Aside from the responsibilities that come with work, perhaps the single most important factor that influences employee happiness and motivation, and how efficient and productive they can be, is their working environment.
If your work environment can be described as good or positive, then this will help you fit in to the organisation’s culture. This should mean that you’re on good terms with your management, your peers and your colleagues, you feel comfortable working in the office, and at the end of each day you look back on it as a positive experience. All told you should find that you’re much more content and productive working in such a positive environment.
What can employees do to promote a positive work environment?
Both employees and employers have a role to play in creating a positive work environment. In this article I’ve highlighted 6 ways employees can do their part in creating a positive environment for themselves and for their colleagues.
Maintain a positive and optimistic attitude in all your interactions. Be friendly, say hello to your colleagues in the morning and chat about how nice the weather is! Welcome new starters by introducing them to the team and showing them around. Smile - a smile is contagious….and a frown even more so. If something goes wrong during the day look at it as an opportunity for improvement. Always try to enjoy your work. Be optimistic and help others solve problems that arise, without sarcasm or blame.
Keep your workspace clean, tidy and uncluttered. Stop germs and bacteria from spreading by using antibacterial wipes to clean your desk phone, mobile, keyboard, mouse, monitor and any equipment that you or your colleagues come into contact with on a regular basis. Add personal touches to your workspace such as family photographs or motivational quotes to inspire you.
Be as transparent and clear a communicator as you can be. Always be clear and direct in your dealings. Address issues head on as they arise. Listening is as important as speaking so listen when necessary or appropriate and make yourself approachable to your colleagues. Good communication at all levels of the business is essential for fostering positive working relationships.
Make your own workstation as comfortable as possible. You should have a good chair that can fully support your lower back. Your knees should be level with your hips so adjust the chair height, back position and tilt to accommodate this. Wrists and forearms should be straight and level with the floor so adjust the chair height to allow for this. Elbows should be by the side of the body forming an L-shape with the arm at the elbow joint. Feet should rest comfortably flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs. The screen should be directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at eye level. If not then adjust this however you can. Place keyboard directly in front of you with a gap of about 5 inches at the front of the desk so you can rest your wrist.
Lead by example by promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating at the office. Go for a walk or a run at lunch time and encourage colleagues to join you. Bring in healthy snacks and share them around. Choose a nutritious lunch if dining with co-workers and if no healthy options are available at the staff canteen then ask that they be provided. Take regular breaks from your computer screen every 30 to 40 minutes. Get up, stretch your legs, and go for a walk around the floor. Even better, go outside for 5 minutes to get some fresh air.
Everyone wants to have fun at work, even though everyone defines fun a little differently, play your part by introducing an appropriate level of fun and humour into your day. You’re still staying as professional as possible but who doesn’t enjoy a little joke at the beginning of a meeting to break the ice? Just keep it tactful and tasteful. Happy employees perform much better than miserable ones and sometimes we all need a break from the seriousness of business.
Whether you’re the CEO or a team member, everyone plays a role in contributing to the work environment. A positive work environment makes employees feel good about coming to work, and this provides the motivation to sustain them throughout the day.
How does your team and company promote and nurture a positive and productive environment?
Have you experienced any positive or negative influences at your workplace?
Let me know your thoughts!
Yours in health,
P.S I love talking about wellness so feel free to drop me a line to discuss any of the above. Contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Low Down
Brian Crooke is a wellness consultant specialising in the design, improvement and auditing of wellness initiatives for Irish businesses. He is the founder of Office Worker Health, a platform dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing to the working population.
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