By Drashti Wani Nov 6, 2020
Healthy workplace culture is crucial to professional & personal growth.
Know the importance of healthy workspace and culture. Identify the ailing elements at work and understand the main cause behind your work-induced mental unrest.
As adults, most of us spend a considerable amount of our time working, either remotely or otherwise. The kind of work we do, the atmosphere we work in and the people we work with, individually and collectively, has a huge impact on our physical and mental well-being.
With growing complexities in the nature of work and changing work patterns, it becomes extremely important to remain conscious of our work surroundings. If your workplace is not treating you well, it is time you look deeper into it and do something about it.
To begin with, you must understand what are the characteristic features of a toxic workplace:
Communication is the key to get any business going. Whether you are being left out of important work-related information or being spoken to rudely by your manager, poor communication practices indicate unhealthy work relationships. It causes negative ripples across other aspects of your professional and personal life.
The onus of creating and maintaining a healthy work culture falls on everyone within the workplace. There is evidence that suggests that employees who have more control over their own engagement efforts are more highly engaged. Leadership provides guidance and drives workplace culture. If your boss loves to boss around and lacks basic leadership qualities such as sympathy, empathy and respect for everyone- you know you are in for endless unpleasant encounters!
To continue the good work, regular feedback and information about how you’re doing are highly beneficial. Your peers and your boss are usually in the best position to be able to provide you with quality feedback on your efforts. If you are not valued and appreciated at work, your workplace may not be as healthy as you’d like.
When more colleagues at work start looking for another job, or remain lethargic in their attitude towards work, might be an indicator that your workplace is causing employee sickness and mental fatigue.
The ultimate goal of every professional is to achieve growth, personal and otherwise. If you are stuck at your workplace, with little or no opportunities to grow and learn, your job may be doing more harm to you than good.
A toxic workplace impacts you more than you may assume. Not only does it cause excessive mental unrest, but also affects your physical health and well-being.
Sleeplessness, gaining weight, increased cardiovascular problems, sweaty palms, substance abuse, etc.
Irritation, anxiety, anger, frustration, depression (in extreme cases), staying constantly vigilant, damaged self-esteem, etc.
Your organisation bears the brunt of your deteriorating health via factors such as decreased employee productivity, low employee engagement and commitment, increased turnover costs and reduced citizenship behaviour. Incivility at the workplace also includes impacts on shareholder’s values and job security of C-suite employees. It hampers the overall brand image of your organisation by negative word of mouth, thus obstructing its success.
Pause reading for a minute and give it a thought.
Is your place of work exhibiting any of the signs you read above?
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms you read above?
If your answer to even one of these questions is yes, then it is time you trust your instincts and conclude that you need to do something about improving your work experience.
The shift of jobs is the most obvious alternative, but often, a difficult one. The COVID19 outbreak has added to the challenge of leaving the current job and finding a new one. You may also come across a state of dilemma, where you love the work you are doing but you have a hard time dealing with your colleagues and your boss. In such cases, why would you leave the work you love to do? It’s unfair, I agree!
If so is the case, then what should you do?
Ignorance is not bliss when you have to deal with a toxic workplace five days a week. The greatest advantage in your favour is your awareness of the subject. Once you are conscious about the way you are treated at work and you realise the negative impacts of your office surrounding, you can address it in the following ways:
In other words, do not bring your office home. Work on maintaining a work-life balance. A few scholars call this ‘psychological detachment’. The best way to ensure this is to engage your mind and body into something else. For instance, spending time with family, reading a book, listening to music, cooking your favourite meal or even playing games or sports.
Focusing your attention on things not related to work, will nourish your mind and keep you fresh and energetic. It will also strengthen your psychological immunity and make you more adaptable to deal with your work-related stress.
Addressing the mistreatment you receive at work may be challenging and even daunting for some of you, but, it is a long term and qualitative solution to weed out the negatives from your workplace.
If no one else is speaking up, you might need to be the one to do so to move forward. Make your voice heard. Own the change you wish to see. You may not receive complete support in the beginning but you should continue holding up interventions. Start with small steps.
Talk with your leader. Share your concerns with him/her. Provide genuine qualitative feedback to your colleagues. Discuss the issues which are bothering you and come up with a solution for the same in partnership. A complaint works best when presented with a solution. Be progressive in your approach. Ensure a pleasant and healthy exchange of views and opinions.
Take a break from switching across social media apps and look for some insightful readings on what troubles you at the workplace. You must make every minute and every hour of your work count. Professional experience and behaviour are, after all, more than just receiving salaries. It is about what suits your soul and what makes you happy, healthy and growing.
Comment below your experiences at a toxic workplace and how you dealt with it.