Toxic work culture – time to quit?
Considering the amount of time most professionals spend at work, it is vital to be at peace with the chaos that makes up a workplace. However, if the reluctance to wake up grows and each step to work feels like a slow march to the gallows, then it’s time to call it quits. Here are five signs to know if your workplace is toxic and why you need to pull out before you find your career six-feet-under.
The internal bureaucracy is stifling
According to Robbie Abed, digital marketer and founder of Fire Me, I Beg You, “I'm okay with getting approvals on some things. That’s normal for work. But when you need to get approval for everything, even the smallest of details, you will start to suffer at work.”
Now transparency and hierarchies are pertinent to the framework of each organisation, but their purpose is defeated when it comes at the cost of productivity and loss of time and resources. Matters such as redundant tiers of approval to micro-management to dragging project meetings involving everyone who is not to be involved are frivolous to a point where it can crawl up an employee’s skin sooner or later.
Infiltration of personal time
While you are at work, you are expected to take on extra burden from time to time. However, if that burden spills into your personal time on a regular basis, you must put an end to it. Consult your boss about the issue, and if you see no respite then gear up to look for another job. Also, remember to put this as a pre-requisite before you consider signing the dotted line.
Disruption of daily routine
If you feel psychologically fettered and exploited in the name of ‘work is worship’, you need to take some time out to evaluate your way forward. Be it the constant bombardment of ‘respond asap’ emails or the ‘urgent work’ on your off days, employers and clients can run (even ruin) your life amok if you don’t draw a line.
Mediocre and uninspiring co-workers
Since most of our waking hours are spent at work, colleagues by extension become an active part of our professional habitat. Now an ideal workspace is where you can co-exist and raise each other’s game. But as most workplaces go, such a construct is more likely to be dreary, let alone be ideal. Being surrounded by mediocre or uninspiring co-workers can really make you rue your efforts, as your drive to perform and excel takes a beating in such an environment. So, you either change the equation by leading the way or move out if the mediocrity becomes too toxic.
Bias is common practice
Workplaces are melting pots where individuals of all backgrounds and personality types assemble, sometimes making it a petri dish of social baggage such as bias, prejudice, and insecurities. If the toxic culture harboured by your workplace forces you to compromise on your morals and ethics then don’t even think twice before jumping ship.