How to identify toxic work environment?

Ishan Liyanage
2 min readJul 3, 2022

Toxic work environment will kill your ability, quality and energy. Are you really in a toxic work environment? Here are few points from my view on how to identify them.

Can you speak up and give feedback?

One of the most important sign that your workplace is toxic is that when you speak up and feedback, your managers and co-workers do not listen or they pretend that they are listening. If you feedback is not being treated as valuable meaning a sign that management do not prioritise the people. If team or leaders do not value their co-workers input or feedback will allow toxic environment to grow.

Lack of professionalism

If your environment often feels like the talking gossip (and bullying) like in high school than a professional work place, then it is a toxic behavior. These behaviours are immature and should not be there in a professional work environment.

Lack of accountability

Are you constantly talking about team values or best practices? Or giving feedback to team members constructively so they can improve? If the answer is NO, then it is a sign of toxic culture. We should always discuss team values and work towards best practices. We should own (take ownership) and help each other.



Ishan Liyanage

Passionate Technical Lead, Senior Software Developer and free and open source software advocate. Based in Singapore.