Job-hunting is a grueling process, and sometimes, it feels like winning the jackpot once a person lands a job. The moment they get that phone call, they may have the tendency to become a “Yes Man”. As a result, they fail to look out for red flags around the office and end up subjecting themselves to a toxic work environment.
There are several apparent signs around the office that can immediately reflect the environment experienced by current employees. Aside from these, there are little details that are often overlooked because they seem to be insignificant.
Check the Bathroom
This may seem like a tiny detail, but its significance means a lot to your experience as an employee. A bathroom is a sensitive place. Therefore, it needs to be comfortable. For it to be comfortable, it needs to be sanitary.
To a certain extent, this reflects the way employers give importance to their employees. If the bathroom is clean and entirely functional, it means that they care about their employees’ health, hygiene, and experience down to the smallest detail.
Some offices will have a different bathroom for the bosses and the employees. This can be acceptable, provided that the difference between both bathrooms is not drastic. Consider thinking about visiting a workplace that has a pristine bathroom, complete with a bidet toilet attachment for the bosses. Meanwhile, the employees have a rusty, moldy bathroom without toilet paper and hand soap. To some, this conveys a message on the way the company views its employees.
Look Out for Jokes from the Interviewer
There are interviewers who want to impress interviewers. Since they become the bearer of the company’s image to strangers, they need to appear pleasant and leave a good impression. As a result, they tend to give funny remarks or tell jokes to lighten the mood.
It is not always a hit, though, as some jokes become borderline problematic. While it is true that not everyone is political correctness police, problematic jokes reflect the kind of culture the office breeds.
The way of thinking perpetuated by politically incorrect jokes may further oppress people from marginalized sectors in the office. This could cause discomfort and the possibility of occasional offensive remarks targeted towards them. It could make other people unsafe in an environment where they spend most of their days.
Emphasis on Mental Health
Mental health affects employees’ performance at work. “Presenteeism,” or the act of showing up at work despite issues on mental or physical health, happens to most employees. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global economy lost $1 trillion due to productivity issues caused by depression and anxiety.
Modern-day workplaces give more importance to mental health. This is apparent in job postings where one of the benefits is a mental health leave. This is a crucial incentive, especially to millennials who have garnered the reputation for being the wellness generation.
Other than mental health leaves, caring for mental health takes on different forms. It could come from the HR department who may check on the employees from time-to-time. The company can also have an in-house counselor that they can visit when they are having a hard time dealing with stress. The employees may also be entitled to healthcare benefits such as mental health coverage. If these details are not stated in the job posting, consider asking about them on the second interview or phone call.
Observe the Office
A person can pick up several details on the workplace culture by simply observing the employees or the general area of the office. For instance, a messy office can be a massive turn-off. When things are lying around without proper space or storage, it could mean that things may not be running systematically in the company. The layout could also be a determiner of how life goes for every employee. An example would be an open layout is known to breed collaboration within employees, and it works well for group tasks.
Furthermore, be wary of quiet offices. On one hand, people need to focus on their jobs. On the other hand, a business needs collaboration to get things done. The one crucial aspect of collaboration is communication. Hence, a little hubbub in the workplace means that open communication and teamwork are greatly welcome in the company.
Looking around for these signs may save people from the stresses of a toxic work environment. The popular saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may apply to this, but this cover can directly affect 40 hours per week of one’s life.