A toxic work environment can have damaging effects on your personal life and mental health.
Your workplace can be labelled as toxic if the atmosphere, work or people cause severe disruptions to the rest of your life. There are many tell-tale signs of a negative work environment, including narcissistic or passive-aggressive leadership, employee burnout, high employee turnover and the presence of cliques and gossip. Toxicity can take the form of many guises, and more often than not if your gut is telling you that something is off, it more than likely is.
If you are surrounded by daily negativity in work, this can start to have a severe impact on your self-esteem and mental health. It’s important to put steps in place to separate yourself from the daily toxicity. Here are my top tips to follow if you find yourself in a toxic work environment.
Surround yourself with positive vibes only
Stay clear of negative people in the office and surround yourself with like-minded colleagues. Chat to them about anything other than the toxicity happening around you and you will find your mood instantly lift. If anyone does try to rain on your positivity parade, don’t be afraid to tell them directly that you would prefer to stay out of any negativity.
Get out of the office
For the love of God, take your lunch break! When you are surrounded by negativity, it’s important to take 30-60 minutes to yourself during the day. Get outside in the fresh air, visit that cute café nearby or meet a friend; this will help clear your head and have a break from any toxic vibes in the office.
Document Bad Behavior
If your toxic workplace is a result of someone or a group of people, be sure to document all of your interactions. Keep any emails, internal messages, texts, meeting notes etc. on file, as these can be used if you decide to file a complaint in the future with HR.
Stay out of any gossip
Gossip is one of the most common behaviours seen in a toxic workplace. Gossiping usually is a result of bored or unmotivated employees and is something you can do without. If someone tries to engage you in office gossip, kindly excuse yourself.
Focus on improving yourself
Empower yourself by turning a bad situation into a good one by learning what you can from the situation. For example, you may learn from management and leadership mistakes in your current workplace, ensuring you won’t make the same mistakes in the future. The more you focus on improving yourself in a negative environment, the better. Your personal growth is something you will be able to take with you to your next opportunity.
Act with integrity
No matter how shite it gets, always act with integrity and in line with your values. It may be tempting to stop putting any effort into your work, but continue to do your best every day. You can’t control how other people behave; you can only control your own actions and reactions, so make yourself proud.
Plan your exit strategy
If your work environment is starting to have a serious effect on your personal life, there is no shame in calling it quits. Work on your exit strategy, update your CV and start applying for suitable positions. In doing so, you will see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and other jobs out there that don’t come with the negativity. Life is far too short to be unhappy, so do what is best for you.