We hear it all the time. “I just didn’t like the work environment” or “come join us for a world-class work environment”. What are people really saying when they talk about this most elusive and malleable of terms? In most cases, it’s nothing at all. It’s an indescribable feeling that they haven’t put the effort into thoroughly vocalizing. In other cases, however, it’s the most important part of your business.
The physical work environment
If you look up a dictionary definition of the term, you’re going to get quite a limited first description. It’s the physical workplace. That’s it. But make no mistake, the physical work environment is a much greater part of the whole than it seems. The amount of space available, the level of personalization allowed at a desk or cubicle or even how hiring a professional office cleaning service improves employee health all come into play. Getting the most out of the physical workspace does indeed contribute a rather great deal to the work environment as a whole.
The mental work environment
A healthy, motivating, and engaging physical location plays into one of the most important aspects of the business, after all. Figuring out how productive your team is. An environment of high productivity isn’t just created by efficient office design and maintenance. It is created through organizing toward individual and cooperative goals. Ensuring every employee understands the finish lines of the larger projects while at the same time using things like KPIs and educating on workload prioritization to streamline the business. It goes without saying that an employer who props up those most efficient, productive and effective workers while tackling the barriers to those traits in others can expect to see a more on-point work environment.
The sociological work environment
Beyond the very physical aspect of it, this might be the most common way you will see people referring to the work environment. When they’re talking about “signs a work environment is toxic”, they are talking about the people in it. People are hardwired to gossip. It’s how we survived as a society. And it will happen in your workplace as professional as you might want to be. That’s why employers cannot stand above and separate from the drama that only seems to get in the way. You have to get used to untangling the various messy knots of inter-office relationships.
The emotional work environment
Feeling valued is an important personal part of a good workplace environment as well. It’s something that every individual experiences and it permeates throughout a workplace. If an employee who doesn’t feel valued starts sharing that experience with someone who feels the same, it creates a very real barrier in the office. One between you and the team, a divide that will stop them from caring about your goals and giving you their all. People need to feel valued and you need to show them that they are by caring about their needs. Whether it’s through training, improving morale with treats, or just recognizing and respecting good work for once.
The work environment is about everything internal. It’s the spirit of the brand, the relationship between employees and the corporate culture. It’s a fusing of all the elements above that can raise a great idea to new heights or pull it down in shambles. Find out what your work environment is.
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