The physical work environment has an influence on an employee's productivity, even if they’re not aware of it. This term refers to the conditions where the person completes their daily responsibilities and may also include other factors, like "when" and "how" they do it. Therefore, reviewing the physical work environment at workplaces and its surrounding factors can be a good idea if you want to contribute to employee satisfaction.
This article will guide you through all the factors present in the physical office environment that can influence a worker’s productivity. Once you identify the potential problems, you can start implementing good strategies that allow you to improve the work conditions at your organization.
What is a Physical Work Environment?
The physical work environment comprises all the physical conditions where a person works. These elements can affect their physical and mental well-being, their efficiency, workplace relationship, and, ultimately, their productivity.
It’s also important to consider that the physical work conditions imply the facilities:
- Where is it located?
- What is the layout used at the office?
- Is work completed outdoors or indoors?
- How big are the facilities and each workstation?
The answer to all of these questions defines the physical environment where your employees complete their obligations on a daily basis. However, a physical work environment is also dependent on other factors, such as the company culture and working conditions.
Factors Related to Physical Work Environment
1. Company culture
Your company culture is defined by the approach to work, communication and relationships that your employees have at work. It is also determined by the company values, the leadership approach and the organization’s goals.
2. Working conditions
Working conditions are directly related to the terms in which each worker has been hired. Thus, it implies several factors, like the salary or pay rate, contract, and daily work hours. You can also take into account whether recreational activities take place at the workplace or not.
Elements of a Physical Work Environment
While the previously mentioned elements have a considerable impact on employee well-being, it is also important to focus on the physical conditions where a worker spends a considerable number of hours every day. Evaluating all of these factors and accustoming them to the workforce's needs will allow you to unleash their full potential while keeping them as happy as always.
This way, the elements that compose a physical work environment include the following:
How big is the working area at the workplace? The answer to this question will also describe its impact on each employee's mindset. For instance, you can consider how free space there is so each person can move freely, or if the area is big enough to fit all the team members. It's also important to consider if the equipment is accessible to each team member.
All organizations use a determined layout to fit all of their members in the same working area. For instance, some prefer using cubicles, while others prefer providing each employee with a private office. Businesses that rely on collaboration use open office spaces, for instance.
Furnishing is an essential factor of a productive work environment. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable where they’re working, they’re not likely to be as productive and efficient as you expect. Thus, it is important to make sure that each employee has access to an ergonomic chair, a proper desk or standing desk connect.
Equipment and furniture are separate elements. While furniture is supposed to ensure your comfort, the equipment facilitates the tools you need to complete your obligations. For instance, an indoor office space needs printers, computer devices and similar technology to work efficiently. Some people like to include smart office gadgets to increase the office’s efficiency.
If you’d like to provide your office with all the necessary office equipment, you can take a look at the bulk office furniture section available at Autonomous.
It is important that each employee has access to areas where they can take a break. Furthermore, the location of these areas also impacts their productivity and well-being. If you'd like to boost the mood of your employees, including additional areas within the main facilities, can help, such as on-site gyms or relaxing spaces.
When it comes to office work, most people work indoors. However, other roles may have to work outside or a mix between both styles. To ensure that each worker is comfortable doing their job, many employees provide them with the necessary equipment based on their role to assure their comfort and productivity.
Identifying if Your Work Environment is Suitable – Recommendations
If you want to know the impact of the physical work environment among your employees, the best way you have to do so is by asking them. You can run polls with closed answers to get to know what they think of their current work conditions, while a meeting can also be helpful to assess some of these issues.
Once you identify the areas where you can improve, you can move on to finding solutions altogether. Other recommendations to increase the employee satisfaction rate include the following:
- Implementing an employee purchase program where your workers can receive discounts or similar benefits while buying determined items is a great idea. You can learn how to use the Autonomous EPP.
- Additionally, it is also worth trying running polls or meetings once in a while to evaluate employee satisfaction and accustom the space to the needs of your workers. When someone feels comfortable in their work environment, they will become more productive and efficient.
Again, there are more ways to build a productive work environment, but the best way you have to acknowledge the problems that exist in your workplace is to ask your employees.
The physical work environment can affect us mentally and physically. Therefore, as a leader, it is important for you to provide each worker with all the resources they need to be comfortable while working and the tools they'll need to complete their duties effectively.
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