Is your workplace toxic? Tips on how to identify the signs

Having trouble identifying a toxic workplace? Here's how.

A toxic workplace isn’t fun for anybody.

It affects the business, learning and development, and the wellbeing of employees. With the world in a constant flux, the pressure of change and uncertainty already creates a tense work atmosphere. Add some toxicity on top of that and your office could be in trouble.

Workplace conflict resolution expert & MD of Segal Conflict Solutions Saranne Segal said that the pandemic hasn’t helped to alleviate a toxic workplace.

“People often think Covid would have lessened bullying because of the shift to remote working but it’s really the opposite,” she said. “Cyber bullying is not a new thing, but now even more people are able to hide behind a screen.”

Segal recently spoke with the Human Resources Director team and offered three warning signs that your workplace might be becoming toxic.

  1. The biggest red flag is a decrease in employee wellbeing. If staff are becoming increasingly burnt out, fatigued, and begin to have issues with mental and physical illness then it’s likely a toxic environment. Working should be enjoyable and relationships in the office should prove that. If staff are coming to work with low energy and spirit, there’s no camaraderie or relationship between co-workers, and there’s an increase in employee absenteeism, then this is a big red flag.
  2. The next red flag is if your company receives a high influx of bullying complaints. This one’s pretty self-explanatory: bullying is grounds for a toxic workplace. The last thing an employee needs is to be bullied and made to feel uncomfortable in their place of work, and it’s bound to have lasting effects on the mental wellbeing of those affected.
  3. Lastly, keep an eye out for a lack of communication. If you feel like you’re being kept in the dark or are receiving next to no feedback, this is a sign of toxicity. EAs usually love to seek feedback and asking for it often inspires a collaborative workplace. If this isn’t happening in your office, then maybe it’s time to assess what changes need to be made.