Are you stepping into a toxic workplace?

Are you stepping into a toxic workplace?

by Natalie L 19 Feb 2020

Got a new job offer with a higher pay? You might be very excited and desire to jump right in. After all, the grass always looks greener on the other side. However, it might help to be slightly cautious at this point in time and to consider the culture of the new workplace before coming to a decision. You would not want to step into a toxic workplace and spend the next few years regretting your impulsive decision. Here are some tips and tricks to help you identify a toxic workplace, so that you can make a more informed decision regarding your new job offer.


Ask questions during your interview

An interview is not just a process for the company to get to know you; it is also your opportunity to find out more about the company and whether both it and the job are a good fit for you! Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions at the end of your interview; find out more about the nature of the work or the culture of the workplace. Don’t ask about superficial incentives, such as food refills in the pantry. Go for the tough ones, like mental health policies and flexible work arrangements.


Look around when you're there

The day of your interview is a great opportunity to find out more about your potential workplace. Request for a tour around the working environment. As you walk around, carefully observe your surroundings. Do the workers seem cheerful and bubbly? Or do they sound frustrated and upset? There are many things which you can possibly look out for as you walk around. The key thing is to ask yourself is if this is an environment which you would like to work in. Additionally, request to visit the washroom. This might seem minor and even queer, but the condition of the toilet says a lot about the housekeeping habits of the workers in the company. If the toilet seems wet and dirty or if the toilet bowl is left unflushed, it is unlikely that the workers feel a sense of responsibility to keep their workplace in order. Contrast this to a company with consistently clean and dry toilets, where workers put in effort to care for the environment of their workplace. Which environment would you prefer to work in? 


Hear straight from the horse’s mouth

Of course, the best way to find out more about the culture of a workplace is to chat with its current staff! It would be great if you have a friend or relative who is a current employee or who recently worked there. Do they look forward to going to work every day, or do they have a list of complaints when it comes to sharing about their work life? 


A higher pay scale from a new job offer is always appealing. However, it is important to take a step back to consider the nature of the workplace before making a decision. Yes, money might be important, but your comfort and welfare are worth so much more.