Toxic workplaces are hazardous to your health

Something amazing (and encouraging) happened last Thursday.

The U.S. surgeon general released guidance saying toxic workplaces can inflict damage on people’s mental and physical well-being.

“Toxic workplaces are harmful to workers, to their mental health, and it turns out, to their physical health too,” Dr. Vivek Murthy said.

Murthy’s office says bad work environments cause chronic stress, which can cause heart disease, depression, and other conditions.

The surgeon general’s report highlights that 76% of workers in the U.S. have at least one symptom of a mental health condition, while up to 84% of people said their workplaces contributed to mental health issues.

So what are the key takeaways from this guidance?

It’s three-fold:

  • If you’re in a leadership role, then follow the surgeon general’s recommendations and pay your team well, listen to employees, limit after-hour communications, and offer growth opportunities & mental health benefits.
  • If you work for a company that compensates you fairly and that truly values your contributions, and for a manager who listens, cares for you, and is collaborative, then that’s worth more than getting a new job that pays more.
  • If you work in a cutthroat environment and/or for a disrespectful manager, or if you don’t feel like you’re being properly respected or valued, then it’s time for you to reevaluate your priorities and find a new job that values work/life balance and where you’re appreciated.

You can see the full Surgeon General’s Report here.