Do you want your employees to be efficient and productive? You have to take work environment into account. In fact, according to the Baromètre Actinéo 2019 on the quality of life at work, the employees who were asked consider that their work space has on impact on their health (50%), their well-being (48%) and their motivation (43%).
Discover what the work environment is and take advantage of 6 tips to create the ideal work environment for the well-being of your colleagues.
What is the work environment?
The work environment brings together all the conditions that are lived in the workplace. It is both the framework and the atmosphere in which your colleagues carry out their daily tasks.
The work environment consists of several elements:
- the layout of the workplace, that is to say the furniture, the equipment, the workspaces, the lighting, the temperature, the decor, the presence of a room for breaks and meals, the possibility of keeping yourself to yourself if you need to, etc. ;
- the human relations: the agreement with the person in charge, the atmosphere within the team, whether or not there are tensions or conflicts, etc. ;
- the culture of the company: the type of management, the perks and the services offered to employees (restaurant, gym, creche, etc.), the pressure, the balance between private and professional life, etc. ;
- Hygiene and security: a sufficient number of toilets, clean and sanitary premises, etc.
The work environment directly influences the well-being of employees and the quality of life at work. Today, these two ideas are becoming essential as they have an impact on productivity and the performance of your co-workers.
In fact, a toxic or unsuitable environment will prevent your employees from blossoming at work and getting involved in their tasks. Conversely, a positive work environment will encourage your colleagues to invest more and to give the best of themselves because it is well known, a happy employee is a high performing employee.
6 tips for creating an ideal work environment
Here are 6 tips for creating a pleasant and stimulating work environment within your business and thus improving the well-being of your colleagues.
1. Don’t neglect the importance of colours
Did you know that colours have an influence on our perception, our emotions and our behaviour? Numerous scientific studies have proved that colours have an impact on our concentration and learning skills as well as our creativity. Jean-Gabriel Causse, designer-colourist, wrote a book on the subject, called ‘The Power of Colours’.
For example, cold colours, like blue or purple, appease and encourage creativity whilst vibrant colours such as red or yellow are stimulating. Generally, productivity is increased in offices with coloured walls that offices with white walls. White would even tend to tire employees (Elif Öztürk, 2010). On the other hand, avoid dark colours like black or dark blue, as they have a sedative and demoralising effect.
At the office, the choice of colours depends on, above all, the work of your employees. If they are regularly under pressure and do stressful work, favour cold colours to relax them. If, on the contrary, their daily tasks are monotonous, stimulate them with radiant colours.
2. Bet on natural light
As well as colours, lighting is very important too. Favour natural light as much as possible. For artificial light, go for warm light and make sure that every office has its own lamp.
3. Grow plants in the office
Just like with colours, plants contribute to improving the work environment. Indeed, a number of studies have highlighted the benefits of plants, especially on productivity, absenteeism and stress at work.
Thanks to green plants, employees are less stressful, are less sick, so they are less absent, and they are also more productive. In fact, in 2014, a study conducted collectively by researches from three universities (Exeter in England, Groningen in the Netherlands and Queensland in Australia) revealed that plants increase the level of productivity by 15% at work. Dr Tina Bringslimark, expert in environmental psychology, conducted a study in 2011 in which she maintained that plants diminish the number of sick days.
But that is not all, plants improve air quality, regulate humidity levels, absorb noise and reduce pollutants. Finally, they have a relaxing power and are also a natural decoration. Do your employees not have a green thumb? Remember to choose resistant plants that require little maintenance.
4. Promote exchanges and conviviality
Human relations enormously influence the work environment. If there are tensions or conflicts within a team or between employees and the hierarchy, the work atmosphere risks being tense, or even toxic, which will have a negative effect on the productivity and performance of your colleagues.
To avoid this, create a break room where your employees can relax, exchange with their colleagues with a coffee or all have lunch together. Regularly organise team-building events, but also events outside the office to create and reinforce the links between the members of the team. In this way, everyone will learn to get to know each other better and to work better together.
5. Facilitate concentration
If your offices are in open space, some of your employees can have difficulties to concentrate because of incessant background noise, telephone conversations, discussions between colleagues, etc. It is therefore important to have some closed rooms or offices where your employees can isolate themselves when they need to concentrate more to carry out a task.
If not, it is also possible to install acoustic partitions which help to reduce the noise from neighbours in the office.
6. Provide practical tools
A good work environment means also having good tools to accomplish daily tasks. There exists a large variety of tools and applications nowadays which facilitate collaboration in a team, encourage communication and allow your employees to stay connected wherever they are.
For example, Wimi is a collaborative platform which allows you to centralise and organise the work of your team, make exchanges more fluid and improve productivity. Why not test Wimi for free to see for yourself?
It is clear, working in bright and beautifully decorated premises, with motivational messages written on the walls, touches of colour and green plants is a lot more pleasant and stimulating. In addition to these six tips, do not hesitate to directly ask your employees what their ideal work environment looks like.