Cultivating a pleasant atmosphere takes time and effort from both the employers and the employees. An atmosphere relies on a variety of factors, not just one, so it can be difficult to change if the mood in the office goes a bit sour. It may be an intangible concept, but it plays an important role in determining the attitudes of the worker and the quality of the work they produce.
When the atmosphere of an office is relaxed, the people are happier and they work better. There is less conflict and more interaction between coworkers. It makes going to your job each morning a little less dreadful. Although there is no one right way to create a good atmosphere in the office, here are some ideas to keep workers happy and motivated to do their job.
- Effective communication
As the saying goes, communication is a two-way street. Open and honest communication between people is the number one way to prevent conflict and misunderstanding. Keeping people informed is an easy way to make them feel like they are part of the company instead of being left in the dark which could lead to distrust or anger. Also, it is a great way to make sure everyone is on the right page and is doing the correct task.
- Understanding and compassion
Employees are human beings and so they have flaws. Sometimes they make mistakes and bosses shouldn’t be too hard on them for that unless it’s a serious matter. Mistakes should be corrected gently and then used as a learning experience. Also, employees have lives outside of work. Not everything is under their control. A death in the family or illness should be dealt with kindness and understanding. A little compassion can go a long way.
- Good office space
The office needs to physically be welcoming. An office should have an open concept plan instead of cubicles that keep everyone isolated from each other. A lack of walls fosters communication and teamwork. No one should be put into a box. Plus, each worker is entitled to an adequate space for work. This includes a decent desk and reasonably comfortable chair. Also, it would be nice if people could choose where they would like to sit, but that’s not always possible.
Flexibility is key to making people feel like they are in control especially when it regards time management. Having an employee choose what time they come into the office helps them work around their busy personal life. They can choose to come in earlier and leave earlier from work, or come in later and then leave later. Obviously, people have to work their required amount of time, but it is nice to have a forgiving buffer zone instead of a harsh time deadline that isn’t as important as it seems. It’s a lot less stressful that way for everyone. Also, if you allow employees to choose when they take their lunch, it helps them control the flow of their work in addition to providing an opportunity to eat with their coworkers.
Not everyone can complete a task without help and that’s okay. Sometimes people require the advice of colleagues when they encounter a problem. Teamwork should be encouraged by the office because oftentimes, different perspectives can solve even the peskiest of problems. Working together on a project improves cooperation and supersedes conflict. It can also reduce a staunch hierarchy by allowing bosses and employees the ability to collaborate.
- Positive reinforcement
If someone does a good job, then they should be rewarded. It’s as simple as that. Rewards may seem useless or a waste of time, but they are a great way to recognize someone’s accomplishments. When achievements are acknowledged, it can boost a person’s self-esteem and self-worth. This increases motivation and keeps the employee satisfied with their job.
- Freedom and independence
When given freedom in the office, people can create marvelous projects and produce high quality work. Sometimes, they might discover that tasks can be done more efficiently. Employees should have the option to think outside of the box and new ideas should be welcomed. This could lead to more exciting projects which could, in turn, help the company grow. Also, workers should be encouraged to learn new skills. This could help them stay up to date with the changing world while also making them more valuable to the company.
Ultimately, people are happiest and produce high quality work when they are in a comfortable environment. The atmosphere of an office plays a significant part in determining the attitudes of the workers. It can reduce conflict and inspire them to go above and beyond expectations. Providing a little more leniency and allowing more freedom will surely result in something positive. So, try to implement some of these changes and create some determined workers.
Originally published June 13, 2017