Effects of Working in an Unhealthy Work Environment

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Toxic workplaces are increasingly prevalent in today’s work environment; more and more people are being burnt out. It’s time to stop and take a good, hard look at the work environment we work in. 

There are several signs and effects of unhealthy working environments on employees, including poor communication and poor management. Unethical and unfair behaviour, disciplinary approaches, and antagonism between employees and management are among the symptoms of unhealthy working environments.

The impact of this type of work environment is likely to be lower employee morale, high turnover, poor productivity, poor work quality, and even physical symptoms each day after going to work.    

There is a significant number of employees today who are exposed to unhealthy working conditions. The majority of employees leave their workplaces feeling depressed, anxious, angsty, hypertensive, and intoxicated. An unhealthy work environment can be improved if you have strategies for dealing with it.

First, let’s understand unhealthy working environment factors and how they affect employees, as well as how to overcome them.  

What is a “Toxic Work Environment”? 

“Toxic Work Environment” refers to a negative work environment where employees find it difficult to do their job or advance their careers because of their coworkers, supervisors, or the company culture.

The toxic environment at your workplace may cause emotional distress, physical discomfort, or mental stress. Your first step towards removing yourself from a toxic work environment is to acknowledge that it’s toxic and realize its effects on your mental and physical health. 

What Factors Create a Toxic Workplace?  

Workplace problems rarely arise on their own. There are a variety of factors that contribute to it. 

However, here are some factors that contribute to creating toxic work environments: A toxic work environment develops when the factors in the following list persist over time.

  • Undefined company’s core values: The company’s core values are not outlined or are not taken seriously. It is common for companies to declare their core values, mission, and vision on their websites but fail to follow through with it. 
  • No company culture at all:  When there is no culture, it feels as though you come to work every day, do your 8-10 hours, and leave. Everyone is very focused on their work, and you don’t even know the last names of your coworkers. There is little casual chatter.
  • Not enough feedback: Companies that do not provide regular feedback to employees or do not conduct performance reviews risk having a group of people running in circles.
  • Too much focus on the output:  Most companies prioritize customer service first, then operations, then everyone else. When this type of behaviour is followed, employees are forced to work overtime, which may create stress, tension, fear of failure, and excessive fatigue. 

What Are The Effects of Working in an Unhealthy Work Environment?

Many employees today go to work in unhealthy environments. These work environments can result in lower morale, higher turnover, reduced productivity, low work quality, and physical symptoms.

Effects of Working in an Unhealthy Work Environment on Employees 

Having a hostile working environment can also hurt the company. An unhealthy work environment affects employees mentally and physically, and it can be harmful to company productivity.

Take a look at the effects of a toxic workplace on employees:

1. Lack of Motivation in Employees 

A poorly managed workplace, where working conditions and management are strict, is especially detrimental to employee motivation. Workers feel unmotivated in unhealthy work environments. 

The lack of motivation will drain your energy if you surround yourself with unmotivated coworkers. Hence, they must complete the work of unmotivated workers too. 

Team members who are inspired to do their best, are better and come up with new ideas are more motivating than those who are indifferent or indifferent.

Learn more: 10 Best Ways to Motivate Your Employees🤗🤗

2. Poor Work-Life Balance

The professional and private lives of employees should not overlap when they are off the clock. Maintaining a balance between the two is important for a company’s survival. 

There is another problem if an employee is expected to be always available. For example, the boss expects employees to answer emails when the working hours are off and on vacation. This means that employees cannot enjoy their holidays in an unhealthy job. 

A lack of balance between work and life can cause employees to feel stressed at home, at work, or everywhere. This will increase employment-related stress.

Learn more: 10 Ways To Deal With Micro Stress🤕🤕 

3. Work No Longer Excites Employees 

An unhealthy workplace is often the reason that employees leave their jobs because they feel lazy, are not excited about their work, or no longer wish to go into the office. 

Employees are more likely to feel disengaged when the environment is unhealthy, harmful, and toxic, which may negatively impact their performance and growth. 

Despite having a healthy and safe working environment, the boss and a few co-workers may not be excited and motivated, affecting the excitement level of employees.  

4. Slows Down Employee’s Professional Growth 

An unhealthy work environment lets employees continue to degrade their professional abilities. Imagine how you would feel if you worked for a boss who did not respect your efforts or contributions. This type of environment ultimately harms the professional development of employees.

A toxic work environment will prevent employees from growing or being promoted and taking credit for their work. Employees can’t grow professionally if they can’t prove themselves.

5. Negative Outlook on Self 

A toxic work environment can harm your relationships. Working in such an environment makes you more likely to talk negatively about yourself and your job. 

Your relationships both with others and with yourself can be negatively impacted. When you cannot break out of this negative mindset, it’s more likely that you’ll become addicted to drama and behaviour. 

You’ll feel you can’t live up to your manager’s and company’s standards. Ultimately this will lead to less self-confidence since unhealthy work environments are toxic for your body and mind.  

Effects of Working in an Unhealthy Work Environment on The Health of Employees 

A toxic and unhealthy work environment also affects an employee’s mental and physical health. Below are some health issues that may affect employees who work in a toxic and unhealthy environment:

6. Insomnia and Mental Health 

Work requires a lot of mental energy, and sleep matters to many people under stress. However, leaving your work behind you once you are off the clock can be difficult when you work in a toxic environment with many stressors. 

Often, insomnia causes sleepless nights, resulting in stress and worry. Insomnia also prevents you from recharging. A lack of sleep can make you agitated and make you more likely to experience stress. It can also lead to more mistakes in the workplace and an increase in accidents. 

7. Hypertension 

Heart damage, strokes, kidney damage, etc., are the result of hypertension. When someone works long hours in a stressful environment, their blood pressure rises, making them more likely to suffer from hypertension. 

Working in an unhealthy environment increases the risk of hypertension and many other health-related severe problems. Hence, employees should not work for a very long time and should take proper care of their health.   

8. Depression  

It is not the job that causes depression but the working environment that does, especially for those with depression. Working in a toxic work environment worsens your mental health to the point where you become depressed. 

A constant negative attitude makes it impossible for you to create positive feelings to associate with your work or surroundings. For instance, being around toxic coworkers for 40+ hours a week will make you sad and depressed.

9. Burnout 

Burnout is characterized by an intense feeling of exhaustion. Burnout can be caused by either long hours at work or high levels of stress. Maybe it’s self-induced, or maybe it’s encouraged by workplace culture.

Working in a toxic environment drains your energy. Regardless of how the problem began, you’ll have to deal with it, and it matters how your work reacts.

Learn more: Why is Employee Wellness Important?💪💪

Find out if you work in a toxic environment by answering these questions

1. Do you hate going to work?

2. Do you feel extreme pressure while working at your office?  

3. Are you paid a low salary? 

4. Are you afraid to take time off? 

5. Is there a negative attitude among coworkers? 

6. Are employee relations not encouraged and promoted by the company?

7. Do you experience verbal abuse from your supervisors and coworkers?

8. Are you unclear about your performance expectations?

9. Does anyone else take credit for your work?

10. Does your supervisor or coworker make you feel worthless? 

Do you answer YES to any of these questions? Even 1 or 2 is a huge red flag for you. Having said that, you are working in an unhealthy environment and must be dealing with a lot of workplace stress


Today, workplace toxicity is more widespread than ever. Whether it is overt or subtle, it causes employee stress. It also costs employers due to lowered productivity and sick leave. 

The best way to combat this is to keep a cool head, be surrounded by supportive people, and also accommodate the work environment.

Although a single person cannot make an entire company a better place, he or she can at least ensure their well-being by watching their back.