How To Identify If You Are In An Abusive Work Environment

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An unfortunate reality facing many employees today is that bullying may not be limited to your teenage years. Instead, those bullies grow up and can turn into abusive bosses, catty co-workers and degrading employees.


While abusive work environments come in all shapes and sizes, each can have a significant impact on you. Do you know the signs of an abusive work environment?  An abusive work environment can be physically, emotionally and/or psychologically harmful. Let us share are a few ways to identify if you are in one.


Physically Abusive Work Environment


Unwanted physical advancements are never acceptable in the workplace. Whether it be a boss, co-worker or subordinate, if you do not give the “okay,” it’s not okay! No matter the circumstance. Not if you consumed a few drinks at an after-work happy hour. Not if your outfit was revealing. Never.


If a boss or co-worker makes a physical advance on you when you have not explicitly given your consent, do not wait to seek help. If you have a Human Resources department, speak with them immediately.


Psychologically Abusive Work Environment


A workplace can still be abusive even if there are no physical threats. Examples of psychological workplace abuse include verbal abuse, intimidation, intrusion of privacy, isolation, spreading rumors and undermining your work. Basically, any action that impedes on you psychologically may constitute as abuse. If you feel isolated or do not receive proper career advancements without reason, or any of the above circumstances occur, it is important to bring attention to the situation.


Emotionally Abusive Work Environment


Different from a psychologically abusive work environment, which impedes on your mind, an emotionally abusive can also work environment impedes on your heart. For example, you may care about someone too much. Or, you may find yourself in a codependent relationship with a co-worker, or vice-versa. Emotionally abusive work environments can be difficult to identify and immediately take action on as they typically arise over a longer period of time.


Even if you are technically not in the physical bounds of the office, you may still be experiencing an abusive workplace environment. Happy hours, client meetings and out-of-office retreats still constitute as a workplace environment. If you have questions, or need more information on potential workplace abuses, do not wait to contact us today!