22 Nov Work Environment: 10 ways to improve your workplace
You can know the company’s health by observing the work environment. When employees work in positive environments, they are happier, more committed, and more motivated, contributing to the profitability of the company.
A happy team wants to do things, innovate, and accept challenges. As a result, they perform their functions better, increasing productivity and performance. This is noticed by customers, who will be more satisfied, and the organization will notice it in its income statement.
For this reason, creating a positive work environment is crucial for the development of a company. Organizations need to have methods and strategies to make work a pleasant place, where people “don’t have to go”, but rather “want to go”.
What is the work environment?
The work environment is a concept with which HR and talent management professionals are very familiar because it is a differential factor between a successful company and one that is not.
We can define it as the environment, social characteristics, and physical conditions in which people carry out their work. This set of elements influences the well-being of employees, as well as their way of relating to colleagues and their leaders, their efficiency, and their physical and mental health.
Elements that make up the work environment
The work environment is mainly made up of three basic elements:
- Physical environment. This element is made up of all those tangible components of the workplace such as size, the design of the infrastructures, the place where it is located, whether it is interior or exterior, type of furniture, etc.
- Organizational culture. This element refers to the way the company and its employees work, including how the communication is, how the work is organized, what the leadership style is like, or what the purposes, values , and objectives of the organization are.
- Working conditions. This element is related to the formal terms by which a company hires its employees. Salary range, type of contract, hours, days, vacations, etc. Likewise, this variable also includes activities that promote a healthy environment, such as Team Building.
The 5 types of work environment
Each organization is unique, therefore it is impossible for there to be a universal work environment. The key is that employees need to stay comfortable in their positions and in the company in which they collaborate.
The practices to promote a positive environment in the office will depend on the area of business activity, the profile of the employees, and, especially, the type of values that the company wants to instill in its workforce.
In this sense, the theory of Holland on career choice based on personality type may be relevant to designing a strategic plan that stimulates a pleasant environment.
According to John Holland, people choose professions according to their personal traits, so the teams are made up of people with very similar personalities, the same skills, the same attitudes, a similar communication capacity, and even the same tastes.
“The behavior is determined by the interaction between the personality and the environment“.
Thus, depending on the sector and the personality profile of its employees, Holland’s theory highlights 5 main types of work environment:
This type of work environment promotes physical activity and fits with professional profiles who like to use tools to build things and work with their hands. It is ideal for the field of engineering, maintenance, and construction.
The investigative work environment is built on critical thinking, experimentation, and problem-solving. Many of the functions that are developed under this environment are related to data analysis, hypothesis testing, and the formulation of conclusions. Suitable for employees in healthcare, engineering, and technology.
This work environment favors originality and the expression of one’s personality. It is a creative environment, much more flexible than the rest, and which focuses a lot on the emotional side of the employees. The sectors that fit into this work environment are those related to design, art or acting.
A social work environment promotes communication and teamwork, in which employees help and care for each other. It is a type of environment in which profiles predominate whose characteristics include friendliness and empathy. It is typical of the education, social work, and counseling sector.
This type of work environment is oriented to the achievement of goals. The most common profile is that of persuasive professionals, who like to compete, sell, and convince others. It fits well with real estate, politics, or sales.
Lastly, the conventional environment lays its foundations on specificity, predictability, and organization. This type of environment is characterized by order, being pragmatic, and reliability. It is perfect for sectors such as finance, support roles, and more traditional offices.
How to improve the work environment? 10 useful tips
Whatever the sector and the personality traits in which your organization operates, there is a set of key elements that are common for any type of work environment to be prosperous and positively impact the performance and satisfaction of employees.
It is important to include these elements in the climate management strategies, as well as a monitoring and evaluation of their condition by the Human Resources department. Only if a correct follow-up is done, you will be able to know which elements of the management work well, and which ones should be improved. In this way, those responsible for directing people will be able to make the best decisions that lead the organization to maximum competitiveness.
And now, let’s see how you can encourage “good vibes” in the office with the use of these ten tips:
1. Take care of communication
At Team Insights we know that open and honest communication is essential to achieving a healthy work environment. Taking into account the opinions of employees, those responsible for personnel management will be able to obtain quality feedback that helps them extract insights aimed at better leadership and decision-making.
