7 signs that your work culture is toxic

Red flags such as criminal behavior and physical danger are obvious. Don’t ignore insidious symptoms such as poor communication, rampant gossip and flagrant unfairness.

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Do you dread your job as much on Friday as you do on Monday? Do you dread going into the office or interacting with a particular co-worker? Are you chronically stressed out or anxious at work?

We often continue working in a job even when the culture is making us unhappy. It’s like that old analogy of frogs in hot water: If you put a frog into hot water, it would jump out. But if you put it into cold water that slowly starts to boil it would happily sit there until it is cooked.

What started out as a good job and a positive work environment can change over time. Maybe a boss changes or the environment changes, and before we know it, the water is boiling and we are getting cooked in a toxic stew.

If you’re feeling stressed or unhappy, it can be good to take a check and look for signs of a toxic culture at work. Some warning signs are immediate red flags—you should never stick around in a job that is illegal or dangerous to your health—but others might be easier to miss and could signal that you should take another look.

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