Creating healthy workplace environment

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 24th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1zuuqbl_/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Creating healthy workplace environment and its impact on organizational productivity is immense in financial term, though it is not tangible and you cannot see it directly.

Organizational productivity

Introduction
No one enjoys work every single day. It is not also possible to achieve the work satisfaction of hundred percent employees because of their variation in liking and disliking. Whatever may be the case, the managers have a responsibility to create an environment where maximum employees truly enjoy coming to work each and every day. For any organization, workforce plays a vital role for its success or failure. If the organization can achieve enhanced performance of its employees, it definitely will have better productivity. To achieve this, a healthy workplace environment is considered as fundamental requirement. A soothing environmental condition causes efficient worker productivity as well as increases job satisfaction, which in turn impact on the financial well being of the organization.
The work environment
A work environment can be identified as the place where one works. In the literal sense - it is the surroundings of the place of occupation e.g. Inside, outside etc. It also means a sort of mental state while on the job e.g. Positive, negative etc. As per as the place is concerned, the work environment involves the physical geographical location including the immediate surroundings of the workplace. The other aspects are the compliances of legislation and practices of non legislative motivational aspects. The work environment can be hostile or healthy. When employee experiences harassment and fears going to work because of the oppressive atmosphere in the workplace is a hostile work environment. On the other hand, a healthy work environment is that which is conducive as well as supportive and joyful to maximum employees.

Components of workplace environment
There are three core components to create an attractive work environment. They are (i) Financial stability (ii) Physical and (iii) Behavioral. The first and critical component is business success and stability. It is only through financial stability that an organization can protect its other components (physical and behavioral). The physical environment consists of elements that relate to the workplace occupiers’ ability to physically connect with their office environment. The behavioral environment consists of components that relate to how well the office occupiers connect with each other, and the impact the office environment can have on the behavior of the individual.

Creating conducive workplace environment
A favorable work environment for employee is a must to have high productivity. To create a productive work environment, understanding what motivates people is important. Employees are more likely to be dedicated to a manager who understands and motivates them. Another factor that promotes loyalty is the work environment employees share with their colleagues. This factor can also be controlled to an extent by the manager. Followings are some ways to promote a healthy work environment for workers and the organization as a whole:
Workplace Atmosphere
A healthy workplace atmosphere reduces work-place stress significantly. In reality, stressed employee cause lower productivity and poor quality of output. On the other hand, pleasant surroundings can do more for a person’s attitude than we often realize. Therefore, the management should provide an attractive and comfortable work environment whenever possible to reduce stress. The management should ensure an appropriate, adequate and safe area for workers. Sometime, even a less formal atmosphere in the workplace can reduce work stress. Maintaining a healthy workplace atmosphere is a must for any organization to have and retain highly motivated and high-energy level employees.
Office Layout and Equipment
The office layout in which employees work and undertake most of their activities can impact on their productivity. Spending money on the improvement of office layout was never wastage rather a wise investment. Allowing office employees to choose their desk chair within set parameters are relatively inexpensive ways to assist in the creation of a positive and professional work environment. It is suggested to choose ergonomically sound equipment, tools and furniture. These make work easier for employees, reduce workplace injuries and therefore limit any compensation claims. Employees equipped with the correct tools also reduce workplace stress.
Interaction
Values can collide when members of different generations work together. Having a better understanding of others can make the working environment more productive. Creating an atmosphere of respect is important for every employee. The managers and employers must encourage and ensure healthy interactions in the workplace. It is also important that managers clearly communicate their expectations for each employee. It will be better if the interactions are more. The level of interaction greatly affects the output of the workers. It can be social interaction or work interaction. If this factor is favorable, the employees can perform much better. The better it will be, the employees would perform best.
Distraction
Research proved that mild noise contributes in achieving good performance but excessive noise affect employee productivity. Too much noise caused by employees, machine or other factors create distraction and affect workers psychologically. It also increases blood pressure and metabolic rate and thus cause decreased productivity.
Encourage Creativity
Managers can encourage organizational creativity and innovation by fostering an environment that is conducive for creativity. It can be done by building friendly working conditions. This also includes talking to employees when not performing up to the expectations. When the workers feel secure, they come out with new ideas. There, the manager has to respect and value the innovation which would encourage the employee to come out with new ideas. This can have a great impact on the productivity.
Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
Conflict resolution is a crucial skill that a manager must acquire. Disagreements are common in the workplace. Resolving conflicts are sometime a delicate matter, whether it is between two employees or between an employee and manager. In fact, conflicts are unavoidable. Therefore the manager should not be afraid to encourage employees to disagree with other employees or even with the managers. On the upside, the best ideas can sometimes come out of conflicts.
Words of Appreciation
One important tool for motivating employees is praise. This can be an extremely useful method of giving an individual worker a sense of worth in relation to the actual work being done. When employee members go above and beyond, he expects a word of appreciation. If the individual doesn’t get that, he gets upset. When he gets it, he becomes happy and grateful to the manager. Therefore, managers should attempt to praise employees whenever possible, especially in front of other employees. Such practice in the workplace does cost any money but pays a lot for better productivity.
Setting Example by Leaders

A manager or leader should be exemplary in the workplace. He must set examples through his words and deeds. He must place him in a position that the employees should love to follow him with honor and respect. The manager does not have to know more than the employees about all aspects of the job, nor does have to have the final say in all decisions. But he should display a positive behavior towards employees. Today, leading by example has more to do with showing employees how to interact and collaborate effectively. It contributes in creating a positive work environment and thus enhances productivity.


