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  • Writer's pictureMallory Hewlko

Toxic Workplace Culture: Recognizing the Red Flags

Work is often more than just a paycheck or a list of tasks. It shapes our identities and forms a significant part of who we are. But when our work environment becomes toxic, it can severely impact our mental health and overall well-being.


The Culprits of Toxicity: More Than Just Bosses While toxic bosses—those who take credit without acknowledging their team's efforts or resort to fear tactics like yelling—often take the spotlight, they aren't the sole creators of a harmful work culture. Indeed, a boss's behaviour sets the workplace tone, but there are other subtle and equally damaging forms of toxicity lurking beneath.

Take toxic productivity as an example, often masked by the glorified "hustle culture." Constant busyness is mistaken for efficiency, leading to a quick path to stress and burnout.

Similarly, toxic loyalty arises when commitment to a company surpasses personal ethics or well-being. Leaders expecting blind allegiance inadvertently pave the way for discontent and demoralization.

Even positivity can have a dark side. Toxic positivity overlooks real issues, pushing for a constant upbeat outlook. Rather than addressing the underlying problem, this dismissive approach burdens the individual further.

Navigating and Detoxing from Toxic Work Environments If any of the above resonates, it's crucial to establish personal boundaries. Create a proactive strategy for confronting toxic situations to retain a sense of empowerment.

Realizing the mental toll such environments can exert is equally important. Dedicating moments to unwind after challenging days can prevent negativity from invading your personal life. And, if the toxicity becomes too much, consider looking elsewhere.


Recognizing red flags and steering clear in future job hunts is an invaluable skill.

Remember, while work is a vital part of our lives, it shouldn't compromise our well-being. Recognizing the signs of a toxic workplace and taking action ensures a healthier, more fulfilling professional journey.

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