How to Foster a Productive Work Environment

October 7, 2014 | by Ivy Guerrero

How to Foster a Productive Work Environment Virtual Assistants Pepper PhilippinesThere are many things that can influence a person’s productivity. One of which is the place he or she works in. Everything from the lighting to the tools you use impacts the way you work.  As a business owner or manager, you need to know if your work environment helps your employees get things done in the most efficient way. Small discomforts in the workplace can pile up and interrupt their momentum, distracting them from what they’re doing. Here are some office workspace tips that can help increase your team’s productivity.

Natural light. Research shows that employees exposed to natural light have better performance than those who are not. They sleep better and can engage more in physical activity. Their overall quality of life is a whole lot better, too. Make sure that you have windows in your office that allow sunlight to come in. Natural light helps invigorate your team. The vitality they get from the sun gives them the boost they need to accomplish their work.

Add some color. Angela Wright discovered that there’s a correlation between color and our behavior.  For example, if you want energy and excitement to be present in your workplace go for red walls. If trust, efficiency, and intelligence are valued highly in your company then blue should be your prevalent color. Yellow signifies confidence, creativity, and optimism. So pops of yellow can help spark ideas. Green represents harmony, peace, and balance. It can help foster a collaborative spirit in your office.

Ergonomic fixtures. Do you find your employees craning their necks or twisting their wrists often? Then check if their arms are positioned evenly with the height of their desk. Ideally, the chair should be 16 to 21 inches above the floor so that their feet are flat on the ground. The width should be roughly 17 to 20 inches wide. Take note if their chairs have enough back and arm rest, too. It should also swivel for easy movement. Providing ergonomic fixtures will help them remove certain aches and pains that can directly affect their productivity. It’s important that your employees feel comfortable in their workspace.

Collaborative space. Teamwork is one of the things you want to see in your employees. Having a collaborative space allows them to communicate with each other. This could be done by having low dividers or cubicles so that your team can still have their private spaces while making it easy for them to coordinate with their teammates. Contrary to what most people think, open-office layout is not conducive to collaboration. The loss of privacy and excessive noise make it more difficult for employees to concentrate. Instead, you can create a meeting area in an open space for quick brainstorming and informal meetings.

Learning area. This could be a library or a multimedia room where your employees can hang out during their break time. It contains books, videos, and other learning materials available at their disposal anytime. You can also ask your team what they want in their learning nook. By giving them the resources they need, you’re giving them the opportunity to increase their knowledge and creativity. If you don’t have the space then send them informative links to videos or articles that could help motivate them to excel.

Impose breaks. In Chevron, they install a program in their employees’ computers that automatically locks them every 45 minutes so that everyone will be forced to take a 5-minute break. Sometimes looking away from a computer is all you need to snap out of sluggishness or mental block. In a pressure-filled workplace, lunch break is simply not enough. Short breaks allow your employees to recharge and get back to work with more energy and vigor.

Latest technology. Slow computers and equipment can cause delays that can affect not only your business but also your employees. No matter how hard they try to be productive if the equipment or software they use is not suitable to what they need then the result you want can be difficult to achieve. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that they’re using latest technology that will enable them to work efficiently.

Open door policy. The workplace is not limited to its physical components. The culture and values you instill in your employees also influence their productivity. Having an open door policy allows them be vocal with their opinions and suggestions. Of course they will still report to their respective managers. However, your employees should also know that they can approach you anytime. This kind of work environment allows for effective communication on all levels of your organization.

Recognition. Nothing encourages productivity more than being recognized for what you do. Being vocal about your appreciation boosts your employees’ confidence and motivates them to give their best for the company. Recognition can range from something as simple as a commending email or a certificate to something grand such as a salary increase, promotion, or an incentive that they’ve always wanted to have. The main reason why the show Undercover Boss is such a hit is because it highlights the efforts of the unsung heroes in a successful company. Appreciating your people will not only increase their productivity but also their loyalty.

