Toxic Work Environments are Bad for Your Health

Working in a toxic work environment can be very bad for your health. Not only does this type of environment affect you mentally, but it can also affect your physical health as well. Working in a stressful environment over a long period time can become very toxic for the mind and body. This is one of the reasons why employee absenteeism is very high.

Toxic work environments have been around for a long time, however they seem to have increased somewhat in the past several years. Some of this may be due to the unstable economy, which has created high levels of stress for CEO’s and business owners.

At many manufacturing companies today for example, the owner is feeling a lot of pressure from overseas competitors. This type of stress usually trickles down to other divisions and departments.
Other ways toxic work environments are created, is by disgruntled employees constantly spreading gossip and rumors of gloom and doom. Just about everyone has worked with someone like this. All it takes is just one person to make a work environment unbearable. This type of person usually begins by starting rumors about the company, or starts complaining about current work conditions. Their goal is to make all those who work around them feel fearful and start hating their job. If this doesn’t work then they will try to start rumors about a possible merger or potential layoffs. Their ultimate goal is to build chaos and company distrust. It is selfish tactics like these that gradually start creating a toxic work environment.

The health consequences of working in an environment like this include sleepless nights and daily headaches. Before you know it you have a company full of unhappy and unproductive employees. This is in turn causes management to either fire people, or put on more pressure to increase production. Neither one of these scenarios is beneficial for the employee or the company.

The best way for a business owner to prevent having a toxic work environment, is to immediately identify the employee who is starting all the rumors and trouble. Once identified the employee should receive a warning about their behavior. If there is no change in behavior within a week, then the person should be fired. This might sound harsh, but a toxic employee can cause a company to lose thousands of dollars. In the end, the owner of the business must do what is best for their company and their employee’s emotional health and financial future.

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