7 Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

Is it just a bad day or a toxic work environment?

Katy.C
The Startup
Published in
5 min readOct 31, 2019

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Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

I recently left a toxic work environment. Although at the time I did not realize how toxic it was. I was unhappy at work. I thought I was unhappy because I did not fit in and did not enjoy the work. Both of these were true.

However, the work environment was also toxic. It allowed for no room to grow or career development. A toxic work environment creates an unhappy workforce. No one wants to work in a toxic environment. People will come to work unhappy and leave work unhappy. They will be distracted by things that are not productive. They will engage in workplace gossip and backstabbing. A toxic work environment will not inspire productivity and creativity. It will create the opposite. Although I am no expert, these are the signs I noticed.

1. Your employer threatens your job

Your boss should never threaten to fire you as a tactic to motivate you. It is a terrible tactic and will only cause stress and anxiety. They should never say things like, “We may have to pull the plug,” or “I don’t know what is going to happen if you don’t meet your target” or “ We don’t have bench warmers here.”

These tactics never work. It does not inspire you to work harder and faster and produce more results. It will only inspire you to do one thing; look for another job.

No one wants to be threatened with possible termination. Even if it was only a threat, it will loom over your head and distract you from your work and cause unnecessary stress.

2. Your employer threatens disciplinary action

My previous bosses loved to threaten. Warnings, disciplinary action, or anything else they could conjure up that might instill fear in their employees.

Your employer should never threaten anything ever including disciplinary action. If your job is being threatened, then so is your livelihood. Being threatened with disciplinary action or a warning is not going to help you work any better. Especially if that disciplinary action never materializes and you are left coming to work every day in fear. This will not create a productive work environment.

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Katy.C
The Startup

Lawyer by day, writer by night. Healing my heart word by word. I write about traumatic breakups, heartbreak and dating