Work. There’s no doubt that we all need to do it at some point. But, there’s something interesting going on in workplaces across the world – and it’s something that you’ve surely noticed yourself.
People in one office can be blissful and content during work hours, while the very next building could be full of people who are hating every second of the workday and can’t wait to get home.
But, why is this?
Well, there are a lot of factors that affect people’s happiness, productivity, and longevity at a specific company, but one very important aspect is the work environment.
In an ideal world, the work environment at a company should be set up to make sure that every person has the means to operate at peak performance.
There are a long list of desirable work environment qualities including trust from management, openness to new ideas or initiatives, and team spirit, to name a few.
But, the harsh reality is: not every company is like this.
In fact, some companies have toxic work environments – and that’s something which you really want to avoid.
Heck, it isn’t only limited towards people working in a company too – you might find that you’re working in a toxic work environment even if you’re a freelancer and you’re working from home.
And, the real issue is that a lot of people only realize that they’re working in a toxic environment when it’s too late.
So, are you wondering how you can avoid a negative work environment? Well, look no further.
In this article we’re going to go through all of the things that can make an impact on your work environment (both positively and negatively), and we’ll give you some helpful tips that’ll push you to create the ideal work environment for you and your team.
Let’s get started!
Choose Your Location Wisely
When it comes to the location that you’re working from, there’s a lot to consider, especially when you’re trying to create a positive work environment for you and your team.
One thing which we absolutely recommend when you’re setting up your workplace is to ensure that there are spaces available for people who like to work in silence and those who prefer to be in the hustle and bustle.
Different people find that they’re more successful in different environments, so try to accomodate everybody. For example, I really can’t concentrate sometimes when people are being loud around me, so I like to head to a quieter space if I need to focus on a specific task.
If you’re working solo, this still applies to you. Try to figure out if you’re more productive when you work in a quiet place, or if you thrive in a busy environment, like a cafe.
While we’re on the topic of locations, a lot of people also really enjoy remote work. In fact, a recent study found that 38% of workers believe that they’d enjoy their job more if they could work remotely.
When you’re trying to create a positive work environment, trust is so important. If you offer your team the opportunity to work remotely every so often then it’ll show to them that you trust them to perform, no matter where they are.
If you’re already working remotely, whether that be from home or elsewhere, we recommend that you dedicate a specific space to be your “office”.
Karolis Rimkus, ecommerce entrepreneur and Oberlo merchant says:
“I recommend going somewhere where there’s nothing else to do but work. Even if I was home alone, I’d go to a coffee shop, because that’s a place that does not have a fridge for you to be distracted with dinner ideas, it does not have laundry laying around that could be done or even other people you know that might strike up a conversation and distract you.”
It’ll also help you to disconnect from work at the end of the day once you’ve left your “office”.
To sum up, make sure that you have a workplace which is comfortable for you and your needs. You’re probably going to spend more time at work during the week than you do with your loved ones, so make that time count.
Think About Your Work Culture?
When discussing work environments, it’s essential that we talk about the culture at your workplace – these two are closely knit.
But, you might be a little unsure what we’re actually talking about when we say “work culture”.
Essentially, your work culture is a culmination of your teams personalities, quirks, and traditions.
It’s that special restaurant that you always go to for team lunches, the fridays when you finish early for a beer with your team, and that cute little office dog that roams around the place bringing a smile to everybody.
All of the things that I listed above help to promote a positive work culture, but there are negative things which you need to look out for too, especially if you feel like your work environment can be improved.
Think about the number of breaks that you and your team take every day as an example – are people comfortable with taking a little bit of time to decompress?
Studies have shown that workers who take regular breaks actually end up being more productive, and it’s also conducive towards a healthy work environment. So, don’t be afraid to encourage your employees to take a break if they need to – it’ll pay off in the long run.
But it isn’t just about the breaks. It’s about the trust within the company, the type of people that are employed, and the possibility for people to actually make an impact.
Culture within the workplace often occurs naturally to begin with, and it tends to prosper if it’s nurtured by you and your team.
What Benefits Do You Offer?
Companies are constantly getting more and more competitive when it comes to finding and securing top talent. The real question is – what is it that makes top talent stay around?
Forget about the projects that your employees are working on, and the compensation packages that they’ll be receiving. What other benefits does your company offer?
If you don’t already offer any employee benefits, it’s something that you can take into consideration, especially if you’re trying to improve your work environment.
You’ll likely want to ask the people in your company what they’re interested in, or what they would find most beneficial before you roll out the company announcement.
From our experience we’ve noticed that benefits which promote a healthy work-life balance (more on this in the next section) are what most employees are craving.
Think gym memberships, mental health days, team events, fresh fruit, and healthy snacks in the office – all of these are great employees benefits.
And, they help out your company in two ways.
First of all, it shows that you’re listening to the needs of your team and you’re showing that you care for them, but it also works as a retention tactic too.
Consider employee benefits as an investment into the future of your business.
Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Let’s face it – the vast majority of people don’t want to be working long hours every day of the week.
Those same people probably don’t want to be taking work home that they need to finish over the weekend.
Why? The reality is that people have lives outside of work.
They have loved one’s, hobbies, and interests, and their performance at the office is unlikely to increase if they forgo their personal lives.
And that’s why it’s so important that you enforce a healthy work-life balance as part of your work environment.
Encourage people to take regular vacations.
If somebody is sick, send them home. Let them recover properly.
If somebody looks tired or upset, ask them what’s wrong and if they need help.
Look after your employees, and they’ll look after your business.
Reward Your Team
It doesn’t matter what the focus of your business is – you always want the people on your team to be performing well.
And sure, they’ll be incentivised to perform by their wage and (hopefully) by their own desire and drive to do well in their career.
But think about what else you can do to reward them, because that’ll separate your company apart from the rest.
Plus, you want to cultivate a work environment which pushes the top performers to the absolute best of their ability.
So, don’t be afraid to celebrate any victories that your team has – big or small.
Somebody had a fantastic day? Maybe go and grab some donuts from your local shop and surprise them.
What about a birthday? It could be a good idea to arrange a team lunch to celebrate that person.
Those are just a couple of things that you can do for your team that will instill a positive work culture, but most importantly, those are the things that people will remember.
And, you want to treat people how you want to be treated. If somebody is doing a good job, then they should always be recognized for that.
Start Improving Your Work Environment Today
So, that’s it – those are our top tips that you can use to help create the ideal work environment for you and your team.
Take all of the advice that we listed in this article and think about how you can apply it to your current situation.
And, if you don’t have the resources to make drastic changes across the board right now, think about what would make the biggest impact for your team and execute.
Ultimately, you and your team know your needs best, so feel free to ask around the office too!
And if you’ve got any questions about work environments, work cultures, or anything else related to business, feel free to leave them in the comments section below – we read all of them!