Working in a toxic environment can be detrimental to one’s health and well-being. Working under stressful conditions can also have a negative impact on employee productivity and efficiency. To combat this, employers should strive to create a conducive working environment for their employees. However, the working environment extends beyond the physical workplace to the entire employee experience. Let’s take a look at the factors that can affect the work environment.
The Physical Workplace
The physical environment refers to the actual workspace where employees spend most of their time. This includes the layout of the office, the office furniture, the lighting, and any noise or sources of distraction. A clean, brightly lit, and comfortable workspace can work wonders for employee productivity. Nonetheless, when employees are working in an environment that’s too cold, too hot, too bright, or too noisy, they may experience discomfort, frustration, or distraction.
The Organizational Culture
The organizational culture refers to the values, norms, and practices that guide employee behavior. It also refers to how employees are treated within the organization. For example, the organizational culture may dictate that employees should be respectful to one another and refrain from gossip, but they also expect their employees to be extremely hardworking and put in long hours. Employers must leave enough room for employees to feel comfortable voicing their opinions and concerns. They also need to ensure that their employees understand and adhere to the organization’s values and norms.
Transparent and respectful communication is a critical component of the work environment. A work atmosphere in which workers are polite and thoughtful of one another, as well as customers, clients, and the general public, can lead to higher morale and increased productivity. Still, poor communication can also have the opposite effect, leading to frustration and stress. Moreover, harassment, bullying, and intimidation can have even more serious repercussions — both for your employees and for your business. In case of a serious incident or complaint, employers must conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action. Implementing a cloud archiving solution can help you monitor communication, detect issues early on, and provide evidence in case lawsuits arise.
Clear leadership and expectations
A work environment with strong leadership and support that helps workers understand what they need to perform, how their job contributes to the organization, and whether changes are on the horizon, can produce a psychologically healthy environment. However, if employees don’t have a clear idea of what they should be doing, where they’re going, or what they may expect in the future, they may become frustrated and disengaged. Moreover, if employees aren’t informed about any upcoming changes, they may become anxious and stressed.
Employee engagement refers to the willingness of employees to invest their energy, enthusiasm, and discretionary effort in their work.
Engaged and motivated employees tend to produce higher quality work, are more committed to the organization, and are more likely to stay with the company.
When employees are engaged they:
- take pleasure in their task
- are prepared to put in extra effort at work if necessary
- see work as an essential aspect of their identity
- are dedicated to the organization’s success
- are proud of their job
Rewards and recognition
Employees who are recognized and rewarded for their efforts feel valued and appreciated. Recognition and rewards don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. Even a simple “thank you” or “good job” can go a long way. Still, if employees are constantly ignored or taken for granted, it can have a detrimental impact on the work environment. Managers and supervisors should encourage employees to praise one another so that the recognition is mutual.
Another big taboo in organizations is workload management. This is because, for a long time, organizations have taken the stance that workers have no other choice. However, we must acknowledge the value of having an efficient workload management system. Speak to your employees about their workload. Ask them about the number of tasks they have, how long it takes them to complete them, and whether they have any deadlines or priorities. Also, ask them about the degree of control they have over their workload. Finally, ask them if their workload has increased or decreased in recent months. You may be surprised when you realize that employees have had to take on more tasks without extra compensation. By providing them with this information, you can help them prioritize their tasks.
Growth and development
When you invest in your staff, they will offer higher-quality work more quickly. They will also be able to enhance their talents through time. Employees will feel stagnant if you do not include training and development in your company culture. Keep in mind that training is intended to improve the abilities of your personnel. And these are talents that they may utilize to improve their performance. Investing in them means investing in your company.
Over to you
The work environment is a complex entity. You need to consider many variables to ensure your employees feel satisfied. Remember that employees have needs, and you need to address these needs to create a positive work environment.