Most people have worked in a 'toxic' workplace – these are the red flags

People in full-time employment spend more time working in a day than they do anything else.

So, if it feels toxic, it’s going to have an impact on you over a sustained period of time.

While you might feel like you’re always talking about your problematic boss to a friend who doesn’t quite get it, sadly it’s an experience most of us can relate to – even if you do feel alone.

In fact, 70% of people have worked in a toxic workplace, according an Instantprint study.

More than half of those surveyed said they’d quit a job if the workplace didn’t feel healthy, which is particularly true among female workers who are more likely to take this seriously.

When looking at particular industries, those in marketing, PR and advertising statistically have it worse with toxic workplaces, as 88% of people surveyed in this sector said they’d experienced this.

The science and pharmaceuticals industry is one of the least toxic, with just 46% feeling they’ve been through these working environments.

One thing that determines people’s views of what is and isn’t toxic is the work-life balance.

But outside of this there are certain red flags people commonly look out for, such as:

  • Passive aggressive attitudes (46%)
  • Bulling (46%)
  • Cliquey behaviour (37%)
  • Favouritism (35%)
  • Gossip and rumours (35%)
  • Poor communication around outcomes (32%)
  • Timed toilet breaks (20%)

Interestingly, those in the media industry wouldn’t deem bullying as toxic behaviour, which might suggest something about how normalised it is.

Laura Mucklow, who was behind the survey, said: ‘Working through the pandemic has forced many of us to take a step back to reflect on what’s really important to us, and whether or not the values of our employers match our own.

‘The stats revealed in this study should prompt companies whose focus on workplace culture might have taken a backseat over the past year and half to reassess their people strategy, establish clear goals and encourage positive and professional communication to maintain a healthy and productive environment for the whole team.’

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