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How to Recognize a Bad Work Environment

Jul 22, 2022
How to Recognize a Bad Work Environment
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Work environments come in many shapes and sizes and they all depend on the superiors and teammates that are present. There are situations where your workplace can start becoming toxic due to a new teammate, a dynamic change, or even a change in workflow. 


Many managers choose to ignore any internal issues linked to human connections since they tend to focus solely on profits, though a burnt-out employee is as good as a missing one. Certain situations may seem like silly office drama but can easily lead to marginally larger problems down the line, which is why they should be brought to everyone’s awareness.

Today we will be looking at signs to watch out for to be able to recognize whether your work is a toxic work environment or not since there can be many traits that go overlooked.

Lack of communication

Team members not communicating with each other is a subtle yet influential sign that your work environment is toxic. Healthy team members express themselves within the group and maybe even argue. Participation is key in a workforce and if you find yourself in a team that is extremely passive and non-verbal, it may be time to reconsider your position there. 

The lack of communication can also be an indicator of a lack of trust between members of a team since it creates dysfunction and results in less commitment. Aggression can also be a side-effect of distrust since it is a show of primal instinct that is not suitable for the workplace. 

That missing clarity leads to many failed projects and will also shape employees’ listening skills negatively.

Too much communication

Gossiping at the workplace is equally as unhealthy as a lack of talking since it is created from a lack of communication. Colleagues should be able to talk openly with each other and no one should be spreading rumors on others’ personal matters. The reason many workers start gossiping is often related to not being heard. Creating an open environment fixes this usually. 

Group separation

When cliques start forming in the workplace it leads to a counterproductive dynamic within the workplace and even bullying/ workplace harassment in worse cases. These exclusions also mean that team members won’t help each other when they should, won't do nice gestures for one another, and those members may also be less productive due to chatting. 

Adding employee perks and having certain bonding activities all help teams not have extreme cliques.


If you start noticing a trend of only friends and acquaintances getting hired and promoted at your workplace, try to leave as soon as possible. There have been many cases of cronyism in workplaces and not only do such businesses tend to fail, but they also lack diversity. 

These workplaces overstep well-performing employees to just show favoritism and the lack of diversity leads to monotone, black-and-white thinking.

High turnover rates

If a workplace has employees constantly leaving it, there usually is something wrong with the employer or team manager since it isn’t the job employees leave but the boss. Toxic work culture is a large driving force for resignations, which is an act that takes a lot of energy, thought, and effort from the employee side. 

Other reasons for high turnover apart from inadequate leadership are disorganization, lack of communication, lack of opportunities, and so on.


Burnout shows up in different ways depending on the individual but can be defined as a feeling of exhaustion from being overburdened. Though burnout may seem like a sign that your workplace is toxic, it can also just mean you and your workplace are not compatible. 

There are three main types of burnout, the first being frenetic burnout. This form of burnout portrays a person who overworks themselves in hopes of achieving some type of reward but doesn’t get it after all their efforts. 

The second type is overworked burnout which is when an employee completely loses all motivation due to constant extreme amounts of stress and minimal rewards. It would be a superior’s duty to make the workplace sustainable and enjoyable. 

Lastly, under-challenged burnout is when an employee becomes bored and the lack of challenge demotivates them from continuing at the company further and disengages them. 


When project clarity and employee boundaries are unclear, the workplace can become an isolating place where conflicts can easily arise. Having a clear structure in a workplace with certain rules and policies put in place keeps everything organized and motivates employees to have a battle plan and continue working for the company. 

If you’re noticing a lack of structure it may be time for you to resign unless changes are being planned. 



About Author: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is dedicated to providing powerful solutions for your HR teams and creating an exceptional employee experience. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, onboarding, and to save you valuable time!

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