Toxicity in the workplace

New research conducted by job aggregator has found that a large minority of UK employees believe their workplace is toxic, with many admitting having experienced bullying, sexual harassment and homophobic behaviour while at work.

In this context, the term ‘toxic’ refers to a place of work, generally an office environment, that is characterised by significant personal conflicts between the people who work there and a systemic culture of abuse. Worryingly, this national survey of employees highlights just how toxic many workplaces in the UK still are, with 42% of respondents suggesting they work in a toxic environment.

The research also revealed that:

  • 42% of employees had witnessed bullying at work
  • 31% had witnessed sexist behaviour at their place of work
  • 17% had seen sexual harassment taking place at work
  • 16% had witnessed homophobic behaviour in their workplace.

Overall, the research casts a relatively unflattering light on the modern British workplace and suggests there is still a great deal of work for many employers to do in order to ensure that these types of behaviours are addressed and a more appropriate organisational culture is developed.

Commenting on the survey’s findings,’s CEO Joe Boll said, “This survey certainly shows some disturbing results and shows that employers need to continue to work hard to ensure these behaviours are removed from workplaces. Every employee deserves to work in a positive, non-toxic environment.”