With the sudden increase in remote-working, businesses across the country have been adjusting to new ways of working in an attempt to weather a public health crisis. The workplace environment has a profound effect on the staff that work in it, on a collective and individual basis; addressing it is more important than ever, and here’s why.
The Consequences of a Poor Working Environment
Morale is one of the major factors in the efficacy of a business’ workforce. Without paying close attention to whether or not the needs of your employees are being met, your business’ performance can suffer. Poor working environments can be created in a number of ways, from something as simple as the design and layout of office space to structural issues with workload and hierarchy, and even human issues involving poor collaboration or bullying.
The physical space in which your employees are working can have more of an effect on performance than it may initially appear. Almost three-quarters of employees would leave their job if workspaces did not reflect positive mental health in design. A workspace does not prioritise employees if it does not provide basic amenities: accessible water, space away from the desk and natural light. Dark, drab office spaces with no room for socialising make for a depressing environment – and a disincentivised staff.
On an individual level, one of the most common causes for an unpleasant working experience can be found in other people. According to a recent report by UNISON, three in five UK office workers have experienced or witnessed workplace bullying, a practice which can lead to feelings of hostility in the office – especially where HR efforts are ineffective.
The Benefits of a Positive Working Environment
Conversely, ensuring a positive work environment can engender positivity in your workforce, which in turn can have overwhelmingly positive effects on their performance, and so the performance of their business. Basic provisions promote better mental in the workplace, from breakrooms and social spaces to the complimentary offering of healthy food and drinks. Meanwhile, designing office space to include as much natural light as possible can connect employees to the wider world, as well as provide a health boost in the form of Vitamin D.
One of the key ways in which a positive working environment can be created is in the hiring of conscientious staff, and the continual training of existing staff to work together in harmony. Poster specialists instantprint performed a survey of 2,000 office workers in the UK, to discover the most popular workplace traits amongst their colleagues. Patience topped the list, with just less than half of all respondents agreeing it was the most important workplace trait to them. Communication skills was a narrow second and problem-solving was just as close in third. These statistics can be used to form a framework for the creation of a positive working environment in terms of employee collaboration and connectivity.
The workplace environment is diverse in its nature. It is at once the décor and structure of the building, the allocation of staff and their collaborative efficacy. Improving your workplace’s environment, as a result, requires a multi-faceted approach. With root-and-branch changes to the way your office operates, you can see tangible results in the performance of your business.