE THE WORKPLACE?
4. UNAPPROACHABLE BOSS AND MANAGEMENT?
5. DID MANAGEMENT PUT EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND WALEFER SECONDARY TO WORK?
6. HIGH DISCRIMINATION BY MANAGEMENT AND COLLEAGUES AT WORKPLACE?
7. SAD AND UNHAPPY ENVIRONMENT AT WORKPLACE?
8. TOXIC COLLEAGUE?
9. FEELING UNSAFE AT THE WORKPLACE LIKE FEAR OF LOSING JOB?
10. MANAGEMENT WITH A LACK OF CLEAR GOALS AND VISION?
11. HIGH EMPLOYEE TURNOVER MEANS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE JOB WITHOUT SOLID REASON?
12. HIGH ABSENTEEISM AMONG EMPLOYEES?
13. TOXIC BOSS?
EFFECT OF TOXIC WORK CULTURE ON HEALTH AND LIFE.
1. EFFECT OF TOXIC WORK CULTURE ON PERSONAL HEALTH.
Several studies are available which prove that toxic work culture can have serious effects on your mental and physical health. For example,
You may feel stressed, traumatized, frustrated, angry, anxious, panicked, depressed because of the sad and depressing environment created by toxic people at the workplace.
It leads to problems related to mental health such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, nervousness, lack of interest in work and job, avoiding going to job, heaviness, and saturation of head, and insomnia.
Physical health problems like headache, weakness, feeling drained and tired, skin-related problems due to anxiety, Irritable bowel syndrome due to stress, High blood pressure, and heart diseases.
2. EFFECT OF TOXIC WORK CULTURE ON RELATIONSHIP AND FAMILY.
Toxic work culture enters your home along with you and leads to trouble in family and relationships with family members. For example, your wife and kids fall for the anger and frustration that came from the workplace. You may yell at them without any reason though you regret later but what you utter cannot be undone.
The stress of work comes home with you it leads to a stressful environment at home. Your frustration and unhappy behavior is contagious and your family members suffer directly or indirectly.
Your relationship with your friend may get soar and reason, the consequences of toxic work culture that is following you at home.
Today since the beginning of the pandemic people have started working from home. But that doesn’t lessen the intensity of toxic work affecting your relationship and family. As bosses and colleagues found out the new way to spread the toxicity.
Such as work monitoring apps, spying apps, and video meeting platforms. They use this to keep you on the toe or to control and micromanage you. This behavior is like cyberbullying by bosses and colleagues.
3. EFFECT OF TOXIC WORK CULTURE ON PRODUCTIVITY.
It is proved in many studies and researches that toxic work culture is one of the important reasons people experience decreased productivity.
Many factors are responsible for this such as stressful environment, lack of interpersonal relationship with colleagues, immoral people around, unsupportive boss and management, soar relationship with everyone, and so on…
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TACKLE THIS PROBLEM?
1. LEAVE THE JOB.
Take a quiz above and answer yourself in yes or no only. If your answer to all the 13 questions is “yes” then it is time to leave the job and explore other options.
If yes are less than “no” then you can continue the job in the same place but you have to take some extra measures to cope with it. For example, create your own support group in the office, Hangout with people like you, stay away from toxic colleagues, research about every people and decide up to what extent you will keep your contact with them, and be prompt and courageous.
2. RESEARCH BEFORE TAKING A JOB.
If you are wanted to take a new job and don’t want to end up in a toxic workplace again, then you must research about the company.
Today it is not hard to trace the ex-employees of that company. You can ask them about the work environment there. Or you can read the review from review websites.
3. DON’T BRING WORK TO HOME.
Keep your personal and professional life different. Don’t bring your work in family time. And also learn to resolve office issues outside the home and enter the home with a clean mind.
4. GO FOR THERAPY.
If you feel like you are suffering from some physical and or mental problems don’t hesitate to go for therapy. Or at least go for counseling. It will help you for sure.
Following are the 13 signs of a highly toxic work culture,
1. COLLEAGUES WITH LESS OR LACK OF MORALS.
2. LACK OF WORK ETHICS BY MANAGEMENT, BOSS, AND COLLEAGUES.
3. HIGH OFFICE POLITICS INSIDE THE WORKPLACE.
4. UNAPPROACHABLE BOSS AND MANAGEMENT.
5. MANAGEMENT PUT EMPLOYEES HEALTH AND WALEFER SECONDARY TO WORK.
6. HIGH DISCRIMINATION BY MANAGEMENT AND COLLEAGUES AT WORKPLACE.
7. SAD AND UNHAPPY ENVIRONMENT AT WORKPLACE.
8. TOXIC COLLEAGUE.
9. FEELING UNSAFE AT THE WORKPLACE LIKE FEAR OF LOSING JOB.
10. MANAGEMENT WITH A LACK OF CLEAR GOALS AND VISION.
11. HIGH EMPLOYEE TURNOVER MEANS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE JOB WITHOUT SOLID REASON.
12. HIGH ABSENTEEISM AMONG EMPLOYEES.
13. TOXIC BOSS.
There could be hundreds are reasons which leads to toxic work culture but all of them eventually links to three main reasons as follows,
1. Toxic management.
2. Toxic boss.
3. Toxic employees.
1. Leave the job if required.
2. Do research before taking the job.
3. Keep personal and professional life separate.
4. Go for therapy.