In an ideal world, we’d all come to work where everyone is happy to see each other, you get along, and everything runs smoothly. However, what many people face in their daily work life is quite a different story. Sometimes the work environment can be toxic. What do I mean by toxic?
A toxic work environment is often described as having these characteristics:
- Lots of drama
- Infighting among staff
- Lack of direction, clarity and focus
- Passive-aggressive communication
- High employee turnover
Oftentimes, we’re not in a position to change jobs or we may want to stick with our job to see if there will be changes in leadership and/or direction down the road.
If you need to stay in a toxic work environment, here are six ways to best cope:
- Come up with ways to decrease your stress while you are at work. When it is becoming too unbearable, utilize stress-reduction strategies at the office.
- Don’t contribute to the drama – don’t get involved in the office drama or gossip. Even if it’s about you! Keep your calm, don’t engage. It doesn’t say that you are weak, but it proves that you are strong!
- DO your work. You were hired to do a job. Do that job and do it to the best of your ability.
- Keep it in perspective – you are at your place of employment to do a job. You are supposed to be there for a certain number of hours. When it’s time to go home – leave. And leave the work problems behind you.
- Find a person or people that you genuinely connect with.
- Plan an exit strategy, if you must.
I would never EVER advise to walk off of a job, unless you are physically in danger. If you must leave, you need to do it strategically. Evaluate your finances, create an action plan and be prepared in case it takes you time to find a new source of income.