Unhealthy work environments are usually the top causes of stress and anxiety. Given that we spend most of our time at work, having a safe and accommodate environment is key to a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we will define what an unhealthy work environment and coping mechanisms.
A toxic work environment is defined as a place that breeds unrest, fear, high turnover, negatively and bullying. In such environments you find that employees are always looking over their shoulder waiting for what is going to happen next.
You will notice that most employees in toxic work places are constantly applying for roles as they and not comfortable.
It is important to find ways of coping in this kind of environment as sometimes you are not in a position to leave and no open opportunity is available.
Here are five tips on proper ways to deal with a toxic work environment:
- Align Yourself with Coworkers with the same values
Having a support system is important in such an environment. Therefore, surround yourself with people who will encourage you and offer refuge. A positive support system will get you through each day. Focus on completing your tasks and the purpose and role you hold at the organization
- Speak out and Confront the Cause of Toxicity
Be open and speak out so that there is change in the workplace. However, it is important to be wise in how you confront the issue. Confront people individually and not in public as they will receive your feedback positively. If you feel that this will lead to retaliation, discrimination and harassment, choose to speak to human resources instead.
- Document Everything
Toxic work environments are usually characterized by unfair treatment and termination, therefore, ensure you document everything. Be a time off or specific deadlines of projects. Make sure that all concerns are also documented and shared through the proper channels.
- Be an Example
Do not get sucked into the toxicity. Maintain a clear head and encompass the same behavior that you want displayed in your work environment. Communicate respectfully in conflict and operate with integrity. Most importantly focus on work and optimum performance.
- Plan an Exit Strategy
If your attempts at creating a good work environment are futile, begin to seek options of better employment. Consider this especially if the environment has begun affecting you emotionally and psychologically.
Update your job profiles and begin looking for work in companies that align with your vision and goals.
Before leaving you should consider requesting for an exit interview so that you can share your feedback. Although the changes may not be implemented immediately, the feedback may go a long way in making other employees experiences better.
Please note that all work environments have their challenges and not all qualify as toxic. A good work environment encourages openness, fairness and lack of fear of favor. Be keen a lot to note your own toxic traits.
Sometimes you are actually the cause of toxicity in the work environment. For example, you may be the one treating people unfairly and receiving the same kind of energy from your coworkers. Be keen in evaluating the workplace and also research on other places especially if you are new to employment.
“Everyone deserves to work in a respectful professional environment that values who you are and what you bring.”
― Tamara S Raymond, Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career