Hybrid Working

Signs of a Toxic Hybrid Workplace You Should Warn

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Aug 14, 2021
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Hybrid working has taken the industry by storm. Amidst the vaccination programs being led in each country, most workers prefer to work from home.  A report by Boston Consulting Group found that employees reported their productivity as good as when working from the office. With a study indicating a 13% increase in productivity for every day an employee works from home, Hybrid working is here to stay. Even a Microsoft study has reported an increase of 34% in employee productivity for those working remotely.  

Many people encounter abusive managers at the workplace. With managers abusing, threatening, or passing comments in public places, employees’ mental health and physical being get impacted. In addition, there is an overall decrease in employee satisfaction as co-workers get affected. 

The leadership at the top creates a toxic hybrid workplace. How? By setting examples of poor behaviors. With poor management, toxic work cultures' behaviors flow to employees at all levels, where these habits are considered normal.  Here are some ways to make a hybrid workplace model work efficiently.

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For employees suffering in toxic hybrid workplaces, a change over to a remote working or hybrid office may have been attractive on the face of it.  However, your visibility with leadership seated in an ergonomic office chair reduces when you are away from the office. Therefore, hybrid/remote workers may be seen as less contributing to the workplace.

Top 5 Warning Signs of Toxic Hybrid Workplace

Toxic hybrid workplace? How do you identify the top symptoms?

1. Silent Meetings

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

When you encounter meetings where you are discouraged from speaking or are forced to look at a particular view of things, you see an easy and important warning sign of toxic work culture. First, you will notice that most employees are quiet and afraid to speak up in meetings. Instead, they suck up to managers and leaders on a one-to-one approach.

There are no policies encouraging employees to speak up. They are snubbed at meetings, their ideas are punched with holes to kill them, and there are no encouraging signals. Employees, too, stop caring about the right thing to do and start following what the leaders say. They stop expressing their dissent and accept and complete what the leadership/managers say or do.

2. Snubbed Down

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

When you join a company as an employee, you would like to be encouraged to bring from your expertise in your function.  You would want to work with managers who encourage your development and provide you with opportunities and various projects/assignments/ tasks to grow. However, in toxic work culture, this seems a distant reality. You will find managers/ leaders who are snubbing your ideas, constantly micromanaging you, asking you to do tasks that could be completed at lower pay levels, not involving you in meetings, or not filling you in on the latest client/project developments.

Being snubbed in public places, employees undergo humiliation and go into their shells. As their mental and physical health goes bad, they retract from doing anything new. This need not be necessarily true for the entire company. This may happen in isolation between you and your manager only.

3. Dreading New Responsibilities

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

If you start dreading new responsibilities, you must realize that you are at a toxic hybrid workplace.  All the excitement that a fresh workplace, new projects/ assignments brings in is killed when you are humiliated and shown down for your work decisions. Without a strong and leader with a developmental mindset, you will see little progress.  As your motivation levels dip, your mental and physical health is impacted.  You may not feel like going to the office, participating in meetings, and finally, you will notice that you dread any existing responsibilities. 

While one understands that any workplace will have stressors that impact you, you would want it to be leading to the positive side of your growth and enhancing your knowledge and experience.  If you observe your behaviors and see yourself pushing back and lashing out at decisions that you feel are made illogically, you see the start of a toxic hybrid workplace.  Sleeping disorders, constant worries, loss of appetite, and more are some early warning symptoms that can highlight a toxic hybrid workplace.

4. Values, Mission and Vision

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

Often, a company’s values, mission, and vision statements are always left to idle on papers. Have you had induction around these?  Values are not something that is left for display only. Leadership and managers are expected to lead by example, referring to these. Does leadership or your manager refer to these when taking any decisions? Many companies define behaviors (positive and negative) that are indicators that an employee is doing the right thing (or not) and living the values by example.

5. Senior leaders are not working remotely

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

When a company moves to a hybrid model, your leadership must take the lead. For its remote workers to be valued, when senior leaders imbibe what they say, they will know the trouble that employees go through. As a remote working company, GitHub has set an example where all leaders work remotely. It has been identified that you cannot remotely lead only less complex and remote tasks.

Overcoming Toxic Hybrid Workplace

Toxic Hybrid Workplace

How can a company overcome a toxic work culture? Using direct communications, setting clear and firm policies and more are ways to start with. A critical method is to set a framework using integrated software solutions like the Autonomous hybrid office.

Don’t miss our reviews on how to find the right hybrid work strategy for your office.

Final Thoughts

If you notice any one of these symptoms, do not jump to conclusions to label it a toxic hybrid workplace. At times, transitioning to a hybrid workplace could have affected broken down communication channels or more.  Ironing out issues of a toxic hybrid workplace is much is easier when you have clearly identified it as a place where you cannot work.

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