10 Signs You’re in a Toxic Workplace

by | Blog

Do you sometimes feel like you want to take the day off work to avoid a toxic colleague or a demanding boss? You’re not alone. 

In fact, in a recent survey by Rethinkly, 880,000 Londoners feel like they have a toxic relationship with their manager. While 1.2 million people in London are estimated to take time off work due to having difficulties in dealing and communicating with their bosses. 

Research by the Office for National Statistics found that absences from work due to poor mental health have hit a record high. The Institute for Public Policy Research revealed that last year 6 in 10 people who are not in work due to poor health suffer from a mental health issue, including stress, depression and anxiety. 

What is a toxic workplace?

A toxic workplace is like a gloomy and unpleasant environment that can make going to work feel like trudging through a storm. It’s a place where negativity, unhealthy behaviours and poor attitudes take centre stage, leaving employees feeling drained and demotivated.

10 signs of a toxic workplace

  1. Constant Negativity: Negative vibes are in the air like a heavy cloud, with complaining, criticizing, and cynicism becoming the norm.
  2. Lack of Support: Teamwork might feel like a distant dream, as colleagues compete rather than collaborate, and support is in short supply.
  3. Gossip and Backstabbing: Rumors spread like wildfire, and trust among coworkers is scarce, leading to a lot of “he said, she said” drama.
  4. Micromanagement: A toxic workplace might have leaders who breathe down your neck, making you feel suffocated and undervalued.
  5. Bullying or Harassment: Unfortunately, some toxic workplaces tolerate bullying or harassment, which can be emotionally and psychologically damaging.
  6. Unrealistic Expectations: Employees may feel like they’re drowning in an ocean of unrealistic demands and pressure to perform beyond their limits.
  7. No Room for Growth: Opportunities for advancement might be rare, making employees feel stuck in a dead-end job.
  8. Poor Communication: Information might be withheld or communicated poorly, leading to confusion and misunderstandings.
  9. Fear of Retaliation: Employees may be afraid to speak up about issues, fearing repercussions from management or colleagues.
  10. High Turnover: A toxic workplace often leads to a revolving door of employees seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

A toxic workplace can take a toll on mental and physical well-being, leading to burnout, stress, and a decline in overall job satisfaction. It’s like a dark cloud that hovers over everything, making it difficult for people to thrive and enjoy their work.

How to deal with work toxicity? 

Coping with work toxicity can be challenging, but there are practical steps you can take to navigate through it and, most importantly, to protect your well-being. So, sit back, take a deep breath, and let’s dive into this extensive list of ways to deal with workplace toxicity:

  1. Identify the Signs: Recognise the signs of toxicity in your workplace. Awareness is the first step towards making positive changes.
  2. Set Boundaries: Create healthy boundaries to protect your well-being. Learn to say “no” when needed, and prioritise self-care. Saying ‘no’ is like exercising a muscle—the more you train it, the easier it becomes with each repetition.
  3. Seek Support: Talk to a trusted coworker or a supervisor about your concerns. Sometimes, sharing the burden can make it more manageable.
  4. Limit Exposure: If possible, minimise interactions with toxic individuals to reduce their negative impact on your well-being.
  5. Practice Sophrology: Engage in relaxing Sophrology exercises to release tension and promote inner calmness. Sophrology helps you to stay present and focused, even amid chaos. Take a moment to breathe and ground yourself.
  6. Positive Affirmations: Boost your confidence with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your worth and abilities regardless of what your boss or colleagues might say.
  7. Practice Gratitude: Focus on the positive aspects of your job and workplace. Practising gratitude can shift your perspective.
  8. Exercise Regularly: Physical activity helps reduce stress and releases endorphins, which can lift your mood. Don’t forget to stand up or move every hour if you are in a sedentary role. 
  9. Connect with Nature: Take a stroll outside during your breaks. Nature has a magical way of soothing the soul.
  10. Cultivate Hobbies: Engaging in activities you love outside of work can provide a refreshing escape from toxicity.
  11. Practice Deep Breathing: Incorporate deep breathing exercises throughout the day to ease tension and promote relaxation when you need it most.
  12. Take Breaks: Step away from your desk or workspace regularly. Short breaks can recharge your mind and improve focus.
  13. Create a Supportive Network: Surround yourself with positive and supportive colleagues who lift you up as well as outside of work so you leave the workplace knowing you have trusted friends, partners and family to turn to.
  14. Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings to release emotions and gain clarity.
  15. Visualise Success: Use visualisation techniques to picture positive outcomes and envision a healthier work environment.
  16. Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on problems, channel your energy into finding solutions.
  17. Seek Professional Help: If the toxicity becomes overwhelming, consider seeking support from a counsellor or therapist.
  18. Laugh Often: Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress. Find humour in everyday situations.
  19. Know Your Worth: Remember that your value extends far beyond your job title. You are worthy of respect and positivity in all aspects of your life.
  20. Prioritise Self-Development: Invest time in personal growth to build resilience and cope with challenges effectively.
  21. Reward Yourself: Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Treat yourself to something special that will make you feel good.
  22. Reflect on Career Goals: Assess whether your current workplace aligns with your long-term aspirations.
  23. Plan an Exit Strategy: If the toxicity is unbearable, consider exploring new job opportunities that align with your values.

Remember, dealing with work toxicity is a process, and taking it one step at a time is ok. Use these techniques, including Sophrology, to create a sense of inner calmness amidst the chaos. You’ve got the power to navigate through this and create a more positive and relaxed work experience. You deserve a workplace that supports and uplifts you, where positivity and respect reign supreme!


Sophrology in the Workplace

In a fast-evolving business landscape, BeSophro can help you to build resilient and agile teams that can adapt to change and drive innovation. When individuals in the workplace practice empathy and self-awareness, they are better able to understand and connect with each other on a deeper level – changing the workplace culture.

Our BeSophro corporate programme helps you and your team: 

– Increase self-awareness and empathy

– Build positive relationships

– Manage adversity

– Set positive boundaries

– Create a work-life balance

Think your team would benefit from Sophrology? Book a discovery session today and let’s move away from toxicity together!



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