/Toxic Office Culture is Moving Online While Employees Work from Home

Toxic Office Culture is Moving Online While Employees Work from Home

Millions of Americans have had to adapt to a new work culture after the Coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to send employees to work from home. What was only meant to be a temporary change for a few weeks to help hinder the spread of COVID-19  has turned into months. While some employees welcome working from home and enjoy the new setup many other employees have found that the toxic culture in corporate offices has begun to spread to worker’s homes and online.

One software developer who works for a tech company near Los Angeles, who asked to not be named for privacy reasons, says he’s noticed increasingly antagonistic online behavior from peers and managers since March. Team morale has plummeted, he says, thanks to a combination of overwork, under-recognition and combative messaging from leaders that he doesn’t believe would be tolerated in an office. He says he’s constantly on edge in what used to be a friendly and collaborate workplace. “At this point I’m used to it,” he says, “but I don’t want to be.”

One software developer who works for a tech company near Los Angeles, who asked to not be named for privacy reasons, says he’s noticed increasingly antagonistic online behavior from peers and managers since March. Team morale has plummeted, he says, thanks to a combination of overwork, under-recognition and combative messaging from leaders that he doesn’t believe would be tolerated in an office. He says he’s constantly on edge in what used to be a friendly and collaborate workplace. “At this point I’m used to it,” he says, “but I don’t want to be.”

Then there’s the issue that workplace gossip has moved from office hallways to online chat threads, which has been a problem for the developer in LA.

While virtual meetings remove geographical barriers for professional connection, they can also widen the gap in who gets recognition during meetings. A recent survey from Catalyst, a nonprofit that works to accelerate women into leadership, found that 45% of women business leaders say it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings, and one in five women say they’ve felt ignored or overlooked by colleagues during video calls.

Many experts say that directly addressing issues with superiors is a great first step in combating the problem of remote workplace toxicity.

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