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How the Working Environment Can Affect Your Business
A happy workforce is more productive and the working environment you have created for your employees can have a huge effect on their output. It is very simple really. The more productive your staff is the more profit you make, and you need to be aware of how the working environment can affect your business.
A Safe And Healthy Workplace
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who is the government’s watchdog with regard to health and safety in workplaces, have worked hard with employers over the last 20 years or so to decrease the numbers of serious injuries and fatalities in workplaces. They have been successful in reducing the numbers, but still, there are too many accidents at work.
Making your business premises a safe and healthy environment for your employees to work in will take away any stress they may have about the hazards involved in their job. Even office and shop environments have potential dangers, and when workers do not have to worry about them, they will be able to concentrate on their work.
Apart from proper training and providing any safety gear if it is needed, you should also ensure they have proper breaks. These can be vital to help keep your workers alert, as a tired worker will not produce their best work.
A safe and healthy working environment is more likely to be a happy one, and if you are not sure what measures you should take, the HSE website is full of information to help you and is very user-friendly.
Often, people working together as a team will be more productive than if each member works on their own. They can help each other to solve problems, and encourage other members of the team to assist with achieving the goals they have been set.
A working environment that actively encourages teamwork will be a pleasanter place for the staff to work in, as none of them will feel alone. Some bosses go to the extent of team building exercises, as these can be very useful to show the team members how to work together to solve the challenges they encounter.
These days, much more importance is put on the physical conditions that employees have to work in. Having a nice office, or a clean factory can make all the difference in the way people feel. Things such as providing enough illumination with industrial lighting, keeping the workplace warm in the winter and cool in the summer will all help to make your workplace better to work in.
Oh, and on the subject of lighting, for the office, you want it to be as close to natural light as possible – none of those awful fluorescent bulbs if you want a happy, healthy workforce!
Even things such as the colours the walls are painted can have an effect on moods. Pale shades are the best for workplaces, but if you really want some strong colour it should be added with things like window blinds, not as part of the general decorating.
If workers have to sit at a desk all day, make sure they have comfortable seats. If they are working with machinery, they should have all the protection they need, without it being cumbersome.
A rest area is a good idea as well, as it always helps if they can get right away from their workstation when they take a break. Also changing rooms with showers could encourage them to be more active, perhaps by cycling to work or running in their lunch hour. Apart from the exercise making them healthier, it makes the mind more alert, which will make them more productive.
In 2009, work hours lost cost the UK £16.8 billion, and the healthier they are, the less likely it is that they will lose time from work.
More and more businesses are producing eco-friendly products because that is what consumers are after. In fact, some people will only buy from companies that are environmentally friendly.
This ethos can be carried over to the workplace. As well as making eco-friendly products, non-toxic cleaning products, for example, can be used. Waste can be separated for recycling and making your workplace as paper free as possible can help with the number of trees that are being felled.
Remember, that your employees are consumers too, and knowing that you are running an eco-friendly workplace can make them feel better about any processes they have to do as part of their job.
The importance of good quality air cannot be overstated. It can have a significant effect on the employee’s feelings of well being, and poor air can affect their concentration. Make sure that any heating or air conditioning systems are working properly, as one of these with a problem can affect the air quality and produce very unpleasant smells. It can be awful when they play up!
Adding a few plants can help with this, as they will draw the bad air in and replace it with good air, as well as looking good.
It is very simple, the more oxygen the brain gets the better it works, so make sure wherever possible that there is a flow of fresh air for your employees. If this is not possible because of the job at hand, at least make sure your workplace is well ventilated, or the staff are wearing face masks to protect them from whatever is in the atmosphere.
Although music is not suitable for all workplaces, when you can have something easy going in the background, it can help to motivate your staff. You need to be careful what music you play though, as it can affect their moods. Heavy rock, for instance, is not a good idea in the workplace, but something less raucous is.
Happy Is Productive
The happier your employees are while they are at work, the more productive they will be. Make sure you always acknowledge them and that your door is always open to listen to their problems or ideas. If they feel they are working with you rather than for you, they will be the most productive workforce you could have.