No matter what the job, your work environment has an inescapable impact on your mood. If your workspace is a dreary office setting with unfriendly coworkers, you may find it difficult to find motivation or feel confident in what you produce. That’s part of why creating an open and friendly work environment is critical for the success and productivity of any company.
Here are four ways from Business News Daily that employers can improve office environment and, in turn, employee engagement and productivity.
1. Hire Great Team Members For Productivity (And Let Bad Ones Go)
Smart businesses know that a good work environment starts with hiring the right people. Make sure employees exhibit professional behavior and a team-oriented mindset. When employees work with toxic individuals, they are more likely to begin developing those bad habits themselves.
Don’t be afraid to let poisonous employees go, either. It can be a hard thing to do, but one bad attitude can affect everyone’s daily productivity.
2. Improve The Lighting And Improve Productivity
Lighting also plays a vital role in workers’ performance and attitude. A study from the University of North Carolina found that exposure to natural light improves mood and energy, greatly impacting focus and productivity. But a survey from Pots Planters and More revealed that nearly half of their respondents reported having little to no natural lighting in their office.
If it’s not possible to incorporate natural lighting through windows, there are other options to consider. Blue-enriched light bulbs may reduce fatigue and increase happiness and work performance, according to the article. You can also use warmer colors and tones in meeting and break rooms to promote calmness and relaxation.
3. Make The Office Comfortable To Boost Productivity
Working in a clean and attractive office can have an enormous impact on employee’s productivity and their relationships with co-workers and managers.
“Even if the sun can’t shine into your workplace, make an effort to provide a relaxing atmosphere with comfy furniture, working equipment and a few ‘extra-mile’ amenities,” says Mike Canarelli, CEO of Web Talent Marketing.
For example, give your employees the flexibility to move around different spaces in the office to work where they’re comfortable, or give them the option to sit or stand at their desks. According to Pots Planters and More, people who labeled their work furniture as “bad” are three times more likely to consider their work environment as less conducive to productivity and two times as likely to find it “depressing.”
(If you need some guidance on how to fix up your workplace, check out our wide variety of ergonomic furniture or contact us for an ergonomic assessment and consultation.)
Likewise, help employees to feel comfortable by allowing them to customize their space. Instead of “standard-issue” everything, consider a small budget for everyone to purchase work items that reflect their own tastes.
4. Improve Communication To Improve Productivity
Team members and upper management should focus on their communication methods and the effects they have on each other and the office environment.
“Employees are motivated and feel valued when they’re given positive reinforcement and shown how their work contributes to the success of the business,” said Dominique Jones, former chief people officer at Halogen Software.
This means offering employees specific feedback on how their productivity is feeding into the broader business objectives, she noted.
But employees shouldn’t be the only ones being evaluated. Managers should be open to feedback as well, said Samantha Lambert, director of human resources at Blue Fountain Media.
“When you involve your staff in decision-making in an effort to create a better work environment, they feel valued,” Lambert said. “Don’t be afraid to ask employees for their opinion on a new benefit offered, or what they think of a new client project.”
While you’re working on communication, don’t forget to show gratitude for hard work. According to David Sturt, executive vice president of marketing and business development at the O.C. Tanner Institute, effective employee recognition can transform and elevate an organization. “It ignites enthusiasm, increases innovation, builds trust and drives bottom-line results,” he said. “Even a simple ‘thank you’ after an employee goes above and beyond on a project, or puts in a series of late nights, goes a long way.