Are you feeling unhappy or uncomfortable at work? If so, you might be in a toxic workplace. This type of workplace can have negative effects on your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to watch out for the signs. Below are five common signs of a toxic work environment to help you decide if it’s time to leave your job or look for a way to make a positive change in the current one.
1. You feel unable to be yourself
You should feel like you can be yourself at work without feeling judged or uncomfortable. If that’s not the case, it’s possible that your co-workers and/or boss don’t accept you for who you are. This issue can make going to work each day a chore, and it’s not a healthy way to live.
If you dread going to work each day, it’s probably because you’re in a toxic work environment. A job should be something that you look forward to or at least find tolerable, not something that you dread.
If you find yourself feeling unhappy and uncomfortable at work or feel sick at the thought of going back into the office on Monday morning, it might be time to make a change. Doing so could help your career.
2. You’re not allowed to ask questions
If you’re not allowed to ask questions at work, it’s likely because the boss wants you to just do as told and not think independently. It’s a sign of a toxic work environment and it’s problematic because you’re not able to voice your opinion or share ideas. Asking questions is a normal part of the learning process, so if you’re not allowed to do this, you won’t be able to perform your best.
If you feel like your boss is constantly breathing down your neck, it’s possible that you’re being micromanaged. This can make it difficult to get your work done and can lead to a lot of stress. If you are constantly being monitored and feel like you can’t make a move without your boss’s approval, it might be a good idea to look for a different job.
3. You take work home in a toxic workplace
If you’re always taking your work home with you, you won’t be able to disconnect from work and have some time for yourself. It also takes away time with family and friends. When you’re constantly thinking about work, it can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety.
It’s important to take a break from work once in a while and focus on your personal life. Otherwise, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
If you find that you’re always taking your work home with you, it could also be a sign that your employer doesn’t value your position enough to staff it adequately. It might signal that you need to talk with the boss about limiting job duties to certain times of the day to give you a better life balance.
4. You’re afraid to speak up
If you’re afraid to speak up at work, it’s likely because you worry about what will happen if you do. Maybe you’re afraid of getting in trouble, or maybe you don’t want to rock the boat.
However, not speaking up can lead to a lot of pent-up frustration. If you’re constantly biting your tongue at work, stop to consider why that’s happening.
Your boss should be making a safe space for you at work where you feel comfortable speaking up. If that’s not happening, or if your boss is always taking credit for your ideas, or your co-workers are always putting you down, you are in a toxic work environment.
5. The situation is affecting your health
If you’re constantly stressed at work, it’s likely that your job is taking a toll on your mental and physical health. Stress can cause a variety of problems, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more.
It’s important to listen to your body and mind. If your physical or mental health is suffering because of your job, it’s time to actively seek changes in the existing position or look for a new one.
Summary of toxic work environment signs
Some signs are easier to spot than others. If you’re constantly feeling stressed about work, dread going in, or argue continually with colleagues, that signals something is wrong.
If you start to feel more depressed or anxious than you used to be when you are at home, that’s another sign. The important thing is to recognize these problems early and decide what needs to happen to better the situation.
About today’s writer
Hire This Mom is a blog offering practical tips and job-search advice for working moms. We also offer coaching services to help women navigate difficult career transitions and achieve high levels of success in their jobs while maintaining a good work-life balance.