A harmful work atmosphere is made once an employee feels afraid, threatened and uncomfortable in his or her workplace due to the offensive behavior, intimidation or abuse by a colleague or superior.

The ongoing distress of a work environment where the pervading attitude is overwhelmingly negative, the management is self-interested and incompetent, and bullying and cliques are rife, makes you more likely to experience depression. It can leave you physically and emotionally drained in your work and personal life. And all that stress and depression can take its toll on your body. If you are undergoing something similar then take a deep breath and continue reading.

Be kind to yourself

The impact of a toxic environment is far-reaching. Prolonged stress is unsustainable. It causes us to break down physically, mentally and emotionally; it destroys our self-esteem; our performance suffers, as do our personal and work relationships. One of the best ways to deal with this is to find the fun and happy folks in your workplace and align with them. Make sure you take care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising. Spend time outdoors and in creative endeavors with people who matter to you. Recharge and regroup. And put out feelers for other opportunities.

Address the issue directly with the offender

On your first encounter of offensive behavior from your colleague or supervisor, it’s always better to bring their attention to their behavior. Stop them before it gets worse.

Inform Management and Human Resources (HR)

When you have tried everything and there is no option left, other than approaching HR and Management, then make sure you have all evidence against the offender. Stay calm and address the issue to Management, and let management handle the matter in their manner instead of you asking to fireside the employee or take action against the offender.

Focus on the Facts, Not the Stories

It will get very easy to get wrapped up in all of the stories being told. It may be simple to create these stories. I encourage you to take a step back, breathe for a second, and focus on the facts. What is happening here and what is not happening? Don’t waste your energy making an attempt to theorize why or why not one thing did or did not happen. Focus on the facts, don’t create stories that explain something regarding you, and keep grounded actually.

Document Everything. Seriously, Everything

Even if your work environment is not specifically “toxic,” you must think about documenting everything. Documentation is not foolproof protection from domineering managers or coworkers determined to throw you below the bus for his or her own mistakes, however it offer some defense. It is always useful to keep a work diary for your growth, but it can come in handy in other ways too. This implies saving and organizing each email associated with projects you’re working on. Make sure you take notes in meetings and on phone calls, and never trusting somebody to recall and agree after you inform them of something they said or did.

Don’t forsake your job

Don’t quit the job due to the toxic environment unless you think the situation remains persistent and you are not satisfied by the action of management or if it is affecting the productivity of your work. It sounds easy to quit the job to cope with such a situation but usually, it is not, setting yourself from one company to another will draw ample energy and time.

You’re not obligated to remain in a harmful workplace, particularly if you’re the sole one doing something regarding it. Your dignity may be disgracefully mocked, but no one can ever take it unless you surrender it willingly.  It’s all about making right decisions and finding strength to defend your boundaries.

No one should have to deal with working in a toxic office, but thankfully there are ways around it by using a few of these tips.

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