5 ways to create a better work environment

Author Ivan Smiljanic Read bio
Tags: office work environment
Date: May 7, 2020

Your work environment impacts your drive, mood, performance and mental health. If employees work in a bad work environment surrounded by negativity, they most likely won’t have the courage to speak up. That’s why creating a healthy and positive workplace is critical to a company’s success.

Bring in the natural light

Here we are again with the natural light and the impact it has! Not only does it make the office look better, but there is a strong connection between natural light in the work environment and the employees’ quality of sleep and energy levels. 

If it’s not possible to bring in the natural light, you can always opt for blue-enriched light bulbs, which may decrease fatigue and improve happiness, as well as work performance. You can use this type of lighting in the brainstorming rooms. In meeting and break rooms use warmer tones, to promote relaxation and calmness. Conference rooms should have middle tones that are welcoming the employees but still keeping them alert.

Invest in your team!

When was the last time (if at all) you brought in an expert to speak to your team? Bringing in a thought leader can have a very profound effect on the company’s culture. Having experts talk and discuss personal development and the creation of better culture in the offices can be quite cool if you think about it. Just be careful not to let this backfire, and hire an expert with actual knowledge and experience.

Become pet friendly

Think about allowing our little furry, four-legged friends to roam around the office, and they just might help with productivity levels and overall happiness and decrease of stress.

According to many studies, dogs can increase productivity levels and significantly reduce stress in work environments. Don’t be afraid to welcome the barks!

Do not overload the employees

Always be realistic about the amount of work each employee can handle. An excessive workload, which often leads to burnout, is among the top reasons people leave their jobs. Research has shown that productivity goes downhill really fast when a person works more than 50 hours a week.

If you find yourself in the situation where you need to give someone extra work, just make sure they are awarded for it accordingly, with a bonus or even a promotion, if it happens often. Alternatively, simply hire more people if everyone constantly has excessive workloads. It’ll cost more, but the productivity will be better in the long term. 

Schedule fun activities

Every now and then, a change of pace can be quite fun and it makes people happy and relaxed. Even celebrating someone’s birthday with balloons and a cake can do the trick, or going out for drinks (on the company of course). Team building activities such as paintball or carting will also be greatly appreciated. 

When your employees can look forward to a fun reward, it makes going to work so much more pleasant.

A bonus tip is to give praise and recognition often! This should be a given, but unfortunately, it has to be accentuated how important it is to give recognition and words of praise when someone deserves it. 

The number one reason why people leave their jobs in the US is that they feel (and usually really are) underappreciated. It’s in the first place! Above low salary! A fact as powerful as this one needs to be in your mind and in the mind of managers and leaders in your company. By offering consistent recognition and praise, your team will feel excited and be eager to contribute to the company in a multitude of ways.

Ask your team how they would like to be recognized and praised for a job well done. Ask them in a meeting or send an email, and simply ask how they would like to be complimented. For some people, a simple “You did it!” meeting might be enough. Others may prefer a private talk and praise in a one-on-one feedback session.  

Keep in mind that every company is very different and there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for workplace harmony. But by adopting and nurturing a positive and healthy work environment you can help your employees be happier, and by doing so, your business will get good results, greater retention and increased productivity.