When asked what they like about their work, a large chunk of employees would answer that they like the office environment. And if you ask what they do not like about their job, a big percentage would also likely answer the environment at the office. Good or bad, work environment makes an impact on how well an employee can last in a company.
While some would argue that the office environment should not impact a professional’s productivity, it cannot be denied that it still affects the mental and physical health of an individual. While some can go to work and not care at all the things happening around him, most employees are affected by the atmosphere in the office.
A lot of things contributes to the overall environment in the workplace. The relationship among employees, management’s treatment of staff, and even the overall office design and interior can affect have an effect.
Improving each aspect is a gargantuan task, especially if you belong in an organization with multiple teams and departments, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Start by doing what’s realistic and doable. Start with the following tips:
1. Crowdsource for employee temperature
Are your employees still happy? Are they on the verge of quitting?
Instead of guessing what your employees like and hate about the office environment, why not ask them directly? This can be done via multiple ways:
- Online Survey Forms – This is the easiest way to do it since you can quickly organize the answers especially if you use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to solicit feedback and opinions from your staff. However, since it’s sent via email, there’s also a probability for it to be ignored.
- Dropbox – This can be done in two ways. You can either leave a dropbox in prominent locations at the office or go around the office and ask each employee to drop a suggestion, feedback, or comment. The latter demands more work, but it’s most definite that you’ll get more feedback.
- Focus Group Discussions – Some employees might be uncomfortable in this kind of setup so do not force them to join. However, encourage them to be active in the discussion since you will be taking their thoughts seriously. This might be the most time-consuming but it can be a goldmine for golden feedback.
There are a lot of questions you can ask for this one such as thoughts on the office culture, overall workplace ambiance, existing office politics, and more.
2. Work on improving the workplace layout
The office layout can affect the workforce in terms of communication, teamwork, and productivity. Are your teams properly segregated? If you have a customer support team who are mostly doing calls, it’s best to separate them from the creatives, especially writers and designers who need silence and focus to accomplish more work. A vibrant environment is always encouraged, but when placing one team next to another, you also need to consider their functions. Each team has their own culture, and this should also be considered.
It is best to hire office fit-out contractors when redesigning the workplace layout since they’ll have a better idea what to do. Before undertaking this project, it will be best to also consider the feedback and suggestions you gathered from the crowdsourcing.
3. Conduct regular maintenance and repair
This is something that should be a given but is often neglected by management. Something as simple as making sure all light bulbs are working and those that aren’t must be replaced asap is often not prioritized. Air-conditioning units that are no longer working as well as it should must be repaired, cleaned or even replaced.
This may seem like menial tasks, but for employees who aren’t comfortable in the workplace, this can mean a lot. A well-managed office space can encourage employees to perform well since they know that employers actually care whether they are at ease at work or not.
A lot of things that can impact the workplace environment can be overlooked, especially the little things. At times, the main issues are obvious, but most of the time, you’ll have to dive deep to identify areas for improvement.
Competitive salaries and good benefits may be important, but the well-being of employees in the office space must also be considered.