If you dread going to work, you MAY be in a toxic work environment. In this post, we’ll explore the signs of a toxic environment

Excited About Work?

Everyone wants to feel excitement about going to work. When you start a new position, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and possibly out of your depth, but you are excited to go to work. If you dread going to work  because of a supervisor or a co-worker, you MAY be in a toxic work environment. Here are 7 signs that you might be working in a toxic environment:


Does someone at work talk to you like a child? Make you feel unimportant, insignificant, or unnecessary? Are your ideas welcomed with scorn? All of these are examples of belittling and clear signs of toxicity.


Name calling is childish toxic behavior. Other examples of berating are being dressed down in front of your peers, or being spoken to with sarcasm, or criticism instead of correction.

Abuse of Power

When your supervisor uses their position to expect non-work-related tasks from you, they’re abusing their power. Unless you are a personal assistant and these tasks are covered in your job description, classic examples are picking up their dry cleaning, making dinner reservations, shopping for them, etc. This can also be a quid pro quo situation, “I helped you get this job, so I need you to do ________ for me.”

Unrealistic Expectations

I’ll just leave this right here.

Screaming – Yelling – Temper Tantrums

Does someone you work with lose their mind over seemingly innocuous things? Yep – toxic. This is frequently not necessarily directed at anyone, but at EVERYONE in the vicinity. They are craving attention and not really adding anything to the tasks at hand.

Taking Credit

Have you ever had a great idea or outcome ripped from your hands and someone else takes credit for that work? You guessed it – toxic. In a synergistic work environment, everyone gets their share of the credit and taking credit for someone else’s hard work is NEVER ok.

Harassment – Sexual or Otherwise

This is the biggie. I would venture to say that nearly every adult female and even some men have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. This can be lewd comments, unwanted touch, unwanted comments about appearance or dress, quid pro quo sexual expectations from a supervisor, and the list goes on. But harassment comes in many forms and can encompass other examples listed above if done in a repetitive and constant fashion.

Toxicity = Poison

It’s that simple. The problem with poison is that it’s tough to leave it at work, and frequently people who work in toxic environments take the poison home and share it unwittingly with their loved ones. Conversely, if your home life is toxic, you could be bringing that poison to work and sharing your toxicity with your workplace. Neither is a good situation. And as the old saying goes, if you look around and can’t spot the jerk in the room, it’s probably you.

Stop by next week for info on what to do about your toxic environment.