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Team Effectiveness

Checklist: 10 Signs Your Work Environment is Unhealthy

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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

How to tell if your workplace needs improvement

Unhealthy workplaces stifle creativity, ruin optimism, and drag down productivity. And the effect doesn’t stop when employees leave work: it seeps into and throughout the day-to-day lives of those involved.

So how can you tell if your workplace is unhealthy or healthy? We built this checklist for identifying an unhealthy work environment to give you the warning signs.

Here's how to tell if your workplace is unhealthy: assess your work environment by determining whether you strongly agree or disagree with the following statements.

  • Employees use self-centered language like “you” or “them” instead of inclusive, team-centered language like “we” or “us”
  • When issues arise, employees avoid addressing the problem with others
  • Employees gossip and spread rumors about coworkers
  • Tasks and projects are completed alone, even if cooperation is possible
  • Employees are suspicious of each other, disrespectful, and competitive
  • Team members do not hold up to their part in the projects
  • Employees are afraid to share ideas or different points of view
  • Values and expectations are unclear or nonexistent
  • Relationships between employees are poor or competitive
  • The feeling of the office is stressful and negative


If you strongly agree with these 10 signs your work environment is unhealthy, the work environment you are experiencing needs improvement. It could be problems within your team or across the organization, but it's time to identify the source of negative conflict and adjust.

Often, conflicts and issues can be tied back to more than one source or problem. For each of the statements you strongly agreed to, separate the potential causes and plan ways to address each one. It could be speaking to the manager, addressing a communication style issue with another teammate, or defining clear expectations to hold others accountable.

How employees treat each other around the office is a clear indicator of the work environment as a whole. Without trust, respect, and accountability, teamwork is weighed down by negative relationships and performance issues follow.
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Rachel Semple

Rachel Semple works across the FlashPoint client journey, from crafting initial proposals to developing and reviewing program deliverables.