Most of us probably get pretty used to where we work after a while – the routine, the co-workers, even the building. Everyone’s got their own work to do each day, so you just sort of come to accept how things are. And that’s when the danger of a bad work environment can get missed. Things that make for an unhealthy or even hostile work environment can easily go unnoticed, so here are the top 10 signs to watch for.
Flickr user Augie Schwer
1. No One Seems To Have A Life
Work/life balance is crucial. Too much time spent focused on personal stuff makes your work suffer, but too much focus on work means the rest of your life suffer. If you’re noticing that you’re not the only one staying late every day or working on the weekends, it’s not just a problem with you.
2. Your Goals Are Impossible
Everyone feels overwhelmed by their work sometimes, but there is such a thing as unrealistic goals. Sometimes supervisors set goals based on the bottom line they have to report to senior management, without fully considering what it means for the actual employees. If you’re constantly feeling swamped with no end in sight and your colleagues are all in the same boat, something has to change.
3. Lack Of Communication
Communication is always important to make sure things work in an office, and when that falls apart, it’s the first sign that a hostile work environment will follow. It’s everyone’s job to maintain communication, but encouraging it is an important duty for the people managing the office.
4. The Stress Never Goes Away
Stress isn’t just a matter of worrying. Stress affects you mentally, physically and emotionally, and when it’s an everyday, every-minute ordeal it can wear you down and burn you out. And sure, many jobs can be stressful, but if you never seem to have a break from the stress and feel like it’s a pervasive situation throughout your office, that’s when you need to get concerned.
5. Your Colleagues Remind You Of High School
Cliques are the worst in middle school, high school, college – and perhaps even more so in the office. They don’t help with communication at all, and make employees resent each other when they feel like they’re being excluded. If cliques are forming at your office and seem to go unnoticed by management, its a big red flag.
6. Management Seems Disconnected
Your supervisors (and their supervisors) are dealing with plenty of their own work, so it’s understandable that they can’t check in with you about every little thing. But part of their job is making sure their employees are productive and have the means to get their jobs done well. If your office is trending toward little or no relationship between managers and the people they’re managing, disaster is imminent.
7. Accomplishments Are Never Acknowledged
You work hard. You have colleagues who work hard. And hard work should be recognized. Even if you’re not signing million-dollar deals for your company, doing your job as best you can is all you can do – and when you succeed at something, being recognized is what makes you want to keep working. When your accomplishments or the accomplishments of your co-workers are completely unnoticed or dismissed, it’s going to lead to trouble.
What are the other warning signs of a hostile work environment that you think people should know? Tell us in the comments below!