Six ways to create a better workplace environment

by Rossa Brown

People spend about a third of their lives working so it's vital that they feel comfortable and at ease at work. We take a look at some of the ways you can make a better workplace environment.

It's impossible to enjoy your job all the time, but the kind of environment you work in has a massive impact on how you feel about your job and colleagues.

Here are a few tips for creating an environment that boosts mood, confidence and productivity.

1. Build a communicative workplace

There's nothing worse than a workplace where the only sounds are the relentless tapping of keyboards and an occasional sigh. The so-called "pin drop syndrome", when it's so quiet that people feel afraid to speak, is the bugbear of many employees. Take steps to encourage your employees to talk to one another.

People use communication platforms such as Workplace to build a better workplace culture

You could dedicate a specific area in the workspace for people to relax and have a friendly chat. It could be a place where they can catch up over lunch or exchange ideas about an upcoming project. And communication doesn't always have to be face to face.

Technology can help keep the conversation going wherever people do their work. People use communication platforms like Workplace to engage and connect with their colleagues and build a better workplace culture.

Convert your instant message chat into an HD video call at the click of a button if your conversation goes deep.

Or lighten the mood with a quick exchange of GiFs in your Workplace Chat group when you confirm the agenda for your afternoon meeting.

But it's not just about employees communicating together. Nearly 85% of generation Yers said they would feel more confident if they had more frequent conversations with their managers. So, keep your door open, metaphorically and physically.

2. Encourage exercise

Exercise can improve health, mood and productivity. Get people moving. If the roles in your organisation are mainly sedentary, encourage people to take breaks and walk around.

And if you're feeling inventive, why not make your workplace pet-friendly? Taking a dog around the block is a great way to take a break and relax and it's a popular idea – 40% of generation Yers say they want a dog-friendly office.

Plus, pets in the workplace have been shown to lower stress levels and create a comfortable environment.

3. Show your appreciation

Naturally, everyone likes to earn praise. Letting people know when they're doing a good job is a great motivator. One way of doing this is giving people a way to show gratitude to one another using a "kudos box".

Throughout the week, people can leave appreciative notes in the box to be read out at the end of the week.

Tools like "Recognise" boost employees recognition and are integrated with Workplace

But technology can provide solutions too. Workplace integrates with the work tools that people already use to get the job done. Tools like Recognise – an employee recognition and staff rewards platform integrated with Workplace.

An app like Recognise can help you show your appreciation. And it can also help you keep hold of your top talent and communicate your company values. By having everything in one place, you can control costs, gauge results and create consistency across the company.

Employees can then use the platform to share achievements with friends and colleagues, redeem gift vouchers, celebrate birthdays and access their reward opportunities at their convenience.

4. Create a workplace like home

Modern approaches to workspace design are an important part of employee satisfaction. A physically comfortable space where people can feel at ease will help to improve mood and provide a better day-to-day working experience.

In the office, make sure that furniture is comfortable and ergonomic and add some plants – they're a great mood and productivity booster.

In non-office environments, make sure you provide lots of break areas where staff can take five, grab a drink and catch up with their colleagues.

5. Make the most of the light

Exposure to natural daylight in the workplace is linked to better efficiency and better sleep. A lack of it is associated with feelings of tension and isolation.

Design workstations so that employees can enjoy natural light. In workspaces where you can't access natural light, try daylight bulbs to brighten things up and lighten the mood.

6. Take time off together

Overworked people tend to be unproductive, so make sure you allow time to have fun. Organise activities for your team to when they're off duty to give them a chance to let off steam and bond.

Arranging work snacks and drinks at the end of the week is an easy way to do this. Enabling people to relax and socialise together is an easy and time-honoured way to build better workplace interactions and develop a better workplace environment.

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