5 Signs That Your Creativity is Surrounded by Toxicity

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

According to a recent survey, 80% of Indian Employees are suffering from mental health crises. There are multiple sources to contribute to this situation. Namely, deadlines, financial uncertainty, appraisals, physical health, and many more.



One of the most affected industries with a similar issue is Creative Agencies. People working in a creative setup have multiple questions constantly bugging them, “Am I doing enough? Am I pushing the boundaries? Am I moving fast enough to match the standards set by this industry?”.


This culture is overflowing all through, with everybody from writers to designers. They are routinely approached to surrender their lives in the quest for "creativity". It’s imperative to recognise and understand what type of work culture you are a part of.


Here are some signs you can spot if you’re working with toxicity in one hand and creativity in the other:


1.Lack of boundaries


Being a part of a creative field looks extremely glamorous and fun from a distance. But is it really the truth? We don’t entirely agree. Ask a designer about how many times he/she/they had to work for nights for those “last-minute changes”. The number of times a writer was told to push their limits and send those copies that were never mentioned in the contract. The torture editors had to face in the name of multiple “feedback sessions”.

Unlike what the world thinks, creative pieces require more than one person’s efforts. People from different fields work together to produce one piece and that too under strict deadlines. This leaves the employee with no other option than to have late nights or sometimes even sleepless nights just to match the “deadlines”. We recently read it somewhere, “We need to push deadlines, not people.” And we couldn’t agree more.


2. Miscommunication


As mentioned previously, a creative project is the outcome of a collaboration of diverse minds. However, in an unhealthy work environment, communication takes a backseat and affects the final outcome. Lack of clarity in instructions and goals is one of the major sources of stress among people working in a creative sphere.

Poor communication also contributes to the formation of a space where new ideas are always unwelcome. When employees lack the confidence to share their approach towards a project, it simply means that the organisation has failed in the aspect of creating a safe space for “out of the box” ideas.


3. Constant feeling of chronic stress and burn-out


Creative burnout is a term we come across time and again. A person who’s following his/her/ their passion to earn a living out of it is often seen as the luckiest among peers. However, such people who are involved in such artistic jobs show the maximum signs of being burned out, to an extent that it becomes difficult for them to recover.

Lack of motivation, disproportionate results to the amount of work given, tight deadlines, absence of accurate delegation of tasks, are some of the factors that lead to a creative burn-out. If you seem to spot any of these, you must know it’s time to revamp things a little.


4. Ineffective Leadership


Employees must look upon their seniors for motivation. A good leader not only assigns the tasks effectively, but feedbacks too. There are tons of “feedback sessions” in every creative agency, but mostly it is observed that only the negatives are addressed not the positive notes. Not being able to give a slight push to the ones putting their heart and soul into a project is one big sign of an incompetent leader.


Another type of such inept boss is the one who loves playing games. When it comes to any project that’s a success, these are the ones who are above all to get a “feather in their hats”. However, in times of any blunders or chaos, they also pass their share of blame to anyone but them in the team. This simply leads to lack of faith within the employees and their boss.


5. You don’t really enjoy your job anymore


Creative Professionals are the ones who decided to take a risk and turn their craft into more than just a hobby. Time and again we hear people saying, “I don’t really treat my job like any other job, it’s actually what I love doing”. But as the days pass by, many people have started moving away from this and now look upon their creative jobs as a burden.


Experts suggest that when a “have to” attitude prevails in an organisation with no space for empathy, its employees are more likely to feel demotivated and suffer a creative block.

A popular saying that fits here is by Dr. Amina Aitsi-Selmi, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave toxic work cultures.”


If you can see any of the above-mentioned red flags in your work environment, remember that not all creative agencies possess them. It might take a lot of switching of things before getting the perfect match!

At Visers Media, we’ve always been keen on having amazing projects onboard. But more than anything, we promote a healthy work culture to let your creative juices flow without obstructions.

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