How to deal with a toxic work environment

Your environment shapes you and vice versa. 

It is a fact that healthy work culture can immensely help your growth. The opposite, however, also holds true – an unhealthy environment can depreciate your value no matter how much it pays. 

In this blog, we’ll help you identify key indicators to know if you’re in a toxic work environment. Spot them right away with the following 5 signs:

  • Undue Pressure
    If you are constantly finding yourself under pressure, it is certainly something you cannot deny nor cover-up. 

    Sometimes, due to urgent projects, the team may be working extra hours. This isn’t really a clear indicator that there’s toxic pressure involved.

    So what is?

    If workload constantly adds up despite you finishing a lot of deliverables already, it could be adding pressure to you: – The pressure to perform and deliver at all costs, regardless of the amount of work and regardless of the time given.

  • No freedom of opinion
    A workplace is an ecosystem of teams and personalities. This means that there will be differing opinions and ideas. 

    If you feel that you don’t have the freedom to share what’s on your mind, it may not be the right place for you.

    A job should go beyond just being able to pay for your bills. It’s meant to shape you and contribute to your growth. 

    If your workplace does otherwise, it could be better to find another one that brings challenges instead of leaving you stunned.

  • Micromanagement
    A person can only thrive in a trusting environment. A place where his views are appreciated, where there is room for flexibility and acceptance. 

    Micromanagement curbs this freedom. If employees are constantly subject to inspection by managers, it will make them conscious. 

    Micromanagement means nitpicking on details. It may be work or operations related.

    Micromanagement is the equivalent of a lack of trust. It is different from a manager/superior showing you the ropes and educating you about how things should be done so that you can learn and do things on your own.

    If you have a boss who keeps watching on everything you do to the point that you can’t breathe anymore, you may communicate this to him/her to make the relationship healthier. If he/she is not open to change, it’s your call to move on or stay put.

  • No Work-Life Balance
    Are you finding it hard to prioritize your work life with your personal life? Is your work taking over your home? Are you taking calls and answering emails late at night? 

    If you answered a resounding “Yes!” to all the above, it may be a clear sign that you don’t have a work-life balance.

    Yes, we all have to accomplish more than our fair share of work sometimes, if duty calls. However, if it is happening regularly, it’s time to make your voice heard.

Face a toxic work environment without quitting

Our team may be becoming toxic without us knowing it. But quitting is not always the best solution. If it’s on your mind, hold that thought. You might want to reconsider before rushing into things. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Practice healthy boundaries
    This varies, depending on one’s priorities and preferences. Know what you’d want to share with regard to your time and even private life.

    Developing friendships and work relationships in the office is normal and are even encouraged. However, if a person would rather keep to himself/herself, his/her privacy should be respected.

    It goes with one’s work preference as well. If an employee is not open to working beyond 6 PM because of previously scheduled activities, he/she should be respected and not be forced to compromise social life with work life.

    At the end of the day, it’s knowing your officemates well and treating them with respect.

  • Avoid People Pleasing
    Not everyone will appreciate you. Don’t make it your sole purpose to be liked by all your officemates.

    It’s not your fault. It’s just how things are. Don’t define your value by the number of people who approve of you or need you at the workplace.

    Focus on work, try to build relationships and you’ll be okay. Being yourself is easier than changing who you are just to please others.

  • Avoid Gossips
    Never believe a rumor. More importantly, don’t be the one spreading it. For crying out loud, the world is already filled with fake news as it is!

    Gossiping is unhealthy and affects focus. If you’re not dedicated to your work, you’re not being the best employee you can be.

    Gossiping may make you feel like you’re in the know or that you’re part of a special circle. In the long run, it can ruin friendships and relationships built within teams. Don’t let your organization rot from the inside.

  • Your work checklist
    Create a to-do list for work. It helps you be more organized. Also, This can also help you manage your day better. It gives a picture of your daily work and makes you more productive.
  • Take accountability
    Step up and take charge. Discuss the project you’re leading and constantly communicate with everyone involved.

    Layout your ideas to all the people in the team. Consult their opinions and trust that they want to make things better. Talk constantly and protect your teammates.

Is it time to leave?

If you feel that you have tried all the possible ways to deal with the situation and it’s still not working out, maybe it’s time to go. 

Here are things to look out for before you consider leaving:

  1. Work and factors within it are taking a toll on your mental health
  2. You don’t feel like you’re growing
  3.  You feel like your opinions and ideas do not matter
  4. You’re not able to openly discuss work-related problems 

Nothing is more important than your mental health. Your job should help your overall well-being. 

If you don’t feel like it’s turning out to be a mutual relationship, you can go to a place that aligns with your values more.


Is it possible that you’re the one who’s being “toxic” and not your environment? 

Yes, it definitely is. Do watch out so you can prioritize the welfare of your officemates. Here are key indicators that you could be causing toxicity in the workplace:

  1. You don’t set boundaries for yourself and for those around you
  2. You never say “no” when it’s out of your capacity instead of communicating properly
  3. You procrastinate a lot and make work pile up, adding to your own stress
  4. You don’t manage your time properly, affecting your colleagues

What should you do?

Examine yourself

Yes, toxic teams do exist. But so do toxic people. Before pointing that finger at everyone else, pause and take the time to reflect on your actions.

Are you being the catalyst that helps in your team’s growth or are you being the reason for their pain?

Sometimes, we may not realize it but we can be the ones creating the problem. Be the positive energy that helps uplift the situation at work.

We hope you learned a lot in today’s blog. See you again next week, Buddy!