There’s no such thing as an ideal workplace or a perfect job – every job has its downsides and requires hard work. Every job and profession comes with a certain level of stress and pressure. Even if you’re passionate about what you do, there will be days when you won’t feel like rolling out of bed, going to work, and putting the effort to get your tasks done, and days when everything seems to go wrong. That’s perfectly normal; it’s just part of being an adult and having grown-up responsibilities.
But what’s not normal is going to work and feeling miserable, not because of the activity you have to perform, but because of the atmosphere and the people that surround you. In this case, you’re probably dealing with a toxic work environment that can severely affect both your physical and mental health. The good news is that there are ways to address these types of issues and reduce the negative impact of a toxic workplace on the quality of your life.
Signs you’re in a toxic work environment
Toxic work environments can take many forms, but they all have one common denominator -they drain your energy and make you dread every minute you have to spend at the job. In order to mitigate the negative effects successfully, you have to be able to spot the signs first, so here’s what you should be looking out for.
Toxic work environments often lead to an array of health issues, such as fatigue, depression, or even work-related injuries. As experts at Personal Injury Claims UK explain, in these situations you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for the damages you’ve suffered. But even if things don’t go this far, feeling constantly exhausted and tired is a good sign that something might be wrong with your work setting.
Lack of enthusiasm
You may not be able to feel motivated all the time, but if this lack of motivation turns into a constant state, your work environment might have something to do with it, especially if you notice the same behaviour in your colleagues.
High turnover rate
It’s not unusual for toxic work environments to have a high turnover rate. People can only put up with toxic situations for so long, so that may explain why you’re seeing more and more of your colleagues quitting their jobs.
Non-compliance with employee rights
Having your rights constantly ignored is another major sign of toxicity in the workplace. Lack of compliance with employee rights can lead to major health and safety risks, making it difficult for you to carry out your daily activities as required.
Exclusion and gossiping
Toxic workplaces are often characterized by an individualistic culture, where gossiping and spreading negative rumours is an everyday occurrence. You may feel left out or unable to form friendships because of your colleagues’ behaviour.
No work-life balance
Having a poor work-life balance is another indicator of a toxic work environment. This is a result of your colleagues or managers not respecting the boundaries you have set between your personal and professional life.
How to deal with it
If you check most of the aspects we’ve mentioned above, and a few others beyond what we’ve described, chances are you are finding yourself in a toxic workplace. So, let’s see how you can deal with it and make things work even in these harsh conditions.
Have a support group
When things seem to spiral out of control and you can’t handle the situation on your own, having someone with whom you can talk can make a world of a difference to your mental health. A support group, whether is made up of family members, friends, or colleagues, will help you overcome these rough patches easier.
Look for ways to de-stress after work
You may not be able to control what goes on at work, but you can find ways to relax and de-stress once you get out of that environment. There are numerous techniques that can help you unwind such as exercising, meditating, spending time in nature, reading, or listening to music. Do more of what makes you feel good, and you’ll be able to kick workplace stress to the curb.
Change your perspective
If you can’t change the ambiance around you, you can change the way you view things and thus the way you experience them. Instead of letting yourself get sucked into the negativity that surrounds you, try not to take things too seriously and look for the silver lining. Think about all the things that you like about your job and focus on the positive.
Keep your private and your professional life separate
Don’t let work-related issues seep into your personal life. Although it’s difficult to create a clear demarcation between these two areas of your life, you have to make an effort to leave work problems at work. When you get off work, try to shift your focus away from whatever was bothering you, so you can change your mood and make the most of your day.
Block out negativity
Whether you like it or not, there will always be someone or something that will spread out negativity around you. Sometimes, the best way to deal with it is to block it out. With a bit of practice – and some good headphones – at one point, all this negativity will become nothing more than background noise, and you won’t even notice it anymore.
Quit your job
If you reach a point where you get fed up with everything and the situation becomes too much for you to bear, it might be useless or even downright dangerous to try and push through the toxicity. In this case, the smartest and healthiest thing to do is to leave your job and start from scratch in a completely different workplace. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a better work environment that supports your personal and professional growth.
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