A bad Monday or a little stressful Wednesday surely is a part of work-life.  But what happens when the frequency of these bad days becomes your everyday reality? One of the most challenging discoveries is determining whether your workplace is toxic or you’re just imagining it.

Once you begin to question whether you’re in a toxic work environment or not, it certainly is because you are in one. And that’s your 7th sense, informing you.  Few signs to look out for which may help in determining if you are caught up in a  toxic work environment.

Lack Of Work-Life Balance

Despite the love you may have for your job, when you suddenly eat, breathe, and speak your work even in spaces where there is no need to, your work-life balance has been impacted.

Missing important events in your life, spending little to no time with your family, and having no time for experiences that spark joy into your life, is not a badge of honor, it is a lack of work-life balance, and it is toxic.

Understaffed  And OverWorked

Often in a work environment that is toxic, employees are made to believe that they are crossing their skills. But in actual fact, the company lacks enough staff to perform the overload work.

There is a difference between volunteering to cross your skills, and being manipulated to work on different projects because there just aren’t enough hands to complete the tasks. Burnout is not by any means attached to your value as an individual or your self-worth. It is a sign of being overworked and may cause severe damage to your mental wellbeing.

Low Morale

Low productivity, less inspiration, poor performance, and poor quality work are characteristics of a toxic work environment.  Absenteeism is high in a toxic work environment. Employees find no joy in being present in a workplace that constantly breaks their spirit. Any excuse to be absent from work is worth considering.

Lack of Empathy And Compassion

A toxic work environment lacks empathy and compassion. None of the decision-making considers the emotional impact on the well-being of employees. Often, leaders in this kind of environment, lead from a place of hurt where they use criticism to mask their own inadequacy.

There is constructive feedback and then there is constant criticism. This is where you can tell it’s no longer about your inability to deliver, but about someone’s inability to find value in the work you do. And this is due to their own internal issues. They don’t need you to fix them, what they need is therapy.

Overwhelm Drama And Gossip

A toxic work environment has a “Sally”(Sorry if your name is Sally, oops )  who is always going behind people’s backs gossiping about their work. Sally seems to think she’s the star of the show, often showing dissatisfaction over everyone’s contribution or achievement.  Sometimes Sally is merely just being petty and finding fulfillment in creating gossip and drama.

As if that’s not enough, sometimes you may experience verbal abuse as a form of yelling where it matters less who’s watching. This is something that I have personally experienced(talk about drama ahh oh ell).

Being yelled at in front of whoever cares to watch, is often humiliating. Often you are made to feel small and irrelevant with careless and threatening utterances.

Bullying And Verbal Abuse

While we may have thought bullying ended in high school, it seems not to be the case.

Bullying in the corporate space shows up in a form of micromanagement. Your work is intensely scrutinized and you are discouraged from independent decision-making. A lot of times you are subjected to overbearing supervision.  You might find yourself having to report your bathroom movements. Expect work delegation resistance and an endless list of poor working conditions.

Micromanagers usually scare employees through emotional and verbal abuse. Due to their power, you are unable to report the abuse they subject you to.

You can read more about the signs of micromanagement here


Exposed to a toxic work environment and in need of change? Stay tuned as I will be sharing more about freelance work and online businesses you can start immediately. Until then, keep well.