An employee’s work environment directly affects his productivity. In ad agencies, you will often see design inspirations all over the work place. This is to help in unleashing the creative juices of the team. When you spend 8 hours of your day at work, you need to maximize your stay and accomplish as much as you can. As an employer or manager, it is important that you create a work environment that naturally moves your people to be productive. Here are some ways to help you accomplish that.
Replicate locations that encourage productivity. Elizabeth Grace Saunders of the famous The 99 Percent blog (a blog on productivity and creative thinking) said that we have emotional and mental responses to specific places. She added that if we leverage on this, it can increase our productivity. For example, if you work well on a coffee shop try to replicate the things you see in that place. Take note of the color schemes such as the earth tones, plants, and adapt them in your workspace.
Provide the gadgets needed. Employees are able to function well if they have the gadgets to back it up. A high-speed PC, a fast and
reliable WI-Fi connection, office supplies, and all the other things needed to help them work efficiently. It will be good to have easy access to water and coffee should they need something to fight off sleepiness or sluggishness. Make sure that all the office equipment is also maintained properly. The photocopying machine, fax machine, scanner, and all that should be functioning well all the time so that employees can use them as needed. All these things contribute to employee productivity
Lighting and Ventilation. Good lighting and ventilation are major factors in creating a productive work environment. In looking at
workspace lighting, it’s important that there’s ample source of natural light coming in. It’s not only economical but also rejuvenating. Lighting should also be tailored according to the kind of work an employee is doing. A graphic designer needs more light to see the nitty gritty details of his work compared to a vice president who spends most of his time signing documents and attending meetings.
Ventilation is also crucial to one’s work environment. Your office shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. Uneasiness with the ventilation can
deter one’s productivity because it makes employees jittery while working. It’s advisable that the temperature shouldn’t be centralized in a
sprawling workspace because not everyone has the same tolerance to a specific temperature. Independent air conditioning units can be placed in strategic corners of the work area where employees themselves are allowed to adjust the temperature. By doing so, they can be more productive and focused in what they’re doing because the distraction brought about by the ventilation can be addressed quickly by them.
Go ergonomic. There’s a science to the things we use in our offices. Ergonomic tables and chairs assist employees in proper posture and body positioning while doing their jobs. These may be more expensive but it’s worth the investment than having your employees suffer carpal tunnel or other related conditions due to their mediocre tables and chairs. Being concerned with your employees’ health and well-being affects their productivity. When they are provided with functional, comfortable, and ergonomic furniture design it fuels their productivity all the more.
Open your doors. Part of creating a productive work environment is having open communication. Instil in your people that you’re open to suggestions and criticisms. You can agree to disagree and still come up with a solution to the challenges in front of you. Foster an environment where employees are free to speak up their minds. Feedback is a great source of vital information and brilliant ideas. When you’re able to
communicate with your people and they’re able to do the same to their co-workers, productivity is easily achieved.
Motivate and appreciate. Every employee needs to be recognized for their efforts. A simple pat on the back or a quick “good
job” can make a person’s day. As a leader, you should motivate your people to excel and be productive. Be verbal about it and reward them for it. You can give monetary incentives, certificates of appreciation, a loud commendation that everyone can hear, and other positive reinforcements to show them that their efforts are valued and appreciated. Since these rewards are commensurate to employees’ performance, they also know that an improved performance will warrant them another reward. This leads to increased productivity as employees strive to do better to receive an incentive. Productivity is an end-result and only happens when it’s fuelled by something. Motivation and appreciation are great fuels that drive productivity to new heights.
Create an atmosphere of learning. Provide books and references that will further enhance the knowledge of your employees. Send them to seminars and trainings to keep them updated on the latest in the industry. Circulate the latest news about the business and the latest moves of competitors to keep your employees on
their toes. When your employees gain more knowledge and become more equipped
at what they’re doing, their productivity will naturally increase. The new information they’ve acquired will help them do their work better since they are now more confident to do so with the knowledge that they have. Some companies even have a training bond wherein if an employee decides to leave after the training he acquired, he would have to pay for it. Ultimately, this is an investment that leads to a better and more productive performance for your people and you need them to live up to that expectation.
A productive work environment is achieved by combining physical, mental, and social factors. It’s important to listen to what your people need and respond to it. It is important to factor in The Hawthorne Effect on this. This is the study done by Professor Elton Mayo on an experiment conducted at Western Electronic Hawthorne Works. The experiment measured the productivity of factory workers when certain conditions were changed in their workplace such as lighting, humidity, duration of break times, etc. However, the
result of this experiment was that the productivity of the workers increased due to the knowledge that they’re being studied or experimented on and not because of the change in working condition. At the end of the day, productivity can be attained by having a balanced working environment that is flexible and adaptable, comfortable and functional, engaging and
encouraging, and most of all learning and evolving.
Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.