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How to Deal with a toxic Work Environment

by Evalyne Ndanu
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You may be in a work environment without recognising its toxicity. Signs of a toxic work environment may include High turnover, very poor morale, overall lack of enthusiasm, cliques and exclusion. You may find yourself in such a situation. How  then do you handle it? Here are some tips on how to Deal with a toxic Work Environment.

Find ways to unwind after work

While we cannot control how people behave, we are in charge of our own reaction. We choose how to respond and react to situations. You can choose to intentionally find ways to unwind after work. Unwinding allows you to relax and recharge before going to work again the following day.

There are various ways you can unwind after work, you can take a good bath or shower, read a book, listen to your favourite podcast, watch a movie, talk a walk, go for a run, meet with your friends for coffee. Doing things that you enjoy will help you to relax and gain some positive momentum. Moreover, It is the best time to recharge.

Avoid Office Gossip

Another tip on how to deal with a toxic work environment is avoiding Office Gossip. If you do not wish to be a propagator of  toxicity, better to avoid Office Gossip. Especially where there are cliques and exclusion, Gossip becomes very common. Gossip is dangerous because they erode trust, they may be based on rumours only and half baked truths and they ruin peoples reputations.

If you gossip with someone else, chances are, they will also gossip you with someone else. To stay clear of such drama and negative energy, choose not to participate in Office Gossip.

You can avoid Office Gossip by giving neutral responses when approached. Choosing not to bad mouth anyone. Eventually the perpetuator will get the sign that you are not interested and are not actively participating in their gossip.

Leave work issues at work

Additionally to deal with a toxic work environment, you can learn to leave work issues at work. This involves you setting healthy boundaries. You don’t want a situation where the toxic energy is sipping into you life apart from work. When you go home, don’t carry work with you.

Also, don’t tolerate work calls during non working hours. These are the calls that will probably leaving you more drained and non-enthusiastic. Moreover, it may be a window to get you to engage in office gossip and this is what you are trying to avoid. While at work as well, make sure you are fully immersed for maximum productivity and eventually ensuring that you do not take work with you at home.


Take breaks

Never underestimate the power of a break. In a toxic work environment, it is better to take breaks even short walks outside, meditation breaks and coffee breaks. Breaks take you out of your desk, improve your mobility and can boost your moods.

A meditation allows you to reconnect with your why. The why of your work and time It helps you to refocus and retune yourself as well as create better space for positivity. Take these breaks intentionally, actually better yet, schedule for Breaks when planning your day. Breaks are great for boosting morale and overall emotional health.

Have positive notes and reminders on your desktop or work area

While the environment may be toxic around you, you can create positive vibes around you. If you have your personal desk even better because you can give it a personal touch and bring in things that make you happy.

You can have your favourite mug with you, you can have positive notes on your work area. On your desktop as well you can make use of sticky notes for positive reminders.

We don’t just sit around and wait for other people. We just make, and we do.” — Arlan Hamilton

Look for supportive colleagues

It helps to look for supportive colleagues. They may be rare to find and it may take you a long time to find them, but it will be worth it. There is always a good soul somewhere. While majority of the people may be toxic, seek out the positive supportive ones.

Additionally, it helps if you avoid judging people from their physical looks. Supportive isn’t usually written on people’s foreheads. Seek them out and develop friendships with them. It will help gain some positive energy.

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