The current iteration of capitalism has spawned workplaces that don’t prioritize health, family, and balance. If we continue on this path, we will only lead ourselves to exhaustion and unhappiness.
Send your questions about careers, productivity and work-life balance to [email protected]. Please include your name and location, or request to remain anonymous.
I loved my job when I started. It was everything I ever dreamed of, but now after a few months I realize how toxic the work environment is. The pay is great and there are plenty of opportunities for growth, but I’m scared what it will do to my mental health.
I’m a huge mental health advocate and very knowledgeable about trauma, PTSD, and the long term effects of chronic inflammation due to stress. You know what I’m going to say. The current iteration of capitalism has spawned soulless workplaces that don’t prioritize health, family, and balance. If we continue on this path, we will only lead ourselves to exhaustion and unhappiness. What kind of example are we setting for our children?
Companies that practice conscious capitalism perform 10x better over the long term than those who don’t because it facilitates personal growth and is a source of fulfillment. Conscious companies have higher goals that serve, align and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders. They cultivate authentic, caring cultures that create lasting values because happy workers are productive workers.
Toxic work environments are an existential threat to well-being – they are places where happiness festers and is left for dead. Unless leadership is aware and actively trying to make positive changes, they should not be tolerated.
Signs you are in a toxic work environment:
- Bad communication
- bad leadership
- High staff turnover
- No room for growth
- Gossip and belittle others
- Zero work-life balance offer
- You are anxious before going to work
- You feel drained when you come home
- Toxic Positivity and Toxic Masculinity
If this sounds like your workplace, here are some options you can consider:
Don’t stoop to their level
First, never stoop to the level of your toxic colleagues. I know it’s more complicated than it looks because the energy is contagious, but in doing so, you’re only as bad as them. Each time you react, consciously pull yourself back – this will get easier and easier over time as you rewire your brain to respond to triggers. Try to remain compassionate and put yourself in their shoes. Why are they so angry? Why do they react like this? Could they be experiencing something at home, or has a situation triggered unresolved trauma?
Spearheading a change
I know it’s more complicated than it looks and corporate cultures don’t change overnight. The good news is that individuals are inherently good, but we often become victims of our environment. Start conversations about your concerns with your boss, colleagues and HR. Without awareness, you cannot facilitate change. Timing is also on your side. Due to the pandemic, social unrest and climate change, the emergency has erupted, forcing companies to reassess their values due to fierce competition from newly created conscious companies and shifts in the mindset of generations Millennials and Generation Z.
Explore different opportunities
It may not be realistic for you to quit your current toxic job due to many circumstances, but you should start looking for and interviewing. If you’re working for a CEO with a determined mindset, it might be better to find a job that respects his employees.
Think about your family
Whether you like it or not, you will bring the toxic energy of your work to your family. Like throwing a pebble into a pond, when you come home from work every night anxious and overworked, your mood will eventually have negative ramifications on your family and the behaviors can be passed on to the next generation. The energy is contagious. Consider their well-being during your next move.
Change your mindset about money
Our society thrives on instant gratification, pumping and dumping, and working long hours, but happiness levels have dropped to historic lows. When are we going to realize that money doesn’t buy happiness? I’m not against money and living comfortably, but we should all explore our subconscious intention. Are we working toward burnout and tolerating toxic work cultures because we operate in a scarcity mindset? To shift into an abundance mindset, you need to see money as energy – energy is currency. Money can always be made; you will never get your time back, or your time with your family watching your children grow up. Is it worth it?
Of course, I am fully aware that not all of us have the time and the means to consider other options. If you do, you may be able to try to invoke change by helping or mentoring stressed and overworked colleagues, whether it’s finances, logistics, or mindset. You can help eliminate toxicity in the workplace by playing your part as an individual in fostering a supportive environment.
From the consumer’s point of view:
As a consumer of goods, you can contribute to conscious, non-toxic work environments by buying only from brands that do good work for people and the planet, because we live in a cyclical economy.
From a business owner’s perspective:
The trend now is toward conscious, values-based capitalism. Sustainability and societal impact will force corporate responsibility carried by a new generation of buyers and investors in the midst of a philosophical revolution.
If you are a business owner reading this, I highly recommend the book. “conscious capitalism” by John Mackey. Human beings are driven by the need to give, to achieve and to leave a meaningful life. Our souls are starving in this fractured society slowly emerging from a pandemic, and millions recognize that their mental health contributes to their well-being. When you build a purpose-driven company with strong, ethical core values and care about the growth of its employees, you will change your own life and the world.
You may think your small actions as an individual are insignificant, but we are part of a colossal machine where everything you say, think and do will have a ripple effect in the universe. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be a thought leader!
Kate Pn writes about mastering a healthy work-life balance with a focus on hacking productivity. write to him at [email protected]