12 signs you’re in a toxic work environment

The work environment or work climate are the perceptions that a worker has of the processes and structures that occur in the organization where he works.

This happens at different levels (organizational, professional, personal) and has a direct influence on their behavior, in their level of satisfaction and well-being at work.

    How to know if we are in a toxic work environment

    There are different signs that indicate that we are in a negative work environment.For example, our boss makes life impossible for us or our colleagues all go their way.

    In the following lines I have delved into these signals, which are the ones shown below.

    1. Negative leadership

    In recent years, much study and research related to well-being at work has been linked to the influence of leadership styles on the well-being of workers. Superiors, through their place in the organizational structure, exert a great influence on many people. A single boss or managerial action can have negative or positive consequences on an entire team, and therefore on the results of the company.

    Research indicates that superiors who use a transformational leadership styleIn other words, they care about workers, are charismatic, communicate effectively and have a strong common vision, that they reach out to workers (they are able to change their expectations, their perceptions and their motivations), it is they who they improve results for the company and better well-being of workers

    • If you want to explore this topic further, you can read our article: “Types of Leadership: The 5 Most Common Leader Classes”

    2. Paper problems

    Roles work as role modelsAnd while they can be extremely complex, they are essential to the well-being of workers. Role issues can often arise in companies when someone is unclear about the role they play within them (role ambiguity), has to perform tasks that are not theirs (role overload) or must deal with demands, work demands that are incongruous or incompatible with each other to perform the job (role conflict).

    These role issues are stressful and burnout and often arise due to poor communication, especially from the upper echelons of the company (for example, in the relationship with superiors or because of poor communication). ‘unclear corporate structure).).

    3. Work overload

    If in the previous point I was talking about role overload, which is rather a psychological phenomenon in which the person can perform tasks which are not theirs (but which do not necessarily include overwork); Rather, work overload is a physical phenomenon, in which the person simply does not give enough to the volume of work to be done.

    For example, if an employee has the capacity to produce only 2 machines per day and management requests 8. Logically, the worker will end up being stressed and will suffer the negative consequences of this phenomenon..

    This is a situation that can occur relatively often due to the logic present in many businesses, which is to get maximum profit in the shortest possible time. To achieve this, expenses are reduced, which will not have a positive impact on the productivity of the organization from day one, which leads to concentrating the maximum amount of work on the minimum number of hands. This usually results in burnout, which can become chronic and not only bad for the worker, but also reduces the productivity of the company.

    4. Toxic companions (mobbing)

    People are a key part of the work environment, for better or for worse. Scientific studies suggest that the right relationship with them has a mitigating effect in relation to stress, that is, in cases where this phenomenon occurs, peers reduce its negative effect. However, a bad relationship with peers is a very common stressor. Especially if in this relationship there are cases of harassment or moral harassment.

    There are different types of stalking, so the bully or the bully can also be a boss. To find out about the different classes of harassment at work, you can read our article: “The 6 types of harassment at work”

    5. Lack of commitment to the organization

    Researchers, when they want to know the work climate, generally measure certain variables that are a consequence of the decline in well-being at work. one of them is the lack of commitment to the company.

    When a person is comfortable at work to be the company like his own and even to feel proud to belong to this brand. The same does not happen when the work environment is toxic.

    6. Desires to leave the company and absenteeism

    Absenteeism, that is, when the person is frequently absent from work for different reasons, usually due to sick leave, is another variable that is a consequence of upset at work. If this phenomenon appears, it is because there are reasons for it, beyond the marketing strategies that the organization can use to satisfy its staff.

    However, it is not necessary for workers to be absent or leave the company when they are upset, as in recent times this number has been reduced by the economic crisis and by the “survivor syndrome”. In reality, the mere idea of ​​leaving the company can be measured, and this is called the intention to leave the company. When a person is in a toxic work environment, the urge to leave the company increases.

    7. It doesn’t motivate you to go to work

    The above two points are a clear indication of demotivation towards work and the refusal to work that is generated when the work environment is toxic. People who are uncomfortable at work or who are stressed feel a lot of heaviness and demotivation every time they have to go to work.

    In turn, demotivation usually results in the accumulation of tasks to be done, which in turn causes more stress and discomfort, in a vicious cycle.

    8. You feel that you cannot grow within the company.

    The structure of the company and also affects the well-being of the workers and the motivation that one feels, And when there is no business plan, people feel like they are stagnating. In the long term, this is not positive for their well-being and therefore stress and demotivation appear.

    Basically the problem is that the present is combined with what the future may offer, leaving very little room for improvement. This prospect is totally demotivating, as it also gives an insight into the organization in which one is one room whose job it is to keep working without looking way beyond their routine.

    9. Irrational calendars

    Many companies aware of the need for people to earn a salaryThey set schedules for their workers that do not take into account their needs outside of work, their leisure time and, in general, their well-being. In fact, some companies even do it illegally. The need to have a job leads many people not to show up despite illegal working hours and conditions.

    10. Poor communication

    Communication is one of the phenomena that causes greater discomfort at work and a toxic work environment., Which can manifest at different levels. In the first point, I talked about leadership styles and their influence on stress, and whether a leadership style is considered healthy or not is often determined by communication skills. However, poor communication can also occur, for example, between colleagues or different departments. business, and can lead to role problems, embarrassment, conflicts and other negative phenomena.

    11. You don’t feel valued

    People are emotional beings and we all like to be valued. The vast majority of us have spent half of our lives studying and struggling for our professional careers.

    Just a few years ago, many companies were training workers, and some of them felt they owed a debt to the organization. Today, after having studied and paid for the studies during the 4 years of the diploma (plus the various masters), we want a little respect and appreciation. When this does not happen, it is very likely demotivation and discomfort are a sign of presence..

    12. You are stressed or burned out

    All of the above have one thing in common, which is that if they occur over an extended period of time, they generate stress and burnout: one of the great evils of work, because it affects not only the workers but also the results of the organization.

    It is common to see entire and even collective departments (e.g. nurses) suffering from stress over all of the above variables and others that also affect the work environment and are beyond the control of the company. For example, political decisions or budget cuts in health care (in the case of nurses). Therefore, there are many variables that can lead a person to live in a toxic work environment.

    • If you want to know more: “8 essential tips to reduce stress at work”

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