Impact of healthy workplace environment
In today’s modern environment, money is not the only motivator in having enhanced employee output. Managers have to ensure a comfortable workplace that influence employee motivation. Followings are some impact of a healthy workplace environment:
Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is a powerful factor for business success. Engaged employees are more productive, customer-focused, and profit-generating. Employees are more likely to become truly engaged and involved in their work if workplace provides a favorable work environment.
Boost Morale
Boosting work-place morale is an important issue for any organization. It can be achieved through employee satisfaction. A positive work environment work as intrinsic reward and brings satisfaction amongst employees. It thus boosts morale and causes increased productivity.
Enhanced Output
The various components of conducive work environment have a great impact on the performance level of employees. A comfortable work environment make employee owning the organization and helps performing better. Thus it contributes in enhanced output.
Make Employees Disciplined
Discipline in the workplace means the correction of employee behavioral deficiencies in order to ensure adherence to company rules. The purpose is to correct the behavior and not to embarrass an employee. Organizations often use positive or non-punitive discipline method to make employee disciplined. In this method, employees assume responsibility for their personal conduct and job performance. When employees are motivated, satisfied with their job and have less complains, they remain extra cautious about their deeds. Thereby, a healthy work environment contributes in keeping employee disciplined.
Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction begins by first providing a positive work environment. The managers of the organization are responsible for creating employees job satisfaction. Organizations that fail to improve job satisfaction are at risk of losing their top talented people to the competition. Supervisors and managers who maximize the potential, creative abilities and talents of the entire workforce have a greater competitive advantage than those who don’t. Employees that are engaged in their work have a higher level of job satisfaction. A healthy work environment plays a vital role in creating job satisfaction among employees.
Reduce Employees Stress
Some stress is good. It motivates employees and makes them stronger. But too much stress is bad. It affects people and creates negative result in work life. Prolonged periods of stress have an adverse effect on physical and mental health and well-being. Work can be a stress less place through adjustments of some physical and behavioral components of work environment. Working with positive attitude people also reduces stress. A healthy workplace condition reduces stress and reduces sickness as well as staff turnover.

Reduce Employees Turnover
People want to enjoy their work. They want social interaction and a rewarding work environment. They expect recognition from managers and a challenging position with room to move up. It is the responsibility of the managers to look into the matter and ensure a positive work environment. If it can’t be ensured, the employees would look for alternatives. Thus, turnover takes place. A healthy work environment plays an important role in reducing employee turnover.
Motivates Employee
Employee motivation is the level of energy, commitment and creativity that an organizations worker applies to their jobs. Today, finding ways to motivate employees has become a pressing concern for many managers. Again, workers seek opportunity to put up their best in the workplace. A congenial work environment can combine these two and inspires employee motivation. It is only a soothing environment that can motivate employee with minimum investment.
Conclusion
A healthy workplace environment increases employees’ productivity as well as boost up morale. There are several ways to achieve it. Less stressed workplace atmosphere, good physical environment, healthy interaction, reduction of unnecessary noise, encouragement of creativity, unquestionable conflict resolution mechanisms, appreciation of good job, setting example by leaders etc contribute in creating conducive workplace environment. Favorable working factors ensure employee engagement, boost up morale, make employees disciplined, create job satisfaction, reduce unnecessary stress, decrease turnover, motivates employee etc. The healthy workplace environment creates more satisfied workers and leads the organization into profitability and productivity.

Tags

Quality Work Life, Workplace, Workplace Safety Mental Health, Workplace Stress, Workplace Violence

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

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Comments

author avatar Buzz
24th Mar 2012 (#)

You're a man with so many lofty ideals and ideas. A fine writer you are to write a book, for which your countrymen will be proud. I have no doubt you'll figure prominently in the future of your country. Thanks for sharing your genius, my dear friend.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
25th Mar 2012 (#)

Thank you Buzz for your kind remarks.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
1st Apr 2012 (#)

Rezaul: I agree with Buzz. You hace covered all aspects of creating a healthy, workplace environment. Sometimes, I have walked into offices and seen employees working in rows of cubicles. Maybe it is better than working in a closed office because the workers are on view to everyone. Not so good for the employee though as the boss can look over the top, thereby making private calls, eating donuts, etc., hazardous.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
1st Apr 2012 (#)

Error: "have".

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
1st Apr 2012 (#)

To err is human.
I also make errors.
Should it not create any terror!
At least not like movies-
That based on horror!

Thanks Ivy.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
1st Apr 2012 (#)

Excellent, Rezaul!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
2nd Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Ivy.

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