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How a Toxic Work Environment Affects Mental Health

By Arslan Hassan

Undoubtedly, mental peace is essential for productivity at work. These days' organizations are working to provide peace of mind to their employees to enhance their performance.

However, workplaces having a toxic work environment fail in their objectives. Toxic work environments are characterized by negative work relations, a robotic focus on work without regard for employee health care, and lack of employee encouragement, etc.

Above all, we often do not recognize that we are working in a harmful environment when we are a part of it; it's only when we look at it objectively do we realize the stress and anxiety it's causing us.

Bringing a positive change in such an environment is challenging. However, modern-day firms devote plenty of time to cultivating such an environment. Employees, on the other hand, should be well-aware of its negative impacts. It directly disrupts our most valuable asset, which is mental health.

Let us learn how:

angry boss

What is a Toxic Environment?

Does your boss humiliate you now and then? Do your colleagues make you lose your self-esteem? Every time you step inside your workplace, how well do you feel? Do you feel stressed out, demotivated, and insecure? If yes, you are working in a toxic environment.

Hence, a toxic work environment is one that makes you feel distressed, uncomfortable, and demotivated. Now, you must be thinking about remote workers. You can even have this environment at home.

If you are not taking out time for yourself, keeping your workplace messed up, and not coordinating with your team, you are again in a toxic environment. But, do not worry. You can easily transform this toxic environment into a healthy work environment.

For this, you firstly need to understand its impact on your mental health.

Impact of Toxic Environment on Mental Health

We all spend nearly half or 1/3rd of our day in a workplace, either physically or virtually. Spending this much time in one place is likely to leave an impact on our mental health. Consequently, employees deal with negative rumination.

It means such negative behaviors and acts repeatedly jiggles in muddles their mind. It leaves an impact on their work, sometimes making them completely unable to perform tasks. Additionally, some other impacts include insomnia, depression, anxiety, and the inability to think critically. Let us learn more about them:

  1. Anxiety

Regular events of discouragement result in several mental disorders. One most common problem is anxiety among the employees. Anxiety is a state of constant agitation; employees may stress out about small things and end up losing focus on the things that matter.

Moreover, they won't be able to perform their tasks with full concentration, which could lead to mistakes and lowered performance. If it gets worse, it can even lead to depression, social isolation, and chronic headaches.

When I am anxious, I make silly errors that impede my work; for instance, I may send an email to the wrong person, I may forget and miss a meeting, or I may accidentally start searching for carpet cleaning near me when I mean to search for carpet cleaners near me.

  1. Stress

Immense stress can even lead to personality disorders and panic attacks. When employees are bombarded with a heavy workload and unrealistic deadlines, they become the victim of stress. During the recent pandemic, many employees are facing stress related to job security.

  1. Insomnia

Sleep dysfunction and insomnia are some other impacts of a toxic working environment. Due to unsatisfactory working conditions, when our mind is not in peace, we can sleep. Recurring thoughts about negative attitudes, humiliation, and demotivation make us unable to sleep.

Therefore, we do not wake up with a fresh mind. When our mind is not working properly, productivity also starts decreasing.

Now that you understand how a negative work environment affects mental health, let us learn how to eradicate this issue:

How to Eradicate Toxicity from a Workplace

Being humans, it is our responsibility to care for each other's mental health. Besides taking appropriate steps at the employee level, workplace management teams should also design coherent plans to deal with such situations.

Consequently, it will boost productivity, which is better for the overall well-being of the business. Let us learn how we can collectively eradicate this growing problem of a firm:

1.Learning Detachment Strategies

Organizations can arrange various workshops to teach about this issue. One effective strategy is psychological detachment. Firms can train employees to use this tactic for detaching their minds from routine work stress.

In this tactic, we remind our mind with things like "I do not think about work environment after work hours" or "distance from work is essential."

Besides this, there are various other ways to detach yourself from work—for instance, regular exercise. Setting a proper routine and indulging in healthy activities can also help. Apart from it, planning future goals, thinking about vacations, and creating weekend plans can further distract your mind.

Firms can arrange monthly events to teach about exercises for detaching employee's minds. Moreover, they can provide discounted programs for exercise and meditation to their employees.

2.Relaxation Techniques

When our body produces happy hormones, we feel relaxed and motivated. No matter how stressed you are, always indulge in relaxing activities. These techniques vary from person to person.

Do what gives you satisfaction and makes you happy—like helping the poor, hanging out with friends, practicing yoga, having a morning walk, and so on.

Firms can give employees multiple break times in which they can relax. Besides this, regular workshops and training about relaxation tactics are also helpful.

How Firms can Take Positive Steps:

Organizations can address this growing issue in the following ways:

  • Spreading awareness about positive employee treatment

  • Giving rewards and encouraging employees

  • Training and development

  • Ensuring a safe working environment

  • Encouraging employees to speak freely

  • Improving coordination among teams

  • Providing regular support

Wrapping It Up

In short, a toxic environment is present in every other organization. Depending on the severity, it impacts our mental health. Issues like stress, insomnia, and depression are some of its impacts. As employees, we cannot change the uncontrollable factors.

However, we can work on our tactics to deal with this matter. Adoption of relaxation tactics, exercising regularly, and psychological detachment is helpful. Similarly, firms can also take positive steps to eradicate the issue. Some helpful practices include regular training, awareness about psychological behaviors, and employee encouragement.

If you are also a victim of a toxic work environment, use these supportive techniques to stay relaxed. Do not think what others think about you; stay focused and work hard!

About the Author

Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning London.

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The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


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