Some argue that the work environment has a bigger effect on the employees than anything else. I’ve worked in companies that lacked some of these key elements, and I’ve felt the effects on my own skin too.
A productive workplace is a result of many factors coming together. If you don’t feel comfortable you can’t be productive. This is true for the place you live in, and the place you work at.
The importance of the work environment has been confirmed by research too. Ipsos found that 85% of employees aren’t happy with their work environments and have a problem concentrating. And Officevibe found that 70% of US workers don’t feel engaged at work, while 87% of people who feel engaged are less likely to leave their current work position.
This means that if you create an environment and a culture that engages your workers — they won’t leave you!
Creating the ultimate work environment isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just think of the workplace from the perspective of an employee — that’s probably what your employees want too.
Here are the 6 most important tips for building the ultimate working environment that will motivate your employees and elevate your entire business on an entirely new level:
1. Make a comfortable work environment
When you imagine an “office” you might just think of desks, computers, and chairs. But a workspace is a lot more for the people that spend their day there. The chair needs to be comfortable, the desk should preferably be adjustable, there should be some plants, pictures, and a chill area too. And there must be a coffee machine! Some talents won’t even consider a position if the place doesn’t have one.
When it comes to space and organization, the employees should work in open offices (no one should be or feel isolated), but at the same time, they should have sufficient personal space. It’s a balance, but not one that is difficult to achieve. It’s likely you already know this, but here is something many companies forget about.
There should be an area in the office where employees can just sit and do nothing. This is a relatively inexpensive way to really make your employees feel comfortable and recharge their batteries in order to be and do their best.
2. And then there was light!
According to Neuroscientifically Challenged, light plays an extremely important part in the way people feel. The body is regulated by 24-hour cycles that are affected by the changes in their environment. This means that our body naturally expects to be exposed to natural light at a certain time of the day. What is more, artificial light can disrupt our sleep, wellbeing, mental health, and our appetite.
Artificial light is necessary, but you should make sure your employees get as much natural light as possible. The workplace should have large windows that will bring in a lot of light that will wake employees up in the morning and boost their energy throughout the day. (A good view is always a plus!)
One more tip is to paint the walls in warm colours which create a calming and relaxing atmosphere, such as green, pale blue, yellow, or soft grey.
3. Give shoutouts to success
A healthy environment isn’t all about the physical surroundings. It also means feeling good about your co-workers and being valued for your input.
One thing that can keep the spirit high is giving shoutouts to the success of your team members and rewarding them when they complete milestones in front of the whole team. Every project is stressful and everyone would feel more motivated if they know that their hard work is being appreciated.
It doesn’t always have to be at the company meeting. A simple motivating email sometimes does it. Congratulate your team members on achieving a milestone on a certain project and encourage them to continue with their hard work. When a project is successfully completed, treat them with an office party, or a group trip somewhere.
Things like these can make your employees much more productive and reduce your company turnover rate. This O. C. Tanner report says that 79% of people who quit their jobs do it for the lack of appreciation they feel at their workplace. It might be hard to believe, but it is true.
The same report also states that a higher salary, autonomy, training, or a promotion, can’t inspire people to do their best as much as workplace appreciation. And for that reason, you should definitely invest time and effort in making sure your employees feel appreciated.
4. Bring in great leaders
Tying in the previous tip, great leaders are necessary to actually give the much-needed feedback and praise in the right way. Make sure that your leaders aren’t the people who’ll have the best performance on your HR tests.
Great leaders should be individuals who understand your vision and know how to use it to motivate their team. Make sure that their team leaders are people who deeply understand the organization, and the vision, and are great communicators.
5. Make your company a learning work environment
You can’t expect your employees to know everything. But, you should expect is for them to want to learn. And people who want to learn, expect to be encouraged and get opportunities to learn
It goes without saying that you need a mentorship program for each employee that comes in. But you should also provide in-house training and course subscriptions for people who want to further develop their individual skills. But also, you should invest in group training and activities. Teamwork is also a learnable skill but can only be taught through actual teamwork.
Also, you don’t have to focus solely on skills and knowledge that is career-related. Allow your employees to choose a topic they like to learn about. They will really appreciate it and at the end of the day, that matters too.
6. Make space for teamwork
Teamwork is what your company relies on. That’s why you should encourage collaboration by celebrating team achievements more than individual ones. You can also create games where 2 or more teams compete. This will eventually transfer into their daily working habits.
The physical workplace should also promote teamwork. You should have common spaces where your employees can do activities together, like an area for board games or table tennis. A spacious coffee area will also do the trick.
Building and maintaining a healthy work environment should be one of your top priorities as a company, as you stand to greatly benefit from it. Happy employees give their best at work and bring better results. Statistics also confirm this — people who are happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days. And if you’re not convinced yet, just ask your employees!