That is why in our organization we send pulse surveys periodically, in which employees can communicate their opinions and vision of the company with total sincerity in a completely anonymous way, even for those questions that may be more uncomfortable.
Taking care of communication also implies internal communication. Employees must be able to easily access relevant information and data about the state of the organization with full transparency.
2. Build trust
An employment relationship is a relationship like any other, and as in all relationships, trust is a cornerstone.
Make your employees feel like part of a team. When you make them participate in the search for solutions and in making important decisions that affect the organization, you are showing that you trust your team and that feeling is reciprocal. When employees trust each other and feel integrated, the work environment improves.
3. Enhance teamwork
Cooperation and collaboration, not only among peers but even among departments, should be part of the day. Nobody likes to be hassled and delayed work because someone from another team does not want to cooperate.
However, when the entire company works together, some synergies enhance creativity, innovation, and motivation to achieve higher and higher goals, greatly favoring a good atmosphere of camaraderie.
4. Value the contribution of collaborators
We all like to feel valued and, in the business world, recognizing a job well done not only serves to improve the work environment, but it is also a very effective way to keep high motivation, performance, and productivity.
In addition, according to a study by Psychology Today, 83% of employees prefer to be recognized for a job well done honestly, rather than obtain a financial reward.
HR should plan strategies to reward and value people each time they make a valuable contribution that helps the success of the organization, which is usually very often. Fortunately, there are very effective methods that do not require a large investment of time or money and help employees feel fulfilled.
5. Keep an eye on the workflow
Employers should seek to maintain a stable workflow for their teams. Abrupt and recurring fluctuations in the flow of tasks can cause stress and discomfort, negatively impacting the work environment.
In all companies, there will be times of peaks with a higher volume of work, but in general, the work should be enjoyable and with periods of rest.
6. Offer the right resources
It is essential for employees that they have the right tools to perform their duties at full capacity. Equipping them with the best resources and the last trends in technological equipment will make your teams work better and faster.
7. Facilitates work-family balance
The current work system, with a rigid schedule from 9 am to 6 pm, is becoming obsolete. Employees demand companies that allow them to balance their work and family life, and the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic together with homeworking has accelerated this transformation.
In the United States, millions of people have quit their jobs because they did not meet the conditions that benefit their well-being and quality of life. They call it “The Great Resignation“.
A working model that ensures total conciliation is a winning bet to favor both the work environment, the engagement, and the attraction of the best-qualified talent.
8. Ensures physical and psychological well-being
The workplace must be a space without distractions that allow teams to perform their work comfortably and safely. Also, it must be prepared to minimize risks that may endanger the physical integrity of employees.
In addition, psychological safety should not be overlooked. Employees need to be aware that they will not be punished or humiliated for talking about their impressions, or concerns, for asking questions, or transmitting errors.
Teams with high psychological security are open to making mistakes, discussing them, and learning from them so that they are not repeated.
Result: teams with higher performance and innovation capacity.
9. Share the company’s values
It often happens that the workforce is disconnected from the organization’s goals because it does not spread its values and principles.
Employee Branding strategies are a resource with which companies can promote their values and turn employees into brand ambassadors with all the advantages that this entails, including an increase in satisfaction with the work environment.
10. Furniture matters too
Finally, the aesthetics of the facilities are also influential. Comfortable spaces, natural light, ergonomic chairs and tables, spaces for relaxation, and even a beautiful decoration with plants contribute to creating an energizing work environment.
Of course, pay attention to accessibility: it is essential that the entire team can move freely around the workspace, including those in the team with functional diversity.
How can you measure the work environment? Team Insights is the best solution
You can know the work climate by observing the environment in the office. However, the only way to obtain real data that allows you to measure, analyze and evaluate it objectively to carry out a strategy that works, is with a specialized tool.
For this, surveys are the ideal resource. Team Insights is a SaaS, an online software that allows you to automate the sending of surveys and the collection of information thanks to its system based on People Analytics and Big Data.
Listening to your employees has never been so easy: generate anonymous conversations and obtain valuable feedback to get the information you need to draw up action plans that improve the profitability of your business.
In addition, with Team Insights you can carry out a historical record of the work environment and see its evolution in real-time, obtaining quick responses to changes that speed up the decision-making process, and detecting alarm signals before they suppose a real problem.
Request a DEMO now. And if you like it, you can use it for free with our Free Plan.