The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

How workplace toxicity impairs productivity and profitability


Lanre Olusola

Do you know that a toxic work environment can affect your productivity?
Wale had worked in a telecoms company for a year and it destroyed him. In the beginning, he liked the job and the pay was good. Issues began when his department failed to reach a sales target; as a result they were put under constant pressure in order to deliver. As if that was not enough, members of his team including himself were having friction with their team lead, because of his controlling behavior. His company in a space of three months had also fired five (5) people. Due to this fear, Wale started working longer hours to try and get more work, because he was afraid of being fired.

Thinking of work most times, made Wale feel sick in the stomach. The work place was no longer conducive and this was affecting his productivity. At the end of the day Wale had to resign, according to him “No amount of money could make up for what he was going through at his workplace”.

Why this story?
Quite often many of us spend more time in our work environment, surrounded by our colleagues, than we do at home amongst our family and friends. Despite the majority of us enjoying our jobs, and feeling a sense of achievement at the end of a long week, this is not true for everyone. Toxic organizations are usually defined as largely ineffective, as well as destructive to its employees. These work environments thrive on control and exist in a constant state of disaster. This situation harms both the company and the other employees, including those who are not direct targets. Co-workers are distracted by drama, gossip and by choosing sides in the ongoing hostility. This can lead into lost productivity. While employees are distracted by this, they cannot devote time and attention to the achievement of business goals.


A toxic organization will likely record less progress than an organization that encourages positivity in the workplace. However, these poor performing organizations should not attribute all the blame to its leader, the CEO; this is because the CEO is the most visible person in the organization, does not mean that he/she actually leads and directly influences these behaviors and negative outcomes. If the CEO is toxic then he/she will behave in a manner that will be harmful to the performance of the company. However, if the CEO is not toxic, but the managers and staff of his/her company are, it is possible that they are the people who negatively affect the organization’s performance. In other words, the performance of a company will not only depend on whether or not the CEO is toxic, but also depend on who the executives and staff of the company are and whether or not they are toxic. The performance of a company also depends on whether the specific leadership style aligns with the vision and mission of the company.

Below are five few signs that will help you determine the degree to which your work environment may be dangerous to your mental health.

1. Illness and Absenteeism: Toxic workplaces lead to employee burnout, fatigue, and illness due to high levels of stress that wreak havoc on our bodies. If people are calling in sick or are working while sick; that is may be assign of a toxic work environment.

2. Unhealthy communication patterns: An initial sign of a dysfunctional, toxic workplace is that there are significant problems in communication between employees and their supervisors, from management to supervisors, across departments, with suppliers, and even with customers.

3. Narcissistic Leadership: The top executives demand that you always agree with them, tell them they are right, and feel they are above the rules. They expect everyone else to be perfect while they can meet lower standards.

4. Your personal life is affected negatively on many fronts: When a workplace is toxic, by definition, it is unhealthy and damaging to those who work there. Individuals who work in toxic environments begin to see problems with their own personal lives. This can include physical symptoms such as: Inability to sleep, weight gain, and having increased medical problems. Emotionally, they become more discouraged, which can lead to depression. For some, they are more irritable, and have issues managing their anger. Others experience anxiety and a general sense of fear when they think about work.

5. Lack of Appreciated: Though everyone will probably get overlooked from time to time at the office, a toxic job will undermine or undervalue your efforts at every turn. If you are working long hours without the possibility of a promotion or compensation, or if your superiors never positively acknowledge your work, your mental health will begin to suffer.


What to Do About a Toxic Job
1. Remember It is Not Your Fault
2. Stay focused on important goals
3. Be polite to everyone (even toxic colleagues)
4. Strive for a healthy work-life balance
5. Know that nothing is permanent

The sad truth still remains that a lot of people are struggling with various mental health issues as a result of the daily problems they face in the workplace. Get the help you need by connecting to Certified Life Coaches, by simply downloading “CoachME Online” from the Google Play store on your android mobile device. You can also get matched with a coach from website. We have licensed Life Coaches who are trained to help you in different areas of life (Finance, Career, Relationship/Marriage, Emotions, Self Esteem, Sex and so much more). Click to get coached-on-the-go.

You can also sign up for our Life Coaching Masterclass running from 28th of February to the 4th of March 2019. For more information, call us on 08077077000 or send a mail to Take the first step to self-discovery and mastery and live like a winner!

In this article:
Lanre Olusola
Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

No comments yet