While there is absolutely no such thing as a "perfect" job, there are some common practices or work etiquettes that are still being conducted today that no longer benefit the company or the staff. In fact, a lot of them might even be considered toxic.
1. "Saying some version of 'hi' in my DMs/Slack and forcing/EXPECTING me to burn minutes on getting to what the fuck you need. LEAD WITH THE NEED: 'HI, I NEED X BY Y. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH A SPECIFIC THING?'"
2. "Forced team-bonding events."
"And expecting women to organize and run the mandatory fun/team-bonding events. Does not matter if men at the same level or job would never be expected to 'waste' their time putting together these events, women are expected to do it — often on their own time — and we are supposed to like it, too."
3. "Mental health–related seminars instead of giving us a day off."
"Or telling people to practice self-care. Okay, yes, self-care is important. But we need to be able to put that into practice! We need to be able to take uninterrupted breaks. We need to be able to not answer work-related calls/texts/emails/etc. off the clock without being penalized for it. We need to be able to take PTO without unnecessary hassle. We need to be able to set boundaries instead of being held to 'quality' metrics that inhibit them.
"And we need to recognize that self-care isn't the solution to every problem. We need to be paid what we're worth. We need shorter workdays. We need a just workplace."
4. "Forcing people to stay until a certain time, even if their workload is complete, because you HAVE to be there. We only get so much time in this world — I hate having to be somewhere only for the reason of having to be there. That and being given more work if you complete your work early."
5. "When things go wrong, focusing on blame rather than solutions. In my experience, most people, even lazy ones, want to do a good job. And when they fail, it's due to poor systems or unclear expectations. Of course, there can be a 'bad fit,' but truly malicious bad actors are extremely rare."
6. "Colleagues who are supposed to train you don't train you. So you are forced to learn the job yourself. Then that colleague criticizes how you are doing everything. So you ask them for more training so they can show you how to do it right — but they say they are too busy. That colleague treats you as if you've been working there for 25 years and assumes that you know all this stuff, ignoring the fact that you are new. They overwhelm you with information, make you feel like a total idiot because you don't know this stuff, and the colleague expects you to know all their 25-plus years of knowledge in a week!"
7. "'This is a family.' No, it's not...it's a business."
"Take this advice seriously. I was interviewed for a position at a local ski resort rental shop. They told me that they were 'family.'
"Fast-forward to the second season: I reported sexual harassment against my head supervisor. I found out that the whole crew was doing coke in between helping with customers. They were taking swigs of hard liquor and beer in the locker room all day long.
"The bosses were having affairs with young employees. For a while, I kind of accepted that and started partying with them. I finally realized that the term 'We’re family' was another way of gatekeeping. I was like, 'OK, this is too much and my boss is making me feel uncomfortable.' After I reported it, the rental shop boys turned against me and hated me for it.
"I was so traumatized so bad that I skipped my period. I still think about it today."
8. "Not paying men and women equally."
9. "Mandating attendance in an office for completely remote-capable work. We don’t need to be friends with coworkers."
"'But it’ll be better for brainstorming!' 'But we want to have a more social environment!' 'But we want the office to be busy again!'
"No thanks. WFH has been such a boost to my personal situation. I’m able to see my kids before school, I’m not wasting time in traffic or filling my gas tank every couple of days — I just feel better. But it looks as if we have to head back in the new year, and I’m not looking forward to it.
"Don't get me wrong…I’m one of the lucky ones who actually like who they work with. But I want to keep working from home. Maybe go to the office once a week or something, but there is no need for me to be there in person every day. They’ve set us up so well to work from home, and I’m actually way more productive."
11. "Telling employees to keep their salary confidential. LOL, I am in HR, and I am all for compensation transparency because I know that corporate only tells us to hide things when they know it's too fishy to disclose."
12. "This is different, but a very outgoing likable employee not having to follow the rules because she is popular with everyone in the office."
13. "I once had to put in $75 toward a sick person’s gift, so expensive gifting that’s mandated."
14. "Tattling on a coworker to a boss over a simple mistake instead of talking to them and helping them learn. It breeds such a toxic culture of not trusting your coworkers and kills any sense of camaraderie within the team."
16. "The whole department getting yelled at for one person's wrongdoing. Address the person. Fix the problem. Don’t yell at all of us!"
17. "The pressure to work when sick just because you WFH ('because that's what everyone else does' — and everyone thinks like this)."
18. "Sexual harassment. Still so prevalent."
"Last week I interviewed someone with 30 years' experience in my (male-dominant) industry, and in that interview, he told me about a time when he went to a stripper club in my city, asked me if I liked to party, and asked me if I was married. I could be his daughter. Clearly, a massive HR problem waiting to happen, so he was not hired.
"It was obvious he had no idea that what he was saying was inappropriate. More likely than not, this behavior was acceptable at the other companies he worked at."
19. "This is education-specific, but admin giving praise and compliments to teachers who come in early and stay late and work on the weekends. They call it 'dedication,' but honestly, it's working way beyond contract hours for no pay. I used to do this every week, and my life improved so much when I finally stopped. I love my students, but I shouldn't be considered less dedicated because I won't work for free."
20. "Nonconfrontation that leads to drama. If you have a problem with how I do things, tell me straight away. Don’t bother tattling with another coworker because it’s not going to fix things. If anything, I’ll think you’re intending on ruining my reputation instead."
21. "Asking people to donate their PTO instead of giving someone the time off they need."
22. "The mentality that people who choose to have children are more entitled to take time off on holidays or in the summer. I don’t have a child, but I am someone’s child. I don’t have to have children of my own for holidays to be important to me."
Is there a toxic workplace behavior that you believe needs to stop ASAP? If so, tell us in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.