Toxic work cultures leading to more long-term absences, report finds

One in seven have called in sick to avoid a colleague they do not get along with

Saman Javed
Saturday 15 January 2022 10:58 GMT
<p>Attitudes toward work have changed since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020</p>

Attitudes toward work have changed since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020

Almost a third of UK employees have taken time off work due to a toxic workplace culture, a new report has found.

Additionally, 61 per cent of those who have experienced harassment, bullying or discrimination at work have had to take long-term leave, while 42 per cent left their roles permanently.

The research, carried out by software developer Culture Shift, surveyed 1,000 adults from a range of public and private sectors including finance, healthcare and legal on workplace culture and its impact on their mental health.

Although the report found that attitudes toward work have changed since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, with employees now “less willing to put up with negative cultures”, the impact of a toxic work environment is long-lasting.

More than 50 per cent of employees reported that the emotional distress of being bullied or harassed lasted for at least one to two years, while 34 per cent said it lasted between three to four years.

Almost two thirds of people (64 per cent) said their experiences had a negative impact on their mental health and 71 per cent said they needed to have therapy as a result.

A negative workplace culture also results in more short-term absences, with 71 per cent reporting that they have called in sick due to not wanting to see somebody they have a negative relationship with at work.

“The pandemic has left employees more aware of what is truly important to them; whether that’s a good work life balance or a workplace with a strong culture of trust and respect,” Gemma McCall, chief executive of Culture Shift, said.

“This, amongst other social and political events of the past 2 years, has undoubtedly led to more people being mindful of workplace culture.

“There are simply just fewer employees that are willing to put up with negative cultures, problematic behaviour and the subsequent impact on their mental health.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in