Work is not always the most fun place to be. That is to be expected. Then there are the toxic offices, and it can be hard to tell the difference. It is more than just a job you hate. When you go in positive looking for the good and how you can make a difference, it can be hard to realize right away that some of the issues should not be happening. There are some significant signs that you are working in a toxic workplace and should be changing it or finding a new office.

Different Messages

When working in an office, there is going to be a lot of communication. From the supervisor to those they are in charge of, and from coworker to coworker. What happens when coworkers are getting different messages from the supervisors? This can cause a lot of unneeded tension. A supervisor should have the same expectation for all employees. When special treatment is being awarded to some, the workplace is not going to remain peaceful. Equal responsibilities should be expected of all employees. If not, they are creating a toxic workplace.

“off-hours” Communication

There is no need to be routinely contacted about work in most professions when you are off the clock. We all need downtime to focus on our life outside of our job. Unless you have an on-call position there is no reason you should be doing tasks during your time. You will never relax fully because you will always have the thought in the back of your mind that work could be reaching out. To be productive and happy we need times that our minds are shut off to our work tasks. If this is occurring you need to bring it to the employer’s attention, which could lead to a toxic environment.


Cliques are so high school and should not be happening among the adults you work with. This is different from being new to an office and not having made friends yet. When groups are actively excluding others, and it is affecting work production. Another form of this is when gossiping is targeting different individuals. Different personalities are going to click and that is a part of life. In an office setting those relationship should never bleed into the task being accomplished. When they do, you are in a toxic workplace.

Stifled Growth

There are two ways limited growth can be toxic. One is when the employer is hindering it. To create a positive and motivating environment, they should offer ways to grow. That could be in the form of promotions, mentorship, or other learning opportunities employees can add to their resume. The other option is that you have reached the top in the workplace and are still looking to grow. Staying to long in a place you have no opportunities can turn toxic for you personally.

Do not stay in a toxic workplace longer than you must. You deserve better.

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