Three Telltale Signs Your Office is a Toxic Work Environment

Toxic Work Environment


Are your officemates giving you nasty looks when they see you? Is HR ignoring your workplace concerns? Do you dread coming to work because of office politics and gossip?

If these things have crossed your mind, you could be working in a toxic work environment and it may be time for change. While everyone knows what the dangers of being in a toxic work environment are, identifying a toxic work environment is much harder. Most people tend to ignore the warning signs, thinking it’s just their imagination playing tricks on them. In the end, they needlessly endure bullying and unfair treatment until they can’t it anymore.

If you’re beginning to suspect your office has turned into a toxic workplace but aren’t sure about it, here are some red flags to watch out for.

  1. People are Forming Cliques

It’s high school all over again. You feel your teammates are talking about you, giggling as you pass them at the water station or cafeteria. The whispers and gossip are beginning to grate on you, but you can’t figure out what you did to deserve them.

Negative cliques are one of the classic signs of a toxic environment. Of course, you can try to keep your lines of communication open, investing time in building relationships with your officemates to see if it can ease the tension between you. But if your teammates are still shutting you out and being mean-spirited, consider it a toxic work environment beyond help – think of an exit strategy.

  1. HR is a Power Tripper

The HR department plays a critical role in workforce management. If they take on an air of power, using their position to remind employees they should be grateful for having jobs rather than ask for recognition or raises, you can expect employee morale to plummet swiftly.

If your HR department doesn’t recognize contributions and accomplishment, instead rewarding those who sacrifice vacation time or work despite being sick, it may be time to seek work elsewhere. You should also be wary when HR resorts to yelling instead of honest discussions, and passive-aggressive comments instead of clear and concise feedback.

  1. Favoritism and Inconsistent Workforce Management Policies

Favoritism and poor workforce management policies are also classic signs of workplace toxicity. If you notice a trend of nepotism, that is, your boss using his power or influence to promote friends and relatives, or rewarding outsourcing contracts to the same set of names (their friends and family), watch out.

You should always be wary when only a select group of people is getting benefits and privileges not shared with everyone else. If you expected to be rewarded for your merits, you’ll only end up disappointed in this kind of workplace.

Should you decide to switch jobs, contact Star Staffing today so we can help you find a position at a much healthier and happier environment. Visit our contact page to get in touch with one of our job search agents.