How Toxic Workplaces Harm Employee Health

Anyone who’s ever worked in a toxic workplace knows the toll it can take on you: the loss of sleep, the stress gnawing a pit in your stomach, the constant uncertainty around your manager. You might have even thought to yourself, “this can’t be good for me”. 

Well, we now have clinical data to say definitively: it’s not. A recent report released by the US Surgeon General’s office has found that a toxic workplace and lack of work-life balance aren’t just bad for your mental health, they’re bad for your physical health as well. The report states that chronic stress from an abusive workplace can “increase one’s vulnerability to infection, the risk for diabetes, and the risk for other chronic health conditions,” as well as the risk for “high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.”

Since the pandemic forced us to reckon with the relationship between work and physical wellbeing, a growing body of research has revealed the health costs of a toxic work environment. The report notes that half of healthcare professionals who worked during the pandemic described negative health effects from the stress of the experience. Other studies have linked overwork to heart disease.

The Cost Of a Toxic Workplace

These negative health effects for employees impact the performance of the company as a whole. People in a toxic workplace do not operate at their peak level. As the report states, “When people feel anxious or depressed, the quality, pace and performance of their work tends to decline.” Workers who need to take time off due to stress-induced health issues can’t contribute to the business. Likewise, widespread medical issues in a company can increase the health insurance costs of companies on a group health plan. 

Toxic work environments are bad for a workers’ physical health and, in the long run, bad for companies’ financial health

Making a Difference in Your Workplace

The Surgeon General’s report lists 5 essentials for creating well-being in the workplace. Emtrain is here to help you accomplish these goals! Below are the Surgeon General’s recommendations, plus some resources Emtrain offers to make your workplace the best it can be.

  1. Protection from harm: Safeguarding employees from harm can take many forms, from giving workers effective sexual harassment training to laying out clear plans in the event that violence occurs in the workplace. Emtrain’s comprehensive Workplace Harassment Training Course covers all these topics, plus many more.
  2. Connection and community: Studies have shown that employees who feel engaged with their team perform 21% more effective than those who are not. Emtrain’s Skill Building Curriculum gives employees the tools they need to communicate clearly and develop lasting bonds with their colleagues.
  3. Work-life harmony: Emtrain offers tons of resources to help employees and managers strike a harmonious work-life balance for themselves and their workplace. We can help you learn more about the importance of breaks in the workplace or even give you tips on finding the right tradeoff between work and personal time.
  4. Mattering at work: Feeling a sense of belonging and purpose is a huge part of employee satisfaction. Emtrain offers targeted microlessons for a wide range of workplace scenarios, including training on building inclusion and fostering belonging for mothers in the workplace.
  5. Opportunity for growth: Another important factor in creating a healthy workplace culture is ensuring employees have a clear idea of how they can grow and learn within the company. Emtrain’s full suite of interactive workplace trainings allows workers to uplevel their skills in various areas.

Creating a healthy workplace means fostering physical and mental well-being for a whole community of workers. For more information on how Emtrain can help your workplace contact us or sign up for a free demo today!

empathyharassmentLeadershipmental healthWorkplace Culture
Jacob Halabe
Marketing Intern, Emtrain
View bio

Stay up to date with our blog posts!