We have always assumed that a toxic workplace can be detrimental to health, but no one imagined it to be literally true until this woman shared her own story on LinkedIn. The woman recounted how she ended up battling an auto-immune disorder due to which even hugging her kids became a threat to her health. After undergoing several rounds of treatments, she still wasn’t any better. Then she made a change in her life- quitting her job.
A workplace has the potential to impact both your mind and heart as it is a part of your day-to-day life. Even when it’s a work-from-home situation, the constant demand for communication and the sheer workload can drive you to exhaustion. A toxic work environment can never yield good no matter how much one tries to ignore it. More and more people seem to be choosing their well-being over career goals that cost them their health and the trend to quit jobs is showing no signs of slowing down.
According to a survey by McKinsey this year, 40 percent of employees are thinking of leaving their jobs in the next three to six months. Not just that, those who are leaving are also considering switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to nontraditional roles, retiring early, or starting their own businesses. This phenomenon of massive outflux of employees from organisations, seen since 2021, has been dubbed Great Attrition, the Great Resignation, or the Great Reshuffling.
Woman Quits Toxic Workplace
A woman named Saraswathi Anand, who currently works as an Asst. Vice President of Marketing and Product at Network18 Media & Investments Limited, shared her story from a few years back. She then shared about the impact of her work on her health, and wrote, “I ended up with an auto immune disorder some years ago. I wasn’t allowed to even hug my kids, as a tight hug may cause internal bleeding and it would be difficult to stop it.”
As horrific as that sounds, she further added, “I went through days of hospitalisations, drugs, steroids and even chemotherapy to help the situation. The most painful bone marrow tests showed that my body’s factory was fine, but something was causing my body to take on itself and kill my platelets.” Anand further said that her lifestyle was as per the book and followed it diligently, “I did everything to get healthy, eat right, eat on time, mild exercise but nothing worked.”
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Trying to figure out what was wrong, her doctor suggested a hard procedure she wrote, “One day, the immunologist told me that the last resort was a splenectomy to help my platelets to survive longer in the body,” but she wasn’t ready for it. “I asked for sometime and decided against it. I just gave up all treatment and even decided to not monitor it for sometime.” Not just that, interestingly, Anand claimed that she realised where it was going wrong, she said, “I knew where the problem lay,” adding, “One year later, on a review with the doctor, he was flabbergasted to see my counts normal. He asked me what I had done.” And she replied, “I just had quit a toxic workplace.”
A toxic workplace affects a person in more severe ways than one can imagine. There are problems like extreme workload leading to burnout and slowly when the burnout settles in it not just affects the mind but also the body. Mental health is extremely important for one to be adequately productive. It is necessary for every individual to identify signs of a toxic workplace and try to get out of there as soon as possible. Changing jobs in this economy isn’t very easy and the decision becomes harder. Especially for women who are working at corporate companies find it extremely difficult to alter jobs because they have to do so while managing their household duties.
But the Great Resignation proves that employees are now realising that a paycheck cannot come at the cost of their wellbeing and their personal life. Hopefully, this shift will prompt employers to rethink the work culture that they have been endorising these past few years in the name of “hustle”.
Views expressed are the author’s own.