Sexual harassment isn’t always about flirtation or a supervisor soliciting you. Sometimes the sexual harassment a worker experiences on the job involves a hostile work environment.
A significant number of their co-workers are cruel or exclusionary to them. They never know when someone might make an inappropriate joke or intentionally let a minor accident occur, like dropping a tray on someone’s foot, all out of spite. Hostile work environments prevent workers from doing the best job possible and can also cause serious health issues if left unaddressed for too long.
How might a hostile work environment affect your health?
You may not sleep very well at night
A good night’s rest is crucial to your mental health and overall cognitive function. When you don’t have adequate rest because you lay awake at night feeling stressed about going back to your job the next day, your mood will decline, as will your decision-making ability.
Sleep deprivation in the long term can cause many serious health issues, which is why you should not ignore stressors that affect your ability to rest.
You may experience adrenal fatigue
The more threatening you find your work environment, the more likely your body is to experience frequent chemical responses to interactions with coworkers. Although adrenal fatigue is not a medical diagnosis, it does describe the physical impact of constant workplace stress on an individual.
Workers may find themselves in a constant state of fight or flight and can experience fatigue, muscle aches, and numerous other physical symptoms because of their body’s physical reaction to the social or emotional stressors they encounter.
You could get hurt on the job
Hostile work environments sometimes escalate from petty misconduct to intentional negligence or violence. If you can’t trust your coworkers to stop a piece of machinery before it crashes into you or to assist you if something goes wrong on the job, then you are in an unsafe work environment. Your risk of getting hurt on the job may be higher than for other people in similar positions, possibly because your coworkers tamper with your equipment.
When you recognize how the hostility of your coworkers could affect you in the long term, you may see the value in speaking up. Fighting back against workplace discrimination, including a hostile work environment caused by sexual harassment, will protect you and others who come to work for that company later.