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3 Things to Do When Your Workplace Is Toxic

When your office’s work culture is getting too much to handle

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BY Pauline Mendoza - 02 May 2018

3 Things to Do When Your Workplace Is Toxic

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

When you have a boss that never admits making a mistake, passive-aggressive co-workers, or an unreasonable amount of work, chances are your workplace is toxic.

While it is a fact of life that there are plenty of things beyond your control, here are some changes that can make yourself and others feel better in the workplace:

1. Smile

Spreading positivity might be overrated for some, but small acts of kindness, especially in a toxic workplace, can go a long way.

Christine Porath, in her New York Times article “No Time to Be Nice at Work,” notes that in her survey covering 17 industries revealed that 40 percent of respondents say that they have no time to be nice at work.

Porath argues, “But respect doesn’t necessarily require extra time. It’s about how something is conveyed; tone and nonverbal manner are crucial.”

One way to be nice without having to worry about investing in extra time is to smile at your co-workers whenever you talk to them. Or it can be as simple as saying thank you even for the little things they help you with.

2. Set boundaries

When you notice something about a workmate’s or a manager’s behavior that negatively affects the workplace, it is better to speak up. Remember to do it in a calm, respectful, and professional manner so the other party won’t feel offended and become defensive.

Lay out the reasons why you’re feeling uncomfortable and how his or her actions are not good for the team. Hopefully, by the end of the conversation, there will be a consensus.

“Leaders need to build upon collaborative dialogue skills in the workplace with an emphasis on dealing with challenging conversations. When you understand how to handle conflict, the bonds of trust between employer and employee is immediately strengthened,” writes Susan Steinbrecher in this Inc. article.

3. Collaborate

People are likely to be more engaged if they understand what’s going in the company. It is because they are able to understand how their work impacts the team and fits into the goals of the entire organization. Nowadays, just minding your own work won’t cut it.

Try collaborating with your workmates and see how each of you can contribute to make the task more manageable.

Remember that it all starts within yourself. Look around the office and ask yourself, how can I inspire a healthy work culture in this place?

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