How to Identify a Toxic Work Environment

How to Identify a Toxic Work Environment

When most people picture their dream job, it will often include their Toxic work environment. This could involve a supportive boss, amicable teammates, and a comfortable office space. So,It will rarely involve a culture of competition, micromanagement, or discrimination. 


Toxic work environments can lead to low morale, poor mental and physical health for employees, and a lack of comradery for everyone in the office. So, On occasion, toxic work environments can become so bad that employees are forced to face two options: sticking it out or quitting. Neither of these options is ideal. 


This article will outline some ways to identify whether your workplace is toxic and if it is, what your next steps should be.


Indicators of a Toxic Workplace


  • Bullying. Bullying is a major indicator that you are in a toxic work environment. You may feel that you are being put down, physically bullied, non verbally or psychologically abused in a toxic work environment. So, This can lead to fear surrounding the workplace and an extra level of stress when approaching your position.
  • Harassment. There are a number of protected classes in Canada, including race, colour, religion or creed, national origin, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, and citizenship. Toxic workplaces may single out individuals based on their status and engage in bullying or unfair hiring practices because of them.
  • A culture of gossip. You might see rumours and gossip circulating the office about your workers or supervisors and putting them in a negative light. This can lead workers to become untrusting of both each other and their supervisors, and could ultimately lead to people becoming closed off around one another.
  • Favouritism and a culture of nepotism. A toxic work environment might see only a certain “in” group of people receiving promotions or raises. So, while those who are not members of the “in” group feel left behind. Family members, friends, and those who share the characteristics of the “in” group may be hire over outsiders or qualify workers.
  • Overwork. A toxic work environment might have workers being assigned more work than they can handle without relief or consideration of their abilities to finish tasks on time. So, Every worker needs a work-life balance and empathy from their supervisors.
  • Micromanagement. Workers in a toxic work environment may feel that they never receive full control over their work, or that their actions are being controlled by their supervisors. This can lead to extra stress and fear from workers, who might worry that their actions will never quite be good enough.
  • A high turnover rate. If you have noticed that your workplace has an unusually high turnover rate for your field, that might be an indication that your workplace is not a supportive environment.
  • Employees fear their supervisors. Workplaces need open communication and ways for workers to share their concerns. So, If employers are unempathetic or tend to punish behaviour that isn’t in line with what they want to see, a toxic work environment can result.
  • A lack of trust within the workplace and alarming body language. If employees are closed off around one another, rarely smile or engage with one another, or regularly show signs of discomfort while at work. So,  this might be another indication of a toxic work environment. Employees may be push to feel uncomfortable in their positions by poor environments.
  • Workers do not feel valued. A toxic work environment might go to great efforts to remind employees that they are replaceable, whether verbally or nonverbally. If your input is frequently ignore, you are pass over for promotions or praise despite hard work, or if employees are regularly being let go, this might be a toxic work environment.
  • A high burnout rate. If workers are constantly dreading going to work and feeling as though they can’t bear to complete another day, this is not a good sign. It is not normal to dread every day, and if you do. This might be a sign that your workplace is toxic.
  • Employees feel sick without reason or are struggling to sleep. Stress can present itself in many different ways, and sometimes, physical symptoms can result. So, Toxic work environments that are causing an excess of stress may lead to sickness nsomnia. Or other physical symptoms for those involved.


If you have identified a number of these indicators, then there is a chance that your work environment is toxic. So, There are several steps you can take to address your concerns right away.


How to Confront a Toxic Workplace


If you believe that your workplace is toxic, then the first step is to identify why you feel that way. Identify whether your workplace has an individual who has made your work life difficult. So, or whether it is a culture that all the employees are engaging with. In some cases, the issue might lie with management. 


Once you have identified the issue, document any evidence you can about your concerns. Emails, voicemails, photographs, and witness testimonies are all good sources of information that can help you back up your claims. Try to keep copies of these just in case the situation escalates.


If you feel comfortable, start by addressing the problem at its source. So, Speak to your coworkers and supervisors about what has been bothering you. And see if you can solve the issue that way. Try not to go over anyone’s head at this point, and be as direct as possible. 


If the issue is not resolve. Your next step may be to contact your HR department by submitting a formal complaint. Refer to our article on submitting formal HR complaints about tips on how to go about doing that. 


After you have made steps to resolve the problems within your workplace. So, if the issues persist, it might be a good time to speak with an employment lawyer. Our employment lawyers can help you determine whether you. Will have a legal claim and give you advice on what to do next.




Jobs are a big deal, and if your work environment is toxic, it can impact your entire life. It is a good idea to address issues. So, That come up as soon as possible rather than letting issues build up. So, For more help with your concerns about a potentially toxic work environment. Be sure to reach out to the team at Achkar Law. 


Contact Us


If you are an employee or an employer dealing with a toxic work environment. Our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. So,Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist. 


If you are a small or medium-sized company looking for full-service support with a same-day response, visit our CLO Program page for our strategic solutions.