Yes! Welcome. You’re in the right place and I am pleased to assist you. Even employees can use the suggestions we have compiled here. Managing work environment either by yourself or with others may be tiring but we promise these suggestions will simplify things for you.
It’s a good thing you’ve decided to learn. Applaud yourself for possessing this leadership skill. Willingness to learn is a leadership skill that is difficult to come by. You’re a true leader. Keep up this attitude and your workplace will keep experiencing tremendous positive changes. Life indeed is a learning process and whosoever must be the best must be open to non-stop learning and that’s the reason you’re here right now.
You’re here to seek information to improve your workplace. Here are suggestions for improvement in the workplace and I am here to help you achieve that desired improvement you want to see in your business.
A workplace, also known as a work environment is a place where work or business is carried out either as an employee or an employer. This is more than just a place. It’s an atmosphere, a condition that determines productivity.
As an employer, your workplace is very important and crucial to your company’s success as it affects everything from employees’ comfort to their efficiency to more customer patronage and good customer service. As an employee, your workplace can either make or break you. It affects everything from your mental health to physical health to emotional health and indirectly all other aspects you’d never imagine.
This affirms that the importance of a positive work environment must not be underestimated. Therefore, not only will I be giving you these suggestions for improvement in the workplace, but I’ll also explain how to use them for a better work environment and productivity. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as I’ve made this detailed, yet concise and simple to understand.
Before we continue on the journey, there’s something we need to fix. You don’t need to be an employer to initiate improvement in your workplace, to help develop a better working environment.
You can do it as an employee, but not while acting as the boss though. Through proper manners, right placement of words, and healthy relationships you can pass your message across to help effect a change in your work environment. You need to. It concerns you. Let’s feed you on suggestions for improvement in the workplace, but before that, we’ll discuss a few important things.
Factors Affecting Working Environment
One of the major things to consider in setting a conducive work environment is the ergonomics of the office space. According to www.ergonomics.com.au, Ergonomics is defined as the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them.
There’s this reciprocal relationship between work environment and productivity such that if a better working environment is cultivated, it’ll lead to increased productivity. There are several factors affecting working environment (psychological or physiological ) which would either hinder improvement in the workplace or facilitates It. So, what are these factors? Let’s see a few of them.
• Office Space
Your office space is one of the many things that’ll determine how conducive and comfortable your work environment will be. A bigger office space means more conduciveness which can result in more productivity.
When the place is ‘crampy’, psychologically, the workers feel limited and restricted which can hinder creativity and reduce productivity.
• Color and Lighting
A moderately bright working environment impacts productivity positively. The lightning and color shouldn’t be too bright as this can cause hypersensitivity. Neither should they be too dull as it can make the workers feel depressed.
Lightning and color influence workers psychologically. Choose the right kind of color depending on what kind of effect you need to create on the workers in a particular office.
Just like lightning and color, noise too, have both negative and positive impact on the workplace environment and the worker. Research has found that soft, low-volume, and coordinated sounds (i.e. music) can help to improve the workplace environment. While too loud, or uncoordinated noise can cause distraction and a sense of uneasiness to the worker.
If the office is too hot or too cold, the workers will be negatively impacted. People are not at their best and cannot work optimally when the temperature is not conducive. A good air conditioning system will help to regulate the temperature of the office so as to help workers give their best.
• Office Furniture
9 to 5 is 8 hours. The furniture in the office space to be used by workers must be comfortable and easy to use. If workers are uncomfortable, they would not be motivated to work excellently, thus productivity will be hampered.
This includes the chair, table, shelves, and all furniture. Ensure that these are ergonomic. The extra cost to ensure this will be worth it in the long run.
This is perhaps the most important of all. The rosier the relationship is between co-employees, superiors, and subordinates, the more flexibility will be encouraged. Healthy relationships give room for more breathing space and increase the self-confidence and esteem of workers.
Oftentimes we’ve heard that respect is reciprocal. This is not a mere saying as it is very true. When there’s respect, there’ll be more orderliness, healthy self-esteem, and encouragement of creativity.
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Good Working Environment Characteristics
There are several good working environment characteristics but we’ll mention a few. With these characteristics, you can determine if your working environment is good or bad, and when it needs improvement.
Below are some good working environment characteristics
• Good communication
• Healthy relationships
• Passion filled employees
• Increase in productivity
• Fast growth and development
• Togetherness and teamwork
Negative Work Environment Effects
What happens when a workplace has the wrong vibes? The wrong working environment? A lot of things will go wrong. Some of them are;
Very little productivity
Loss of customers
Angry and unmotivated employees
Bad social life for employees
Loss of self-worth/confidence
Bad image for the organization
You shouldn’t go through all of these that’s why you are reading these suggestions for improvement in the workplace by experts.
