Many factors play a significant role in determining our work productivity levels. But the factor that affects our productivity the most is the workplace environment. The workplace environment can potentially affect our mood, our physical health, and our decision-making skills. That makes the place we work in and the environment we surround ourselves with crucial to our productivity levels.
However, businesses are all about optimizing the workflow, and with the same intent, enterprises are optimizing their workplace environment. These efforts play an essential role in increasing work efficiency and productivity within the employees. But before we start discussing ways that businesses can improve the work environment conditions, let us understand the different levels of the working environment.
If you think that the work environment is limited to the physical setting, you couldn’t be farther from reality. The physical setting of the offices plays an instrumental role; however, it is not the only factor. Several other elements play a critical role in determining the office environment; these include the management’s behavior, company culture, colleague unity, and teamwork. To make it understandable, we will divide the workplace environment into physical and motivational factors. Let us now discuss how the work environment impacts employee productivity and how to improve it.
Control noise levels
Controlling the noise levels in an office is challenging, especially if you don’t have the space to assign separate offices to every employee. Too much noise and disturbance in the workplace can lead to anxiety, affecting employee performance. Not to mention that all the noises and chatter will distract your workers from their tasks continuously. But there is a feasible solution to this problem. You can use office dividers to give your employees some privacy in their workstations and ample space to move around while reducing noise levels. When your employees enjoy some level of privacy, you will notice their productivity levels rise automatically.
Lighting holds great importance in helping a person stay focused while they work. Let’s not forget the famous Hawthorne Studies, where the improvements to lighting levels led to higher productivity. Unfortunately, the arrangement of lights around the office is another crucial factor that companies overlook while designing an office. Inadequate lighting in the working space can cause problems such as eye strain, irritability, and fatigue. The darker the office, the lesser the productivity levels because dark areas produce a sense of depression. To deal with that situation, you can change the light arrangements, tones, and locations. Focus on increasing natural light in the workplace. If these changes are not possible, invest in providing lamps and light therapy devices for each work desk.
Clutter may serve as food for the creative mind, but it is also distracting. Sticky notes, planners, and other creative supplies are handy but can also become sources of cluttered desks. Some people tend to feel more claustrophobic if there is too much clutter around them. Even if your employees are not claustrophobic, it doesn’t help in staying focused or being productive. To deal with such situations, invest in sleek storage designs to make the office feel more spacious. Focus on digitalizing most of your file work so that you and your employees don’t have to deal with heaps of flies every day. Besides that, make it a general work rule to clean and organize work desks throughout the day.
Improve air quality
Rarely any company pays heed to this critical factor. But the truth is that air quality plays a vital role in improving employee health and productivity in the office environment. The air quality tends to affect our abilities to think and remain focused. Hence, bad air quality only results in a loss for the company asOSHA measuresthat poor air quality costs companies more than $15 billion. It leads to heightened employee inefficiency and sick leaves.
To deal with this situation, install air filters in the office vents and clean and replace them regularly. If possible, allow the fresh air to penetrate your office through the doors and windows.
Improve company culture
As we said before, a company’s culture is part of the workplace environment and affects employee productivity. The workplace environment extends beyond the physical conditions and includes the policies of a company. The ultimate aim of your organization should be to establish a culture of diversity and inclusivity. Ensure that every employee is given equal opportunities to develop and succeed at the workplace. Apart from that, teamwork and employee unity matter a lot in compelling each individual to work harder.
You can deal with this situation by effectively communicating with employees. Listen to their complaints and resolve them to the best of your ability. Additionally, also ensure that the organization has a smooth communication channel throughout the hierarchy chain. The top management should communicate goals and missions with every personnel while eliciting feedback and suggestions. It will boost employee work engagement and motivation levels, ultimately affecting productivity levels.
Lower and middle-level employees are often barred from participating in strategic, long-run decision-making for the company. Such standard procedures in the workplace often demotivate employees from working passionately at work. Therefore, companies should build a workplace culture that motivates employees at all levels to pitch in their ideas and suggestions for company development and growth. A workplace environment that fosters inclusivity and elicits innovative ideas from all stakeholders yields desirable results for the company.
Your employees deserve the space and environment they need to work efficiently and productively. Fulfilling their fundamental needs, such as a safe and morale-boosting work environment, is the first step in increasing efficiency. But the most crucial part is to allow a direct communication line between your employees and the management. This line of communication should help them voice their concerns. Employees at all levels feel more comfortable and productive in a flexible work environment. Communicating with them and providing them with space to work comfortably can increase their productivity levels. Additionally, working towards a positive and inclusive work culture is instrumental in accelerating employee engagement and productivity.