Recently, I posted this question to online groups that I moderate, “What comes to mind when you think of toxic workplaces?” Sadly, but maybe not surprisingly, the responses I received were overwhelming and disturbing. People had so much to share about toxicity in the workplace, both on the emotional and physical levels.
Here are some of the themes that kept repeating in their responses:
-Employees feeling devalued; Crying in the ladies room or even in staff meetings; Bullying, micromanaging by management and even reverse bullying; Anxiety and rampant gossiping; Backstabbing co-workers who will sell out fellow employees, even placing false blame; Fluorescent lighting, poor air quality, mold, rat poison, second hand smoke, and even toxic factory chemicals.
While any one of these examples is concerning, to say the least and could drastically impact work cultures, the definition of a toxic workplace according to Wikipedia is equally if not even more disconcerting. They define toxic workplaces as a work environment that is marked by significant drama and infighting, where personal battles often harm productivity. 
This word cloud was created from the responses of my online groups and our workplace wellness program graduates when asked: “What comes to [ More ]