Nearly half of full-time employees spend more than 50 hours at work per week, according to Career Metis. Overworked employees, combined with the effects of a stressed-out environment, can lead to arguments, unpleasant feelings and even a toxic workplace. Take a look at six facets of the contemporary American workplace that could lead to an uncomfortable environment for everyone at the office.
Bullies can cause a toxic workplace by creating a trail of harassment through digital communications and behavior at the office. For example, someone who gets mad at his co-workers can create fake social media accounts and fake email addresses to send disparaging messages to colleagues. Bullies can single out and isolate people at the workplace, making it nearly impossible for the targeted person to feel safe and comfortable.
It's not uncommon for bosses to abuse their authority, go on power trips or treat specific workers unfairly. When an authority figure fails to foster a positive work environment, everyone suffers. Examples of abuse from supervisors may include belittling employees, name-calling, singling out workers for purely negative reasons and sexual harassment. Poor supervisors could also take credit for someone else's efforts or deflect blame to a co-worker when things go badly.
Good communication among workers and managers generally creates a happier work environment, but a lack of communication may lead to a toxic workplace. A complete lack of effective communication can lead to arguments, upset feelings and reduced production. Managers with poor communication skills might delay their responses to an employee's concerns, speak in an argumentative tone or simply not communicate at all.
Cliques are common in an office environment. People in cliques favor themselves and their work buddies but spurn others who are not part of their social groups. This can create a toxic workplace that fosters gossiping and rumor spreading and also causes an uncomfortable environment for those who aren't part of a clique. High turnover rates are typically the end result.
Policies at work exist for a reason. They help put everyone on the same page and lay out the ground rules for the office environment. Policies and rules also help people stick to their daily duties for optimal productivity. When managers fail to enforce company policies, or simply don't care for them, subordinates are likely to end up resenting the supervisor's attitude, leading to a toxic workplace. Suddenly, the whole team doesn't care and no one focuses on their core job duties.
6. Domestic Violence
Both the perpetrators and victims of domestic violence may bring this type of issue to work simply because enduring mental, physical and emotional abuse at home changes a person’s overall attitude. Victims of domestic violence might react belligerently towards another worker for no reason, may show physical bruises and scars, or could withdraw from normal workplace activities.
A toxic workplace is different from simple conflicts. Employees can expect to have occasional arguments at the office because that's human nature. However, a constant state of misery and upset is not normal, and that's when job seekers should start looking for better opportunities.
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