The work environment you create for your employees hugely influences their level of productivity. Your team gives their skills and service to the table. In return, they expect you to give them the facilities that will help them get their job done. Not only that, they also want to establish a genuine relationship with you. What distinguishes a great leader from a good one is his ability to give his employees both what they need and what they want. Sure they need an office but is it optimal for the work they do? Sure they have a salary but does it fully compensate their effort? Your people are your best asset and taking care of them is your primary responsibility. Take time to look at the environment you’ve created for them. Assess if the tangible factors and non-tangible ones contribute to the success of each of your employees. If anything is lacking, don’t hold back. It’s always worth investing in your people.

About Pepper Virtual Assistants

Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.

Share this Post

 

12 thoughts on “How to Foster a Productive Work Environment

  1. Pingback: What's So Funny About Workplace Safety? How Humor Can Help Create a Safer Work Environment | Create Resumes | Find Jobs | FastJobz.Com

  2. Pingback: Benefits of Outsourcing Offshore (Virtual) Staff | Create Resumes | Find Jobs | FastJobz.Com

  3. Ligaya Cabilas

    Indeed this article reminds us that our workplace is our second home. Having a good working place will help the employee become more productive as their working place will tell them how they are being valued.

    Reply
  4. Rodel M. Lozano

    In a company, employer-employee relationship is very important to make individuals productive in their work.
    In this article it talks about the tips that would increase the productivity level of an employee. It emphasizes on how to treat the employee well.
    Definitely, all these tips are very useful and helpful to make employees highly productive and in the same way the company will also benefit on it and gradually it will prosper.
    This article would really make the companies all over the world a successful one. This is a very nice article that each owner/manager should know for the betterment of everybody.

    Reply
  5. Ems Sy Chan

    I was looking for the entry putting Christ at the center of the work environment as the first requirement for a productive work environment, but it might offend non-Christian readers, so let me rephrase that with the Divine at the center of the work environment, all the good things will follow as “God created all things good.” (Genesis 1:25)

    If I may add words of affirmation to colleagues and superiors and to everyone else in the office under the subheading Recognition since it will make everybody feel important, and when everybody feels good, everyone will also treat each other well. Respect for the rest of the creature God created as well as self-respect is important in the work environment. Toss in respect for time because it tells the other that you are important for me because I’m giving you something valuable which cannot be returned anymore.

    Lastly, love for the self and others is vital in a work environment. Without the virtue of charity, pride, envy, and all the other capital sins might create chaos in the work environment.

    Reply
  6. Tiffany Motilla

    From what I’ve learned from school, every single thing that was listed in this article is pretty much accurate – the work environment, communication and their limitations, recognition, freedom of speech, tools and so on. However, I would like to add two other factors that could increase productivity through the work space: opportunities for growth and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

    Firstly, what do I mean by ‘opportunities for growth’? These are increase in compensation and benefits, salaries, perks, and higher chances of promotion. Employees need these kinds of events within the work space because it adds “gasoline”; people would tend to improve their work performance, increase output and so on.

    Another is CSR. What good would CSR do in the work place? As we all know, CSR is all about reaching out to the community. Employees are not robots that lives mainly to work; people also have hearts for the society. My point is, helping out the rest of the society – outside our work places, outside our homes, even outside our own concerns – could softer a person’s heart. With that point being said: as an employee, knowing where your hardwork could take you and the rest of the world, does that not burn the desire within you to do more?

    With all these being stated, what I would really like to say is that people do not linger with work alone; people search for self-improvements and being a good person, because we are all a lifetime project.

