How to Deal with a Toxic Work Environment
Toxic work environments come in many forms, none of which are nice environments to work in. It could be bad management, unfair politics, gossip, negative colleagues, it could even be poor work conditions or unfair remuneration. Dealing with a toxic work environment can vary depending on the situation you are in specifically. However, there are some things you can do to help improve your circumstances, even when you may feel it is all out of your control!
Here are our tips on how to cope with a toxic work environment.
Learn to speak up
Confrontation is not for everybody, and it can be really hard to speak up in situations that feel unfair, such as a colleague taking credit for your work. Find the way that suits you, but learn to speak up in your own way. For example, it could be in the moment, or it could be after the fact. If you feel uncomfortable about a situation, either talk to the person who you have the issue with, or your manager (if they are receptive), about how you are feeling.
You can approach the situation in a kind and calm manner whilst still being strong in expressing what you feel wasn’t right, and perhaps offering a solution or compromise for the future.
Focus on your work goals
It can be easy to get caught up in drama, especially if you feel it is all around you. A good way to not let it effect you is to simply have a strong focus on your work and achieving your own goals and tasks.
Don’t participate in the negativity
Furthermore, don’t get sucked into participating in any negativity such as gossip or office politics. It is easy to have an opinion, but it is wise to keep it to yourself and continue one performing as best you can so that there is as little fallback on you as possible. In this instance, operating with tunnel vision with your work at the end of the tunnel can be extremely helpful.
Seek out friendships and positive people
Not everyone around you can be completely toxic right? Observe and gravitate towards positive people who also focus on their work and spreading kindness to others. Steer clear of negative influences and try to create trust and friendships with others, even if they aren’t directly on your team. Having a good support network can make a huge difference in your work environment.
Find hobbies and things you like to do externally
To help with ‘not bringing work home’ – find hobbies and passions outside of work that can help distract and de-stress. It’s important that work does not feel like it is consuming your entire life, especially if you feel it is negatively impacting you not just in the office, but after you leave too. Finding things you enjoy outside of work can be your solace and help create some calm for you.
Talk to a trusted person in HR
If the issue is more serious and you feel it needs to be addresses professionally, begin to get acquainted with your human resources department and learn who would be the best person to confide in about your issue. A formal complaint or review of a person or situation has to be addressed and cannot be ignored, it could be the right step in helping to remove toxic colleagues or to achieve better working standards.
Plan to leave your job
Some places of work are simply not for us, and it can be helpful to create a plan to leave your job and find work elsewhere. It is okay to create this plan whilst still in your toxic workplace. Not only will it give you something to look forward to and focus on, but it is a productive activity that reminds you all situations are not permanent, and you have the power to create a better circumstance for yourself. This can give you a sense of confidence that will help you move forward to bigger and better things!