Is your workplace toxic?
A survey of 9,000 tech workers by Blind finds that more than half of those surveyed believe they are indeed working in a toxic environment. Half of workers at Amazon and Intel agreed they were working in such an environment, along with about 25 percent of Google employees and more than a third of Facebook workers.
Unfortunately, tech workers are not alone, and more Americans now believe that a toxic work environment is the new normal.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
While you may not be the CEO or even someone in a management position, you don’t have to just sit there and accept toxicity. For one thing, such an atmosphere can damage your physical and emotional health, and for another….well, it’s just wrong.
There are several ways to combat toxicity in your workplace:
1. Take a reality check. Is the feeling of toxicity being fueled by outside sources? Try taking a break from negative social media or dwelling on news that pits one side against the other.
2. Enlist support. If you’re feeling that things are toxic at work, you’re probably not alone. Look for someone else who would like to break the cycle of negative thoughts and actions. Think about supporting one another with a more positive frame of mind by countering negative comments at work with ones that are grounded in fairness and optimism. It’s been shown that civility can spread.
3. Choose your response. When you’re around negativity, it can be easy to let yourself be controlled by it. But if you make a commitment to yourself that you’re not going to let someone else control your reactions, then you’re on your way to combating toxicity. Surround yourself with positive messages and people to stay in a positive frame of mind.
4. Speak up. Sometimes we fall into bad habits without even realizing it. If someone is making offensive comments about another worker, for example, you can speak up and simply say that such comments are not appropriate. That may be enough to alert the colleague that he or she has crossed a line and needs to get back on track.
Finally, don’t forget that you can’t let workplace toxicity dominate your life. Find hobbies or activities to break your negative mindset, or call on friends or family to help you talk through your concerns and then re-frame events to stay more positive.