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Suggestions for Improvement in The Workplace
1. Conducive Office Space
Earlier we talked about conduciveness having to do with space. It’s good you have a large office space but what happens when you don’t? Do you stop doing business? Do you chicken out and wait till you have enough funds to buy a bigger office? No. You have to make do with what you have, spice it up, make it more attractive, arrange it properly, hire the right people to do interesting interior decoration for you.
Let your small office space look like a ‘small London’ while you plan on acquiring a bigger space.
Besides, space is not all that there is to conduciveness. Many other things come into place. One is good furniture that makes working eight hours or more comfortable and allows the employees and the customers to relax.
2. Power Supply
Another thing is a constant power supply. I believe Michael Faraday is the greatest foreseer of all time. If not, how else could he have invented something so necessary, important, and unforgettable in man’s history? Faraday made electricity so you can have a good work environment and productivity. Take advantage of that!
3. Access to The Internet
One last thing here is a strong internet connection. Trust us, lack of this can ruin your business. Please never forget that we’re in the jet age. Everything now is done at the speed of light. Don’t deprive your workplace of this necessity. A work environment devoid of internet connection will suffer so many losses.
It means exactly what it sounds like. Facilities facilitate. They make life easier, better, more fun, and interesting. An organization has to have at least one of the facilities mentioned below;
• A staff bus: who doesn’t like to get free rides? Even if it’s not so free, employees will prefer it to struggle every morning to get a ride down to the office and getting to the office exhausted and wearier than someone who survived the 1912 titanic incident.
• An eatery: call it eatery, restaurant, kitchen, fast food, we’re saying the same thing in the sense that food is served there. Don’t make your employees go on a 30minutes drive just to get lunch during their break or starve to death because the next best restaurant is quite far. Have a decent restaurant and serve nice meals at affordable prices. You can decide on what the payment system would be.
• A gym for bodily exercises. You may wonder why a gym. Keeping fit is one of the necessities for good mental and physical health which will in turn lead to a better work environment and productivity.
This may not be made available during work hours, so it doesn’t interfere with production. Having a gym that’s accessible on weekends for workers is not a bad idea. It’s a physiology thing. The better their health, the more they put into their work.
• A Spa for body treatments; body treatments are known especially to make women look and feel good. Well, that doesn’t mean your male employees cannot benefit from this. Spa treatments should be for everyone interested.
Again, why body treatment? This sounds like thinking out of the box, right? Yes, that’s the idea. When your employees know that you go extra mile for them, they would give their best to work. It’s a psychological thing.
Facilities are not limited to this as it can vary from organization to organization. A scientific or medical organization may see the need for a research facility. If by any chance, your organization cannot afford these facilities, for now, you can always partner with organizations specialized in them so your employees can go there from time to time.
5. Advanced Courses
Many organizations already do this. You can include it in your business development scheme. Developing your employees is also developing your business. Sign them up for online courses if you can’t afford virtual classes. Encourage them to learn more.
This will not only enlighten them but also help them develop their leadership skills. Like I said earlier, openness to learning is a leadership skill. There will also be a significant improvement in your work environment and productivity level.
You can make it a kind of reward. You get to this level, the organization sponsors you on this course. Don’t be scared by the word sponsor, there are several affordable courses. You only need to do your research, browse the internet, and get informed.
Advanced courses on their scope of work are very good but don’t limit it to that. Let your employees take leadership classes especially if they’re getting promoted.
Communication classes, writing classes, skill acquisition classes, but to mention a few are part of it. Your employees will be happy to deliver more as they learn more, their self-confidence will increase. They’ll become energized and they’ll be proud of their workplace.
6. Encourage Flexibility
As ordinary as this might sound, this is one of the most powerful suggestions for improvement in the workplace. Maintaining the hierarchy is good. Subordinates must show respect, superiors must give orders and all of that is nice, but I tell you this must not never be replaced with flexibility.
Too much rigidity suffocates the work environment and productivity will reduce drastically. If the employees cannot make suggestions; if they’re scared to speak up when they feel uncomfortable, and cannot ask why their salaries are delayed. If they cannot form a healthy relationship together as co-workers, your organization is slowly going down the drain.
Rigidity will reduce or abort critical thinking, ideas development, positive contributions, and much more. Like they say, “no man is an island of knowledge and one tree cannot make a forest”. In other words, you cannot build your business all by yourself and that is why you need to encourage flexibility.
Give room for flexibility, this is so important that I cannot help but say it again. Maintain the hierarchy but give room for flexibility.
