Believe it or not, your toxic workplace could actually be harming your mental and physical health. According to a recent report from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, chronic stress, low wages, discrimination, harassment, overwork, and long commutes can all help contribute to and increase your risk of a number of mental and physical health conditions, including depression, anxiety, heart disease, and cancer (via HealthDay News).
According to Murthy, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the “nature of work,” but also the relationships people have with their jobs and careers.
It has also forced many workers to assess their work-life balance. As a result, the report found that competing work and personal life demands can harm your overall health and well-being by magnifying stress, increasing the risk of unhealthy habits and substance abuse, and disrupting both personal and professional relationships. “The link between our work and our health has become even more evident,” Murthy said in the report.
How to know if your workplace is toxic
There are five qualities that can help determine whether or not your workplace is toxic, according to the report. As it turns out, your workplace environment is likely toxic if the culture is disrespectful, noninclusive, unethical, cutthroat, or abusive.
“We know, as people who work in that environment, if it doesn’t feel safe or mentally healthy,” Amy Sullivan, a psychologist and the director of engagement and well-being at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, told The Washington Post. “It really is a gut feeling.”
There are also many physical indications as well. For instance, anxiety, dry mouth, sleeplessness, fatigue, and high blood pressure are all signs that you’re working in a toxic environment. In addition, toxic workplaces can actually make it difficult for you to relax even when you’re no longer at work. If you can’t stop thinking about work at home or dread going back to work the next morning, your workplace might be toxic.