Top 3 Signs to Spot Toxic Workplace Environments

Top 3 Signs to Spot Toxic Workplace Environments

Following the recent resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, over reports of bullying allegations, there has been a rise in the number of public documents reporting toxic work cultures.

New research from Gleeson Recruitment Group shows that over one in ten UK workers have a toxic relationship with their peers and managers. An astonishing 93% of UK employees have experienced a toxic workplace and 82% have left a role because of a toxic boss.

Following on from this, new national research from, Rethinkly – a visualisation platform helping businesses resolve communication challenges in the workplace – unveils a first-of-its-kind study. It addresses the crippling impact a destructive work environment can have on communication and social anxiety, ultimately causing millions to feel unhappy in their jobs.

Key findings from Rethinkly’s research:

  • 35% of the British workforce say they are unable to fulfil any kind of public delivery – presentations, client meetings, etc. – without acute anxiety
  • 11% have a toxic relationship with peers and managers at work 
  • 26% harbour all workplace tension and find confrontation too difficult  
  • 15% have taken time off work due to feeling so challenged in communication 
  • 28% say that the inability to communicate within the workplace has had the largest impact on productivity 

Here are the key indicators to watch out for that suggest the culture of a workplace is toxic.

You Can Identify Manipulative Tendencies

Psychological manipulation is when someone uses underhand, deceptive techniques and often disguises aggression as good intentions. A manipulator in the workplace may give mixed messages on a regular basis. For example, they might excessively praise and compliment you, and build a jovial rapport to build trust and a relationship that straddles both the professional and friendly realms of working. However, this relationship can be used to their advantage to employ tactics to control and coerce you at the same time. 

You Feel Nervous About Speaking Up at Work

Rethinkly’s proprietary data shows that just under one in five (18%) employees worry that their peers and managers will judge them for making a mistake; a further 35% say they are unable to fulfil any kind of public delivery – presentations, client meetings, etc. – without some form of anxiety. Communication challenges are directly aligned with morale, productivity, and commitment which have real business impact.

You Feel Stressed at Work More Often Than Not

76% of employees report moderate-to-high or high levels of stress at work. This can be due to a multitude of reasons, from not being able to cope with the demands of their job, high pressure, low pay, and lack of effective communication between co-workers. If you’re struggling to get clear answers, instructions and direction, you might find yourself becoming more disengaged from leadership and fellow employees. This often leads to poor productivity, poor quality work, low job satisfaction and employee retention problems. 

Based in the UK, Rethinkly is helping organisations to build the skills and cultures needed in today’s dynamic business environments.