Toxicity In The Workplace


The workplace should be a space where people connect with each other and work towards a goal of collaborative productivity with an important factor being sensibility and professionalism. An ideal work space is the responsibility of not only the higher-ups, but also equally that of their employees. For the environment to succeed in providing a comfortable and ideal place to work in, it is crucial that the employees learn to communicate well, and be in possession of a high standard of social skills.


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Mental issues in employees will undoubtedly affect their work and the way said employees work together, not discounting interactions with their managers. To be able to perform in their job as well as be a valued asset in their company, they need to have discipline and be able to handle tides of emotions that come and go in waves. It is not easy for sufferers of mental illnesses, especially those that cause behavioural changes, to contain their emotions while at work. Understanding the triggers and most importantly, how to work around these feelings, is the responsibility of the employees themselves and also their superiors to encourage a mutual understanding and conclude with solutions.

Although solutions to misbehaviour and toxic traits can be solved with good communication and being open about feelings, some cases can be at a stalemate and ultimately promote the downfall of the employees in their professional standing. They sell themselves with disregard of respect, logic, and consideration for their colleagues. Sometimes they can’t be blamed as some mental illnesses take a toll on their personality and how they present themselves, and these aren’t easy to manage. However, these sufferers should be given an opportunity to attempt a healing process and keep their employment by being better persons for themselves and those around them. It’s not as simple as that though. Compromise, effort, time, and dedication are all in play for the result to be effective. But sometimes it doesn’t work out. When that happens, employers may be forced to drop the hammer and for lack of a better word, purge.



Negative Traits And Their Impact

There are a number of negative qualities that toxic employees possess and bring to the workplace. They may be suffering from mental illnesses which trigger these behaviours, or they can just be prone to acting out because of their personality and triggered by their surroundings. Identifying these bad traits is important to potentially come to a solution.


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Being irresponsible and slacking off is one of the negative traits that impact the company and its workplace. Be it due to mental problems like attention deficit disorder or purely a personality attribute of these employees, this is not something pleasant to have in the work environment. Firstly and most obviously, work won’t be done. Even a decent renumeration or good working hours won’t be enough to motivate these individuals to perform and be professional. They are stuck in their own entitlements, and do not care for the consequences of their actions, or rather the lack thereof. This will reduce productivity drastically, and even worse, require the need for the responsible employees to pick up the slack. No one likes to do others’ jobs.

Next, we come to social outcasting. These employees do their best to stay away from their colleagues, and live in their own world throughout the work day. It may be because of anxiety or even depression, but there is a great need to learn to deal and come to terms with these illnesses. The impacts of such a trait is that firstly, they are unable to work in a team and therefore lack contribution, potentially causing the ship to sink. Secondly, the constant brooding and self-isolation may rub off on their colleagues, creating a dark cloud all around them which dampens the spirits of their co-workers.

Now we have a very socially unacceptable trait, backstabbing and gossiping. This is a personality trait that greatly messes up the entire dynamics of their workplace and its people. Talking badly about fellow colleagues or even their bosses and spreading rumours create a social environment that breeds unnecessary drama and ill thinking. Despite perhaps them suffering from past trauma which pushes them to do these things, it’s completely uncalled for and needs to stop immediately. It may be the case that their gossiping or assumptions are true, but that doesn’t call for the need to do these actions at all. A much better approach would be to speak to the the Human Resource department or their managers and have a logical talk for the parties involved to meet in the middle. After all, everyone should treat each other with due respect and honesty.


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Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace

As much as it is the employees’ own responsibility to behave and be a good asset to the company, employers also have a big part to play in ensuring that toxicity is dealt with in their office. Mental wellbeing is the core target objective in this case. Providing a support system for these employees will help greatly. These employers can have an open door policy, organise social outings for their staff, implement better work life balance, and if needed, even engage external parties to come in and intervene in the form of mental health talks and corporate counselling. It is not easy to deal with troubled employees, especially if it is a big office. But no matter the size of the company, these are great efforts that cultivates good traits, and potentially help to address and solve these issues which are affecting the workplace. The last resort would be to let these toxic employees go. That may seem harsh, but to maintain a constructive and ideal environment, employers need to take risks and manage their decisions for the better of the company. There is also a chance that by firing these employees, they will think twice about their behaviour, and maybe even work towards treatment and healing for them to move forward and be better staff in their next job.



Everyone fights their own battles internally, and sometimes it’s okay to tell people and get help. Opening up to people may be daunting, but it’s a step forward in fixing what can be fixed. Employees need to have the mindset that they are responsible for their actions in the company, and the impact that their toxicity can have on their co-workers and the organization itself. Finding what ticks and what doesn’t will be a stepping stone towards not only a better work environment for themselves, but may also assist in treating their own individual selves outside the workplace. Employers need to be patient, and do their best to provide a space where no one is shut down for asking for help. In reality, the social construct of an office is not simply just good workers and a good boss. It is also rendering self-control, positivity, professionalism, and the proper mindset.


A Word From A Space Between

Toxicity in the workplace breeds an environment that affects everyone in it negatively. It proves to be an unnecessary factor that leads to a bad collaborative environment. The space you work in has to be comfortable, manageable, professional, and consist of colleagues that compliment each other. Everyone has their own set of issues, specifically in the genre of mental illnesses, which can promote distasteful conditions to work in.

Need a helping hand?

There are providers practising at A Space Between who can provide corporate counselling. They can assist in addressing and solving these issues in your office.

Explore our free client-matching service and let us help you find a therapist who fits your unique needs.

Where private practice meets
A Space Between provides flexible co-working office spaces for rent to therapists and other professionals in Singapore.
A Space Between is a destination for mental health therapy activities. Counsellors utilise our many conducive therapy rooms for consultations. Located conveniently downtown and offering your independent therapists rent by the hour, we house many professional mental health practitioners, including LGBTQ+ friendly ones. To find out more about the therapists practising in A Space Between, write to us at [email protected].
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