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Is Your Job Hazardous to Your Mental Health?

20 Questions to grade corporate abuse in your workplace.

More and more companies are looking for ways to get a greater bang for their buck. They want to make sure every dollar spent contributes to the organization’s growth, often sacrificing people for profit. Some businesses operate from the top to bottom through a structure that strips management layers in order to remain competitive, employing four people to do the work of five. Power picnics have replaced company picnics, once a family affair, so that companies can squeeze in more work during the annual event. And Power lunches have replaced office lunch breaks.

Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash

Excessive corporate demand, combined with wireless technology, risks company exploitation of employees who feel they must be available 24/7. Some organizations set tight deadlines, make unreasonable demands, or heighten the pace expecting employees to change tires going eighty miles an hour. Others create a climate of threat, hinting at nonexistent competitors, telling workers clients are dissatisfied and their jobs are in jeopardy even when they are not. These corporate tactics create paranoia, stress, and a prolonged adrenaline rush among the workforce; employees never know for sure which crises are real and which are fabrications. Could your company be one of these?

Do You Work in a Toxic Win/Lose Culture of Sacrifice?

Do you toil in a toxic company that promotes profit over well being? Are employees suffering from stress and burnout? Or are you fortunate enough to work in an organization that considers human factors, nurtures its employees, and encourages you to thrive? Test your workplace to see how it rates on corporate abuse by answering yes or no to the following questions:

___1. Is your job rapid paced with little time to have casual conversations with coworkers or managers?

___2. Does your work environment feel cold, sterile, or devoid of the human touch?

___3. Does your workplace thrive on crisis, chaos, and urgency without consideration for employee feelings or personal lives?

___4. Do you work for a company that emphasizes production, workload, and profit above the welfare and morale of its employees?

___5. Does success in your company hinge on over-scheduling and over-committing and overtime on weekdays, weekends, or holidays?

___6. Is your employer intolerant of even the most minor employee mistakes?

___7. Are you constantly in a hurry, racing against the clock due to job pressures?

___8. Is it necessary to juggle many tasks or projects at one time to keep up in your job?

___9. Does your company put you under the gun with unreasonable demands or short notice of high-pressure deadlines?

___10. Have you had any stress-related illnesses because of your current job?

___11. Do you work in an atmosphere that puts the welfare of its employees above profit and production?

___12. Does your company show compassion toward employees who have concerns about family and personal time or who experience stress and burnout?

___13. Is your job environment relaxing, evenly paced, warm, and friendly?

___14. Do you feel like a human being more often than a commodity on your job?

___15. In your job, can you limit the amount of work you bring home and protect weekends and holidays for yourself and loved ones?

___16. Do you think your employer has a long-term, vested interest in you as a human being versus a short-term interest on what you can produce?

___17. Does your company promote celebrations—such as birthdays and holidays—or other socializing as an integral part of the work schedule?

___18. Do you work with colleagues who are cooperative, caring, and supportive and with whom you can communicate?

___19. If you have a problem on your job can you talk with someone on site who will listen and offer support?

___20. Does your position give you personal satisfaction, meaning and purpose and allow you to thrive?

Calculate Your Score

Start with 60 points. Subtract 2 points for each yes answer to questions 1 through 10. Add 2 points for each no answer to questions 1 through 10. Subtract 2 points for each no answer to questions 11 through 20. Add 2 points for each yes answer to questions 11 through 20.

Your Job’s Report Card

0-59: F/Poor. Consider a healthier workplace. You might already have signs of stress

or burnout or other physical symptoms that lead to bad health.

60-69: D/Below average

70-79: C/Average

80-89: B/Good

90-100: A/Excellent. Stay put. You’ve hit the jackpot of a non-toxic, thriving workplace.