There is no secret that your working environment impacts your daily life. Your mood, drive, and performance can all be motivated by your surroundings at work.
A recent study done by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness at work led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved to be 10% less productive.
Hence, building a working environment that is great for a company’s employees should be of everyone's interest. These are some of the ways you can ensure a prosperous and inspiring working environment:
1. Hire great team members
Building a great environment starts with hiring the right people. Make sure to hire people with the right level of knowledge and interest needed for growth within the company. It is vital that your new employees are team players who you think will be a good fit to your already existing team - both professionally and personally. Do not hire just to hire.
Also, don’t be afraid to let your “bad” employees go. One person’s negative attitude is likely to infect others and contribute to a toxic working atmosphere.
It's amazing to watch one bad attitude affect everyone's daily performance. Though letting go of toxic people is a hard thing to do, it ultimately impacts the working environment, which can be felt by not only employees, but also by our customers.
In order to keep the team spirit strong, make sure you and your colleagues engage in team building activities every once in a while.
Now, you may be thinking “this sounds like a lot of work,” but it really does not have to be. For example, host after hours dinners where everyone is invited, or simply set up meetings for collaboration across fields of expertise.
For teams who - more often than not - work remotely, team building is especially important. Videoconferencing often comes in handy when trying to find ways to connect and do team building exercises despite geographical distances. One solution is to use video calling for business, which lets your team members join in the conversation in real-time, wherever they are in the world.
Read more: 5 tips for better teamwork
3. Flexibility in the workplace
Giving employees the ability to work from home and plan their work days as they see fit will go a long way in creating a great and positive working environment.
Some people work best in the morning, some mid day, and some in the evening. Trust in the people you hired, and give your employees the freedom and responsibility to choose what works best for them.
Another way of creating excitement and flexibility in the workplace, is changing things up on a regular basis. Few people enjoy doing the exact same things over and over, years on end. Try delegating variating tasks as often as possible.
Last, but not least: Encourage your employees to step outside their comfort zone and feel the adrenalin rush that comes with doing just that.
4. Make it easy for all to contribute with ideas
"Employees are motivated and feel valued when they're given positive reinforcement and are shown how their work contributes to the success of the business," said Dominique Jones, former chief people officer at Halogen Software.
Most employees appreciate feeling that they are a part of something, and that they have the opportunity to influence their surroundings. Therefore, you should make sure everyone has the ability to affect at least one area of their everyday working life - be it simple things like whether they want to work from home or from the office.
A transparent decision making process will not only ensure a greater wellbeing of your employees: It will also help in building trust. Considering others’ opinions before making a decision will let you consider all the possible pros and cons tied to potential changes and ensure everyone feels valued.
5. Improve communication
It is important to be aware of how different communication methods impact a working environment.
Do you hold lots of meetings or few meetings? Are you and your team members aligned when it comes to the best way to communicate throughout the day? Is voicing one’s opinion seen as a low threshold thing to do?
There are a variety of ways to improve communications. One way is to hold frequent status meetings, both individually and in groups - where people not physically present have the possibility to join in using video communication. Another is to be aware of the usage of language. A simple “thank you” or “well done” can go a long way and be very motivational for future task solving.
Most importantly is to make sure people can voice their opinions about all matters, and that they have a team leader they can talk to if desired.
These are only a handful of the ways you can go about building a good working environment in your company. By making a few small changes, you can empower your employees to be happier and more productive, and create a positive atmosphere for everyone.