9 signs of a toxic work environment

A toxic work environment is one where negative behaviors—such as manipulation, bullying, yelling, and so on are so intrinsic to the culture of the organization that a lack of productivity, a lack of trust, high-stress levels, infighting, and discrimination become the norm.

You might feel like you’ll be punished, humiliated, or rejected for speaking up, whether to share ideas, raise concerns or objections, or show up as yourself at work. Bohemond warns that over time, toxic workplaces can lead to anxiety or depression.

An employee might find themselves crying before work because they feel trapped, they don’t want to face yet another day of stress and rejection, but they really need the job. Or it can manifest as anxious people-pleasing behaviors, where someone works hard to exceed expectations even while feeling underappreciated, eventually leading to burnout.

Here are some signs to look out for: -

  1. There are no boundaries around work.
  2. People don’t trust each other.
  3. There’s no room to make mistakes.
  4. People treat each other with contempt.
  5. Interpersonal relationships aren’t healthy.
  6. There is no support for employee growth.
  7. People frequently feel gaslighted.
  8. People regularly experience physical symptoms of work stress.
  9. People are disengaged and burnout ratio is high.

Very well mentioned and good points to look out for to understand a toxic work culture/environment. Even I had a bad experience with such toxic work culture.


well said. all 9 points are very valid; when the employee feels involuntarily the ownership of his responsibility assigned to him that spells out the smooth sailing of positive work environment


Its always better to leave the company rather than staying and working in a toxic work culture.


You are right @Nitin

However, if you are an expat in a country where leaving the toxic company would also mean leaving your only source of income - it would be a hard decision. This is a very sad reality :frowning: