How A Toxic Workplace Culture Can Affect Your Finances

It has been said that picking your spouse is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. In a lot of ways that is very true, you share finances with them, share kids, a home, and the list goes on. Yet when picking a career we often times don't look past the job description and a general feel for a company in the few minutes that you are in an interview. This is a crying shame and horrible mistake. Let's take a look at the math. There are 24 hours in a day and according to CNBC average person works 9.4 hours per day. That's almost 60% of your waking hours (assuming you sleep the average 8 hours a night) every day during the week that you spend with the people that you work with. This has a huge impact on your life and finances is definitely one of them. So, now the question is how does it affect your life and more specifically, your finances?

Let's take a look at two sample (yet very realistic) scenarios of a good and bad work environment.


A Toxic Work Environment

Imagine walking into an office that eerily quiet. All that you hear is typing and everyone's head is down. All of the sudden you hear a boss openly berate someone about a mistake that they made telling them they "don't have any common sense" (yikes)! Then you hear snickering in the background from all the gossip. You catch a glimpse of someone checking their phone in the corner of jobs on Linkedin and cross-referencing Glassdoor to see employee reviews to see how people are actually liking it (because they definitely don't want to get in the same scenario again). Does this sound familiar?

What are the long-term effects of this? 

  • Increased consumption of alcohol and drugs-There was a study that was done that is mentioned in an article for Entrepreneur from Havard University that people in negative work environments attempt to drown their sorrows in alcohol, drugs, and poor eating habits. These habits are all incredibly expensive. Not to mention the domino effect it creates in the next scenario.
  • Increased Level of Medical Expenses-In the same article from Entrepreneur, they mention that there was a study done with University College London (UCL) and Harvard University that there is a positive correlation between a long-term negative work environment and increased risks of coronary heart disease.
  • (In extreme cases) Divorce- If these expensive things such as alcohol, drugs, excessive eating and the domino effect of an increase in medical expenses can cause a huge financial strain on relationships.  A study done by CitiBank stated that 57 % of the couples were due to money issues.

A Good Work Environment

Imagine walking into an office full of smiling faces. As your walking down the isles of cubicles you see a coworker congratulate another coworker on a good job on their presentation. A boss coming out of their office to brainstorm an issue that an employee is having with a new software. Uncontrollable laughter coming from the breakroom because people from different departments are playfully picking on one another about their general habits.

What are the long-term effects of this?   

Due to the fact that there is a positive correlation between negative work environments and money issues if the opposite is true then these are the effects below:

  • lower probability of alcohol and drug usage
  • lower probability of medical expenses
  • lower probability of divorce

In Conclusion 

As you can see work environments have an indirect yet huge impact on your finances. This creates a domino effect on your relationships as well. We live in a society where money is a huge factor in relationships that are not always talked about yet impacts our lives in a very real way. Gaining awareness of the sociological impact on how much workplace culture impacts finances is a huge win in and of itself.