Most Tech Professionals Face a ‘Toxic Office’: Survey Results

Last week, we asked you if your office environment was toxic. Most respondents to our survey say they “definitely” work in a toxic environment.

The survey options were plain: yes or no. A whopping 69 percent say their office environment is toxic. Meanwhile, 31 percent don’t think their office environment (despite its issues, perhaps) rises (or sinks) to that level.

Remember, defining the “toxic office” just isn’t simple. Some employees thrive on the daily gossip and inter-office drama, and wouldn’t regard their environment in a negative light. Meanwhile, such activity wears down other employees rapidly.

In a similar fashion, not enjoying where you work, or not being a cultural fit at a company, doesn’t always make it a toxic workplace.

But toxic workplaces (whatever the definition) can have a deep and meaningful impact. In our guide to red flags during the interview process, we championed being observant when you go into an office. Was a group huddled in a corner, whispering and looking your way? Was everyone at their desk obviously miserable? Did the interviewer or HR rep hurry you into the interview room, neglecting to give you any sort of tour? These are all signs a workplace might be toxic.

If you think you can weather such an environment, think again. A separate Dice Insights survey showed a “toxic work environment” is one of the biggest productivity killers, tying “distractions” for the top position.

Even the most recent Dice Salary Survey shows tech professionals are largely over the drama of toxic workplaces: 47 percent said they’d like to leave their job for one with “better working conditions.” We can treat “better working conditions” as coded language for escaping a toxic office environment.

The core issue is 69 percent of tech professionals think or feel their office environment is toxic. Managers should take an objective look at why two-thirds of their reports consider the office as a bad place to work day-to-day, and make meaningful change.

2 Responses to “Most Tech Professionals Face a ‘Toxic Office’: Survey Results”

  1. james igoe

    Wow, what a misrepresentation! You didn’t ask yes or no, you only provide yes, or it’s kind of toxic as answers. I didn’t answer the question, or I was forced to answer the latter, when in fact I don’t find it remotely toxic. Even then, places that could generally be described as toxic in hindsight might have appeared as ‘a little bit’ toxic in the moment. This is a rotten survey!

    Maybe you can try something with a bit of nuance, and more than a single heavily-loaded question.