As an employer, it’s essential that the people who work for you actually like their experience. If your employees don’t want to show up, it will soon show up in all kinds of areas – from customer service to productivity. There are a few different areas in which worker happiness can be gained or lost. In this post, I want to focus on one particular area – the physical environment.
The physical workplace is more important than many employers realize. The areas in which your staff spends weekdays – and the vast majority of their time during the working week – can have a huge impact on how they feel. You can smell, touch and feel the physical work space, and the office or shop floor has the ability to be an exciting place that energizes.
But workplaces can also drain people, stifle them, and make them feel like they are in a sterile hospital or doctor’s office. The big question is – how do you make the physical workplace a positive environment? Let’s take a closer look.
Why create a positive physical space?
There is a ton of research on how employee well-being is heavily linked with productivity. Time and again, studies show that the physical workplace is one of the biggest factors of well-being.
Variety is the spice of life
For many years, employers felt that separate offices were the best way to raise productivity levels among their teams. Then there was a shift towards cubicles, where it was felt that people would work harder when they could be seen. More recently, the open work space has become a real trend, with open floor plans becoming all the rage across industries from tech giants to call centers.
Actually, there is no ‘best’ way to arrange an office. In fact, research suggests that giving your workers options is almost best if you want them to focus on tasks, collaborate, socialize and learn every day. Have a section with cubicles for those who work better in them. At the same time, make sure that you have space for those who prefer working in privacy. You’ll find that if you make people happy, productivity should increase as a result.
Temperature is key
If I’m running an office in the middle of a baking hot summer or a freezing cold winter, I know that productivity is going to take a dip if I don’t ensure the work environment is kept at a comfortable temperature. It makes sense to have an air conditioning repair near me on speed dial in the summer and a local heating company ready to come out on call during the winter. Studies show that extreme temperatures can decrease productivity by as much as 50 percent. This would be harmful for most businesses.
The software approach
To conclude, approach your work space as you would do the software you use every day in your company. You need to upgrade it, make changes, and, most importantly, evolve it. Speak to your employees and ask them how comfortable they are. Then address their concerns. Once an employee enjoys coming into work, it will be very hard for them to do anything less than their best for many years to come.