9 Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

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A toxic work environment is an environment that includes a group of negative behaviors, such as bullying, screaming, etc., and these behaviors are rooted in the culture of the organization, negatively affect the psyche of employees, and are a cause of lack of productivity, high stress and job insecurity, says the psychology expert Amy Sullivan on what it means to be in a toxic work environment: “It is a feeling, not necessarily a checklist”.

Here are the signs of a toxic work environment
Among the most prominent signs that indicate your presence in a toxic work environment are the following:

1-Lack of communication with management:

Usually causes a lack of trust and a lack of a clear goal. Good communication and hearing employees is a significant reason for the success of the company. Without that, problems arise and exacerbate. This also causes a lack of seriousness in work and frustration due to the lack of positive feedback on the job and efforts of employees.

2-The direct manager is terrible:

There is a famous saying describing cases of employees leaving their work because of the direct manager: You do not leave a job; you leave a bad manager. A lousy manager results from flabby and weak management, primarily if he is characterized by several characteristics that lead the employee to lose self-confidence. Which causes a decline in his performance, and among these qualities are the following:

  • Lack of respect.
  • Too much blame.
  • Checking on the small details.
  • Not admitting a mistake and persevering to show oneself is right.
  • Not hearing or caring about the employee’s opinion.

3-Employees lose moral and material incentives: 

The lack of material and moral incentives in the organization leads to a loss of motivation among employees, as these incentives are considered an appreciation for the employee’s efforts and an attempt to raise productivity. This will lead to the emergence of many organizational problems. The incentives do not have to be money, although that has its value. However, moral incentives play a major role in developing employee performance, such as appreciation and respect, listening to opinions, offering training opportunities, and so on. The absence of these will create a toxic work environment.

4-High rate of turnover among employees:

One of the signs of a toxic work environment is the rate of rapid labor turnover, as it is a sure sign that the workplace lacks organization and striving to develop general performance, and indicates bad leadership and job insecurity in this company, which causes a large group of employees to leave their work over time.

5-Lack of flexibility: 

Lack of flexibility at work is represented by the inability to balance work life with personal life due to work pressure and lack of stability. Therefore the employee feels that his entire life is work, with no personal space for him, so every employee deserves to live an entire life outside work without worrying about what could happen at work. A quick indicator of the lack of flexibility is represented in the inability to take leave, which indicates that this place is a toxic workplace.

6-Extensive work pressure that causes exhaustion:

In addition to putting a lot of energy into it to the point of feeling drained, it may cause all kinds of exhaustion, especially unlimited fatigue, as this results in a feeling of boredom at work and is also associated with a lack of job satisfaction and fluctuations in the general mood.

7-Poor career development:

The reason for poor career development is the need for more clarity in the work policy and the absence of a clear career path, in addition to the weakness of the development plans for the employee and the company. Finally, To job dropout or job burnout.

8-The emergence of health problems:

One of the most vital signs of a toxic work environment is the emergence of health problems among employees during work. Many diseases result from high tension, extreme fatigue, and the inability to balance work and personal life. Among these diseases are:

  • Nausea and indigestion.
  • Major depression.
  • Permanent headache.
  • Insomnia and inability to sleep.

9-Lack of trust among employees:

Bad management and the lack of a clear action plan and management that understands employees’ problems and deals with them seriously may create an atmosphere of mistrust among employees and the inability to work together and understand them, especially if justice is absent among them, so that A group of employees is preferred over others, and given additional powers.


A toxic work environment is a group of behaviors that negatively affect the progress and development of the organization, whether in a traditional or remote work environment. Accordingly, organizations, through their departments, must be aware of the importance of developing this environment and creating a happy environment to ensure success and prosperity, The company’s effort will be in vain, even if it achieves success in the business world, as these successes will not last long, or there will be sustainability for them in the long run. Therefore, in light of the above, motivating employees and ensuring their belonging to the company by involving them in the practical environment, hearing their opinions, and maintaining communication are essential, in addition to trying to develop a development plan for the company and each employee.


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