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An Engineer’s Guide On Spotting Toxic Work Environments

Before you decide to join a certain company, how about checking these warning signs from the people working in that company.

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Here’s an engineer’s guide so you won’t have to experience these toxic situations… but we know you’ll do it anyway.

The environment you’re working in is very crucial to your job as an engineer. Being in a company that allows you to grow and be better in your profession is a dream come true for most of us. However, we can’t deny the possibilities of working in companies that could have been good for us but only look good on the outside. These companies may look good on paper but the people we’ll be working with there may offer us a toxic environment that could be detrimental not only to our career but also to our well-being.

A toxic company culture must be avoided by any engineer at all cost. Would you want to work in a company where you dread walking in the office everyday because the energy inside it is too negative for you to get some work done? Nope, nobody wants that.

So before you decide to join a certain company, how about checking these warning signs from the people working in that company.

Leaders who don’t “walk the walk”

Engineer’s guide to toxic workplace (Source: NBA)

The engineering bosses who say one thing but do the opposite are the worst. Observe their honesty, integrity and transparency before you consider working for them. It would be hard for you to trust them to lead you if you don’t trust them to enough to work with. A good leader says the right things and does them as well.

Read more  Engineers Don’t Need To “Sell Themselves” In A Job Interview

Employees who are always tired of their jobs

Engineer’s guide to toxic workplace (Source: Virgin Australia)

It should be an obvious sign for anyone if the people who work in a certain company often find themselves unmotivated to get tasks done. They waste their time doing unproductive work or wandering around the office (drinking coffee for an hour or gossiping). If you don’t want them to drain off the energy that you have, better avoid working with them.

Lack of communication

Engineer’s guide to toxic workplace (Source: Giphy)

When all the communication employees are getting inside wok are through meetings and memos, isn’t it alarming that the management is keeping something from them? A healthy environment involves employees knowing what is going on, where the company is headed and other important stuff necessary for their jobs. Employees want to know if the company they’re working in is doing well or not.

People play games

Engineer’s guide to toxic workplace (Source: CareerAddict)

Mean people exist. Bullies are still found in offices. The work politics can be dirty and you don’t want to get involved in playing games with these people. Instead of finding time to be productive at work, these people would just waste it on complaining and sabotaging a colleague’s career. Not only is it bad for you, it’s bad for the company as well.

The red tape

Engineer’s guide to toxic workplace (Source: Pinterest)

When the rules are too strict and you have to conform to what the company wants you to do, it could lead you to suffer in your career growth. You have so many great ideas for the projects yet you couldn’t push through with them because of the regulations that interrupt you.

Read more  The Habits of Happy Successful Engineers

So go ahead, we advise you to do your research first. Learn more about the companies you want to be part of. Ask a lot of questions and think about your options. Better to be in a healthy environment despite the relatively low income than a high-paying one that’s toxic. Being in a toxic culture may affect your health, your personal life and your capabilities as an engineer

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Hina Sapra

Content Writer, South Asia. Hina is a former news correspondent at Times of India


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