    Reply
  7. Angelo

    Home is where the heart is.
    An old cliché, but it is very meaningful indeed. Once you think about it, that cliché can be deep, very deep. In movies, we hear that line whenever the protagonist comes home and runs to the open arms of his or her loved ones, after battling it out with the antagonists and whatever plot the movie has before going into climax. We’ve heard that line before and thought not much about it.
    Of course, when you get home, that’s where all of your human self lets loose. You change into more comfortable baggy clothes, you don’t care what you look, how you smell or how you act, because its home! You don’t need to be someone else to just please others.
    Good thing home is very different from work since the latter lets you rest and just feel comfortable about anything, unlike the former. But wait, how about we take the feeling of being home at work? Is it even possible? Of course it is! A working environment with a sense of home? Some may have furrowed eyebrows upon reading it but come to think of it, when you make your workplace just like your house, isn’t that very accommodating, very relaxing and motivating to imagine?
    I have been hopping from one company to another and I can really tell the difference. Though, no company is really perfect but I get to see a blending of different aspects of architecture and ideas fusing together in making a workplace just like home.
    One company has a very colorful vibe, pleasing to the eyes and friendly. It lightens up my mood everytime I go to the office. Another is perfect in its amenities, has the necessary facilities to make an employee feel relaxed and at ease like a naproom, a lounge with soft fluffy sofas and cable TV. But I’ve also been to a company wherein it really lacks anything that would make an employee motivated in even going to work; hence that company was my shortest stay.
    Google headquarters should be mentioned here. They have slides going from the second to the first floor. Their office is really vibrant, colorful, cheerful and friendly. It’s like working in Disneyworld! As what I know, Google is recognized as a company with the most motivated employees. I bet they get to work there 20 years or more – I would!
    See? It is possible. It can be possible. Work can feel like home as well if the facilities, amenities and the aura motivate employees. Imagine being an employee with a loved one who just passed away, would you rather see a dull and monotonous working environment or a vibrant and cheerful one? The latter would further worsen your grief than the former, which would help you overcome it easily!
    Let’s get back to the quote, “home is where the heart is”. If your working environment feels at home, that’s where you’ll love to stay, that’s where your heart would be. You’ll give your best in your job and you’ll exceed expectations from your managers hence working your way on top easily and making your life easier.
    Think about this next time you look for an employer, it’s not always the salary.

    Reply
  8. Angelo Cyril Ugto

    Home is where the heart is.
    An old cliché, but it is very meaningful indeed. Once you think about it, that cliché can be deep, very deep. In movies, we hear that line whenever the protagonist comes home and runs to the open arms of his or her loved ones, after battling it out with the antagonists and whatever plot the movie has before going into climax. We’ve heard that line before and thought not much about it.
    Of course, when you get home, that’s where all of your human self lets loose. You change into more comfortable baggy clothes, you don’t care what you look, how you smell or how you act, because its home! You don’t need to be someone else to just please others.
    Good thing home is very different from work since the latter lets you rest and just feel comfortable about anything, unlike the former. But wait, how about we take the feeling of being home at work? Is it even possible? Of course it is! A working environment with a sense of home? Some may have furrowed eyebrows upon reading it but come to think of it, when you make your workplace just like your house, isn’t that very accommodating, very relaxing and motivating to imagine?
    I have been hopping from one company to another and I can really tell the difference. Though, no company is really perfect but I get to see a blending of different aspects of architecture and ideas fusing together in making a workplace just like home.
    One company has a very colorful vibe, pleasing to the eyes and friendly. It lightens up my mood everytime I go to the office. Another is perfect in its amenities, has the necessary facilities to make an employee feel relaxed and at ease like a naproom, a lounge with soft fluffy sofas and cable TV. But I’ve also been to a company wherein it really lacks anything that would make an employee motivated in even going to work; hence that company was my shortest stay.
    Google headquarters should be mentioned here. They have slides going from the second to the first floor. Their office is really vibrant, colorful, cheerful and friendly. It’s like working in Disneyworld! As what I know, Google is recognized as a company with the most motivated employees. I bet they get to work there 20 years or more – I would!
    See? It is possible. It can be possible. Work can feel like home as well if the facilities, amenities and the aura motivate employees. Imagine being an employee with a loved one who just passed away, would you rather see a dull and monotonous working environment or a vibrant and cheerful one? The latter would further worsen your grief than the former, which would help you overcome it easily!
    Let’s get back to the quote, “home is where the heart is”. If your working environment feels at home, that’s where you’ll love to stay, that’s where your heart would be. You’ll give your best in your job and you’ll exceed expectations from your managers hence working your way on top easily and making your life easier.
    Think about this next time you look for an employer, it’s not always the salary.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: How to Instill Productivity in the Workplace | Pepper Virtual Assistants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*