Working in a Toxic Office Environment
Working in a toxic office environment is never rewarding. The management allows harmful, bad attitudes and behaviour. The culture condones it, and employees are rewarded for conducting unethical and wrong practices that lead to an uncomfortable workplace.
The bad attitude costs the company so much since communication is limited, people blame each other for almost everything, and the attitude and vibe are off.
If you are working in a toxic working environment, here is how you can handle it:
Leave your Work Stress at the Door
Leaving your work stress at the door can be challenging since you get the effect firsthand, and sometimes you get to carry the feelings for a long time without letting go. Your workplace is a big part of your life. It will help if you let go of the negative energy by leaving the stress at the door.
Work stress can be an enormous burden on your back most of the time. It is a big part of your life since you spend half of your life at work. However, you can learn to leave everything at the door by:
Commuting to unwind from the day and clear all the mental load.
Taking the train or driving home can help clear your mind, especially in the quiet of the car. You can also tune in to music or if you have kids, have them tell you about their day.
Do not get home with work backlogs in your mind. This may affect your family life or your social life. You will likely be irritable when stressed and take it out on your friends or family.
If you live just around the office block, you can go to an eat-out place and buy coffee or refreshment. This helps you go through the day and eliminate any stress from work in your mind. You can sit with your thoughts for some time or write them down while you enjoy your refreshment.
The park is also a beautiful place to help unwind from a toxic workplace. Many parks have birds eating, children having fun, or couples loving each other. This can be a helpful way to see the world from a different view that is not toxic.
Research shows that nature helps reduce stress hormones, anxiety, and nervous system arousal and instantly improves mood.
If you do not live in the city, you can find a spot in nature near the river that can help with work stress and help set the pace to start an evening happy and with the high self-assurance of a good time at home.
You can set a hard deadline for when to end your work day.
Setting a hard deadline for when to end your day is vital, especially if you always have big workloads from the office.
Setting these deadlines can be hard when you work in a big company with many deadlines at the end of the day.
However, you can create a schedule to ensure that you meet all the deadlines and that work is submitted within the period needed. This is possible by using a to-do list, scheduling office activities in your diary, or hiring a personal assistant.
Don’t Stoop to a Toxic Colleague’s Level
Stooping at a toxic colleague’s level can be tempting in a toxic work environment. Avoiding this, especially when confronted about an issue, would be best.
Stooping low to the point of fighting or having grudges that affect your work productivity can be demeaning and disturbing.
You can avoid this by staying calm during the confrontation. A psychology trick says that when someone insults you, remain calm, and they will think you are winning. Ok, the goal here is not to win.
Staying calm in an argument in the office will help you and the confronter solve your issues without attracting so much attention to yourselves. It helps change how people view you, and you will gain respect.
Staying calm will also help you collect your thoughts and understand what is going on to avoid overreacting or doing something you might regret later.
You can choose to go out and get some air during the confrontation. This helps clear your mind.
Without saying anything, leave and come back when your colleague has calmed down. Again, this helps avoid overreacting and saying things you might regret later.
Your colleague will not be in fight mode when you return, and you can solve the issue and come to an understanding.
Avoid Office Gossip
Office gossip is usually juicy, and you will want to indulge since you are human. However, do not, I repeat, do not indulge in office gossip.
In a toxic work environment, gossiping and bad-mouthing are a norm and culture that is very deep. That is how most employees get by to avoid handling the toxicity.
Office gossip can cause so much wrong, especially when “he said, she said” is involved. It starts with one employee, and then the whole office has the gossip but not the accurate one.
It is like the whisper game, where the first person whispers a message to the second and the message is passed to a line of people through a whisper. The last person has to announce the message; most of the time, it is not what the first person said. That is how gossip works.
This leads to bullying of the colleague being gossiped, and it takes a toll on them until it wares down to the next gossip.
On to the next one, right?
Wrong. Participating in office gossip can erode your morals and reputation and ruin lasting friendships. This is due to the vile hate that comes with it.
To avoid this, you can:
Keep your temper in check
Do not share personal information
Avoid dating a coworker
Toxic workplaces are so bad that they can drain your energy. If you can, the best advice that is not here is to leave.
If you cannot leave, make it better by cultivating a culture among a small group of people in the office that is different from the toxic one. It starts with you.