Bad atmosphere | Toxic office culture could be pushing your staff to work from home

Toxic office culture could be pushing your staff to work from home

Employees are choosing to work from home in a bid to avoid their employer’s toxic workplace culture, a new study has found.

The national survey, conducted by jobs site RemoteWorker has highlighted how staff members are choosing to work from home to avoid bullying, homophobic behaviour, and even sexual harassment.

The study showed that one in five (16%) employees have witnessed homophobic behaviour in their workplace, a third of employees (31%) stated they had witnessed sexist behaviour and 17 per cent had seen sexual harassment taking place in their workplace. Bullying (42%), offensive comments (37%), and discrimination (31%) topped the list of inappropriate behaviours that employees witnessed in the UK.

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The findings paint a stark picture of the modern workplace, and highlight why so many workers prefer to work from home for reasons other than time and cost saving.

Joe Boll, CEO at RemoteWorker, said of the findings: “We believe every employee should have the choice to work independently from an office or workplace if possible. This is why we use the most cutting-edge tech to make it easy for anyone to find a new remote working role.

“Our national employee survey has highlighted just how toxic many UK workplaces still are for many employees which is why employers need to offer roles that have the option to work remotely when looking to attract the best talent.”

Toxic workplaces on the rise

Sadly, recent data from Instantprint shows that over 70% of workers believe that they’ve worked at a toxic company. And, it seems that toxic culture is far more prevalent in certain industries. Those in marketing, PR and advertising are statistically more likely to have such experiences; 88% of people surveyed in these sectors noted that they’d experienced it.

Unsurprisingly, toxic culture can have a devastating impact on worker health and wellbeing. Data from APN Lodge ascertained that those experiencing such culture are 36.7% more likely to have anxiety, 32.5% more likely to have panic attacks and, 27% more likely to have depression.

And toxic culture doesn’t just negatively affect workers; more than half of those who took part in Instantprint’s survey noted that they would now quit a job if they sensed a toxic culture. Further research from MIT’s Sloan Management Review explained that toxic workplace culture is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to an employee quitting. Given the current talent crisis and the ‘Great Resignation’, the ramifications of extremely high turnover could be severe for HR and businesses.

What contributes to a toxic culture?

There are innumerable ways an organisation’s culture can turn toxic. However, research from Glassdoor, taken from 1.4million Glassdoor reviews of nearly 600 major companies, confirmed that employees describe toxic workplaces in five main ways: non-inclusive, disrespectful, unethical, cutthroat and abusive.

“Employees can have hundreds of different criticisms about their organisation that they discuss on Glassdoor,” Charlie Sull, a Researcher on the analysis, recently told CNBC. “Most won’t have a powerful emotive effect on their assessment of the organisation, but we’re looking at a small sample of topics that do have a large effect on a company’s Glassdoor rating. Those same factors can cost companies billions of pounds in employees quitting,” Sull added.

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Comments (1)

  • shila
    Mon, 31 Oct 2022 2:12pm GMT
    It is not about toxic culture, its about saving several hours of travel, several hours of sleep, money saved from spending on corporate clothing, more productivity with no interuptions, saving money on spending money on lunch and breakfast daily, having the temperature at a level I like, being able to go straight to the gym around the corner from my home straight after 5pm, being able to cook evening meal in my lunch hour giving me more time to spend my time in leisure or with family. If anything the constant articles from grapevine about home working I feel the pressure to go back to work than anything else, seems like the media doing its usual thing again! Leave us alone.

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