Coping with a Toxic Workplace

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It’s a sad fact but toxic work environments are commonplace, and learning how to cope with them can be very challenging. While there are parts of every work day that are often less than appealing, a toxic workplace can be a drain on your creativity, productivity, and your positive mental health. The problem is that they can often be challenging to change, and resolving toxicity issues can be a long process that may never yield positive results. If you’re currently working in a toxic workplace, here are the three most common coping methods, and depending on the scale of the problem, they may help when it comes to finding the best resolution.

Gathering Support

The first thing that you should consider doing if the atmosphere of your workplace is becoming unbearable is to assess if the problem is affecting more than just you. Talk to your colleagues and discuss the issues that you are having. If it’s a single member of staff who is causing the high levels of bad atmosphere, then the more people that you have to back you up, the more likely that you will be able to affect change. One of the main indicators of a toxic workplace is the forming of cliques, and if your office, factory floor, or retail store is showing those clear signs of division, then having a support network behind you can help your case when it comes to potential resolutions.

Document Your Working Day

It’s always a good idea to have some form of work diary. It is useful for monitoring your progress and growth at work, but it can also come in handy when you face toxicity. Having documentation that shows your levels of commitment to your work tasks can add firepower to your arguments when you start looking to resolve the inherent issues. Make notes in every meeting that you’re a part of, save relevant emails, and even make notes about phone calls that you have. Documentation will also be beneficial should events spiral out of control and end up requiring legal services. In those cases, hire an experienced legal team such as, who can address concerns such as repeatedly unpaid overtime and other work-related issues. While some managers will become defensive when they realise that you are documenting your work life, a good manager will recognise your reasoning and respond proactively. The more that you can prove, the less likely that toxic work colleagues can back you into a corner.

Know When to Quit

If your job is causing you any kind of emotional or physical stress, then it may be time to quit. While this is not an option that everyone can take, no job is worth more than your health. Far too many people force themselves to stay in toxic work environments due to a lack of options, so create some for yourself and attempt to move on. Commit part of your day to find an alternate work option, so that you can quit your job safely with another role to walk straight into. Be positive in your job search, and use your current position as a springboard to find a role that is better than your current one. Never wait for things to get better on their own, as toxic workplaces are often unsalvageable without significant staffing changes.

Every work environment needs to be a two-way street: the team that you work with should be as vital to you as you are to them. If you’re not respected or appreciated at work, then it’s time to consider your options.


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