7. Employee Care Services
One of the suggestions for improvement in the workplace given by successful businessmen is employee care services. The combination may seem funny but yes, there’s something like that, just as we have ‘customer care services’.
Your employees are the ones taking care of your customers, so why not take care of your employees? Let it be a part and parcel of your organization’s culture. Everyone appreciates a good gesture. It makes us feel welcome, needed, and important.
Your organization could have a section that takes care of that. Call a sick employee, send flowers, words of consolation, and a small but appreciable gift to a bereaved employee. Birthday messages and gifts are nice too. Send representatives to a colleague’s wedding, baby shower, and others. End of the year or festive season gifts are okay too.
This is very important if you’re just starting your business. In fact, it is crucial to your organization’s success. It’ll make your employees happy and want to give you their best. They would also love to work long term with you. That way, you don’t have to lose very helpful and important employees, you’ll have an amazing work environment and productivity level will keep soaring.
8. Special Allowances
The last on our list of suggestions for improvement in the workplace today is special allowances. Although, this should have been taught as a part of employee care services which of course it is, I decided to treat it separately. Giving employee special allowances and benefits impacts their performance positively.
Why? Because it needs to be handled with more care. When we talk about special allowances, what do we mean? Are we saying take all your organization’s profit and lavish it on your employees? No. You have to understand something, special allowances are for a specific set of people for specific reasons. For example, if you run a clothing line, you may have permanent models based on contract or whatever. These models could use a wardrobe allowance.
Top employees like managing directors, assistant CEOs, administrators could also use this wardrobe allowance.
There are several other types of allowances. Vacation allowance for special vacations, housing allowance, or vehicle allowance for certain exceptional, highly esteemed, skilled employees, or those who made special sacrifices towards the progress of the organization.
Special allowances must be handled with care as it is an addition to the salary being paid. It must therefore be calculated well so as not to incur losses for the organization. The special allowances they receive must be worth the service they render except if you’re running a charity organization.
Effecting Suggestions for Improvement In The Workplace As Employee
Earlier, I mentioned that you don’t need to be an employer to initiate improvement in your workplace. You can do it as an employee because it concerns your well-being and affects other areas of your life. But there are ways to go about this, which you must understand. Don’t do what will get you fired and then blame it on the blog post that said you can effect change as an employee.
• First, develop healthy relationships: This is very important. Developing a healthy relationship with your colleagues, employer, and superiors are very important if you want to introduce a new concept, modify existing ones, or disrupt the system.
A healthy relationship, when formed will allow you to have the access and attention you need to effect the change to help.
• Good communication skills: you can never underestimate the power of good communication skills. If you don’t know how to communicate well, learn it. Why? Because even if the message you’re passing on is the solution to a threatening war, you’ll not be listened to if you don’t communicate or place your words well. Your message will be discarded. And as an employee whose means of livelihood is that job, you’d better learn how best to communicate your change correctly, or don’t even start clamoring for one.
• Get people to support you: the cry for independence is not usually done by one person, I’m sure you know that. If you want to do something new like bringing suggestions for improvement in the workplace, you have to get people to support you. Now, I’m not talking about forming labor unions or whatever in the organization or acting like you’re planning a coup. You have to do it peaceably.
• Talk to your co-employees about why you think your work environment has a negative vibe, I’m sure they’ll agree with you if it does. Talk about the solution you’ve found to eradicate the negativity, ask for their suggestions, let them make contributions.
Don’t be worried if they don’t. A lot of people don’t like to leave their comfort zone, they’re too scared to speak up and prefer to work grudgingly, they don’t want to get on the bad side of their employers but good communication skills and healthy relationships like I mentioned above can help you convince them. After some time, they’ll thank you for it.
• Tender your suggestions peaceably: after convincing people, the next thing is to tender your suggestions for improvement in the workplace peaceably and to the right authority. Don’t act like you want to shift the boss off his seat and take charge. Talk sharply but calmly. Give your employer the impression that you know what you’re saying and you want the best for his business, but do it amicably.
• Make your suggestions, make your employer or concerned authority see reasons for the improvement in the workplace. Give him time to think about it. Constantly send a reminder if he’s taking too long to consider your suggestions. Trust me, if everything goes well, he’ll thank you for it.
Managing work environment is a task you must be responsible for as the employer or manager of an organization and a task you must be a part of as an employee. If you’ve been having trouble managing work environment before, these suggestions should help you either as an employer or employee.
Make your office space conducive, invest in facilities, send your employees on courses, encourage flexibility, incorporate employee care services, and give special allowances.
With these, you can have a positive work environment and productivity, increased efficiency, growth, and development in your organization.
You can contribute to helping others too. What other suggestions for improvement in the workplace do you know? Share your suggestions in the comment box.