Survival in a toxic workplace in tough economic times.

In tough economic times such as these where it is more difficult to find a job and salaries have contracted, we might find ourselves stuck working in a toxic work environment with no immediate means of escape.

There is nothing worse than working in an organisation where the corporate values are not aligned with your own. Where the work force has become negative and disengaged and subtle bullying is occurring from the safe vantage point of the office email.

If we are working in an environment like this we may need to sit tight until the economy improves before we can move on.  Obviously to do this will require some survival skills.

I don’t have the answers for how to survive such an environment, so I would be interested in comments and tips from those who are currently in or have survived a toxic workplace.


I personally have tried a couple of different tactics:

  • refusing to participate or engage in behaviour that I don’t think is appropriate, essentially going in to get my job done and keeping my head down. This drew comments such as that I felt I was better than everyone else, not a team player, distant etc, etc
  • fighting back and trying to make people see that change was necessary. This had me labled as being overly negative, a trouble maker, confrontational etc, etc

So I don’t have any easy answer and like my co-author would welcome any suggestions.

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