Everyone dreams of working in a fun, exciting, and safe office environment. Unfortunately, most people can only get the latter part, the safe office. No matter what kind of business is being run, employees want to be comfortable where they are working, and many want to be happy to come to work. It is not difficult to see that happy and engaged employees are better workers than those who are not, and one of the best ways of engaging people is by providing a positive work environment.
What is a positive work environment? These types of offices are ones that work with ample amounts of trust, cooperation, safety, accountability, and equity. While it may seem like an abstract concept to some, a positive office environment can bring some very concrete benefits to companies willing to work for it. Employee morale, retention, and productivity are all things that improve with having a positive work environment, pieces that every company needs to succeed in the future.
Do you “tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen”?
Or are you one of those that leaps up from your slumber, excited to begin a new day “on the job from nine to five”? No matter which one is more applicable to any given person, everyone deserves to spend their day in an environment that is both comfortable and cooperative. Every manager can say that they promote a positive office environment, but it is another matter entirely to fulfill that promise to a staff.
People spend a majority of their daytime hours at their job, and the work environment can affect everything from mood to drive to performance, making it a key aspect of any employer branding strategy. A toxic office leads to dreary office settings, unfriendly and uncooperative workers, and an overall drag to all of the work being done. To identify a toxic workplace, look for an office with a clear lack of communication or an overabundance of misinformation, team members with an adverse work/life balance, employees who do not take enough time off, a blatant disrespect between workers and managers, and, finally, a leadership team that prioritizes the bottom line over worker happiness. These are all poisonous traits that can destroy a company culture and, with it, the employer branding every company needs to do business today.
Meanwhile, a positive workplace can become a powerful asset to any company. It is important to work towards better morale, collaboration, productivity, and retention in a company, and an overall happy staff contributes to all of those things.
“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”
Everyone who has worked in a toxic office has wished that they didn’t have to or wished that they could work from almost anywhere else. While moving offices poolside isn’t really an option, there are some simple steps that any manager could take to ensure that their employees are coming into a positive work environment.
- Hire the best teammates. The top work environments are those created by a team of hard-working and like-minded people, those that want to cooperate, innovate, and fit in with the company culture. That being said, don’t be afraid to let go of the ones that are unproductive and uncooperative. They will drag the rest of the team down, but it is imperative to give them constructive feedback and opportunities to improve first.
- Mood lighting! The Imperial College of London, in 2021, reported that long term exposure to natural light is a way to improve a person’s energy, mood, and mental health. While it is not normally possible to have an open air office, there are different types of lighting that have been shown to help the moods of offices. Research blue-enriched light bulbs, warmer-tone bulbs, middle-tone bulbs, and more to see what would work best for the different types of work environments in an office.
- Create safe, clean, and comfortable workspaces. According to Business News Daily, a clean and attractive office can actually improve relationships between workers and management. In today’s hybrid world, that means flexibility. This starts with both time at home and in the office but keep the office flexible as well with comfortable chairs, sitting or standing desks, clean and well-stocked breakrooms, and more. Remember that open office environments inspire a great deal of collaboration, but etiquette is important! Gently remind all employees to respect those around them when working in an open-air office.
- Communication is key! One of the common threads through every article about positive office environments is communication. Everyone should be mindful of how they treat those around them, but management should be the ones leading the way. All interactions should be thoughtful, respectful, and include positive reinforcement. This will ensure that everyone is motivated to do their best and make the entire office happier in the long run.
- Hold company events to get everyone together. It is important to remember to build relationships between employees and management, as well as between the employees themselves. Group events, whether they are a lunch outing, an afternoon at an escape room, or even a scavenger hunt will foster engagement between workers and bring more positive vibes to any office environment.
- Be grateful. Finally, expressing appreciation to your team is one of the easiest ways to instill positivity in an office. Showing gratitude and appreciation for an employee’s hard work creates a more enthusiastic and confident worker, which, in turn, increases the quality of work produced. With a higher quality of work, the business’s bottom line improves, making everyone happier. Recognize employees at meetings and celebrate their milestones with them. If a worker feels appreciated, they are less likely to leave their place of work.
Everyone knows that making every person on a staff happy is not remotely possible because every individual working at a company is different. So building a positive work environment won’t be easy either, but the rewards vastly outweigh any challenges met along the way. Remember that positive and happy employees can put forth so much towards a successful employer branding strategy, but, and even more importantly right now, a positive work environment will help companies retain those happy employees!
Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone. A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.