Lessons from a Toxic Work Environment

woman working on her laptop

At one point in a person’s life, they have fallen into the hands of a demanding boss or team leader. Maybe they even had to deal with a toxic work environment, too. It’s a taxing experience, but in hindsight, an experience that teaches them a few lessons in life.

Hard work

In this world, hard work is praised. More often than not, it is viewed as work, work, work, and more work. Nevertheless, people can learn the real value of hard work in toxic environments as bosses can give them a pile of tasks that they do not have a choice but to complete.

Become more observant before taking the job

During the interview process, you can assess the work environment of a company. Some of the signs of a toxic work environment are the following:

  • Too quiet – This could mean that the office does not have a communicative and collaborative environment.
  • Cluttered office – This does not set a good impression because a lack of organization can be present in other areas of the company as well.
  • Clean bathroom – A clean, organized bathroom is a subtle sign the company takes care of its employees.

Developing people skills

In toxic work environments, dealing with other people may be a rocky road. Some people might be narcissistic or love to spite other employees for their own gain. Developing a good way to socialize and work with different kinds of people is a great skill for future jobs and projects.

Despite these lessons, toxic environments should not be romanticized.

More than anything, these circumstances take a toll on employees’ mental, emotional, and physical health. Over the years, studies have seen a correlation with toxic workplaces and “increased depression, substance use, and health issues among employees.” Too much of this stress, without the feeling of recognition and accomplishment, leads to burnout, where the employee’s productivity and other abilities are negatively affected.

businessman at his desk

How can workplaces cultivate a better environment for their employees?

  1. Take into account their humanity.

While employees are there to work, companies should consider that they are humans and they get exhausted, too. Creating a team to help each other out can alleviate the workload from one person alone. Hiring locum tenens nurse practitioners when there are too many patients can prevent nurses’ schedules from being too packed.

  1.  Motivate them with career growth.

Because one’s career is a source of self-actualization, guaranteeing career growth for employees can improve retention. It’s great to have opportunities for learning and creating connections outside of the workplace. An example would be sending them to seminars that are in line with their skills.

  1. Allow employees to take a break.

Taking a break is one of the best ways to avoid burnout. When employees get ample breaks, their minds and bodies can take a rest and recover from the work that they have been doing. A break allows them to reconnect with people, unwind, and do something for themselves.

While hard work pays off, it is important to look after one’s mental health. In the long run, keeping employees satisfied and happy benefits the company as it encourages them to be productive and perform better.

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