We spend many hours of our life at work, so it is no wonder that your working environment can have an impact on your emotional well-being. How your job and work environment affect your everyday mood, enthusiasm and productivity is a hot topic right now with employers. Many employers are now taking positive steps towards improving office spaces and working environments for their staff.
Let’s take a look at how making changes in your workplace can help to boost the well-being of staff, reduce sickness absence and improve overall productivity.
Get to know your work colleagues better
It is hard to believe that not so long ago a lot of companies had a ‘no talking’ rule on the shop floor. Interacting with your co-workers was firmly discouraged in the belief that it is a waste of time that should be spent on work. A lot of company bosses grew to resent the fact that they were paying their staff for ‘wasting time’ on non-productive tasks such as talking with each other. How very short-sighted of them!
Luckily, many of these toxic bosses have long gone from the workplace, and now smart business owners understand better that creating a good working environment where staff can interact and support each other is healthy and results in greater overall productivity.
Having a positive and friendly attitude towards your co-workers can affect everyone’s performance for the better.
Knowing that each team member has a supportive and helpful network around them means they can turn to a trusted co-worker if they are struggling with a task. This can help them resolve their issues quicker and more effectively and allow them to feel good about solving a problem.
Brighten up the atmosphere
Your office or workplace lighting can have a significant impact on your mood and attitude at work. Most offices have windows that let in natural light, but some may have heavy drapes or blinds that block out a significant proportion of natural light and prevent it filtering into the office environment.
Exposure to natural light helps to improve workers energy levels and moods, so the more natural light you can let into your office the better! Ask your boss to have any window obstructions removed so that light levels can be improved.
If you cannot raise natural light levels through your windows for whatever reason, then talk to your boss about having the indoor lighting changed. Look at blue-enriched bulbs that have been proven to help reduce fatigue and eye strain, while at the same time boosting brain activity for better thought processing and problem-solving.
Your office décor can also affect your mood and motivation at work. Warmer tones and hues are said to create a calm atmosphere, so consider using natural earthy tones in areas where staff rest and take a break, such as staff rooms and kitchens. Using warm and calming tones allows staff to chill and refresh their minds during their breaks. Then they can return to work regenerated and refreshed for their next work session.
Encourage better communications
In a lot of company infrastructures, there has always been a feeling of ‘them and us’, meaning those workers in the office or on the shop floor didn’t feel comfortable talking to or mixing with management. This can be a great shame in most cases because if a boss becomes unapproachable, how can they have any idea about what is happening in the office or on the shop floor.
There should be no disconnect between management and their regular workers. There should be a level of respect that crosses every employment line, so encouraging good communications between all workers can go a long way to improving your working environment.
Improved communications can involve all workers sharing the same staff room or kitchen, regardless of their seniority. Having an open-door policy where any employee is free to talk directly to the boss should also be encouraged.
Most companies have regular staff appraisals and meetings with their line managers or supervisors.
A system where each employee is recognized and is given feedback about how their work contributes to the greater business as a whole can create a more inclusive environment. This can create a positive atmosphere where each employee feels truly valued and appreciated at work.
If your company doesn’t already have a system like this in place, suggest to your boss for this to be adopted. They will see the benefit of your suggestion and will gain from it too. It will also help to paint you in a positive light and mark you out for more responsibilities, promotion and of course – a pay rise!