You shouldn’t take for granted the space you work in and the people that surround you. It can impact mood, productivity and can even affect your health.
If your employees aren’t happy then they’re unlikely to be productive - which is ultimately bad news for your business. Creating a better work environment isn’t difficult and can be achieved even if you don’t own the space you work in.
Creating a better work environment has many advantages for you, your business and your staff.
The most significant benefit of a good work environment is that it encourages productivity. This can happen because of reduced stress levels, increased happiness, better communication, more collaboration and increased employee retention. These all have a knock-on effect in boosting productivity and contributing to a positive atmosphere.
A good work environment also contributes towards a positive work first impression. This is important both for potential employees and any clients that you may have.
In a nutshell, a good work environment is just good for business.
Improving the work environment can be split into two different avenues: the physical space and working relationships.
Make it light Natural light has been found to boost moods which in turn contributes to productivity, so if you’re in a position where you’re looking for a new office keep this in mind. However if you don’t have the luxury of being able to move office and you’re current situation doesn’t bask in natural light, there are some good alternatives. Warm light is relaxing and makes for a nice contrast against screens, so if you want a calm environment try this option. Blue tinged bulbs have been found to encourage energy so could be more beneficial for meeting rooms.
Keep the space clean This is an obvious point but it’s very easy to let papers build up and to become, almost literally, buried in your work. For a good work environment, declutter as much and as regularly as you can and keep your office space clean. Hire a cleaning firm and enforce a clear desk policy that encourages employees to keep their desks clear at the end of every day. That way you’ll have a nice clean and calm office.
Provide a separate space for lunch and socialising A space to eat and chat away from desks helps to separate the mind-sets of workers and defines the work zone and social zone. You don’t have to strictly enforce it, but giving people the opportunity to get away from their desks to eat and socialise gives them the opportunity to blow off steam and bond as a team.
Be approachable One of the best things you and your management can do to foster healthy relationships is to be approachable. This will help employees to feel listened to and understood and like they can approach you for anything. In turn it will encourage a team atmosphere and make employees feel valued instead of just a cog in a machine.
Be flexible Another good way to create a better work environment is to give workers autonomy and let them choose where and when they work. This helps stimulate the work-life balance people crave, helps with mental health and can also increase productivity as employees work smarter, not longer.
Focus on communication It can be easy to overlook communication and lose sight of the words you use. But it can have a big impact on morale and the office environment. Provide specific feedback where possible and acknowledge how your employees’ efforts feed into the wider business objectives. Make sure that they feel valued and always know what the next business steps are and how they can contribute to attaining them.
A good office environment can work wonders for your business. It’s not hard to start putting these changes into practice either, you can make small changes every day that will soon add up and you’ll start seeing the difference.
Improving your workplace culture could also contribute to a good working environment – head over to our blog to find out how to achieve this.