Managing a workforce requires an understanding of many different factors. You need to understand what motivates and demotivates, how to get the most out of each employee and who has the potential to take on more responsibility, as well as many other elements. The workforce is like a living organism – it needs care and attention and sometimes intervention to repair or amend anything that isn’t working as it should. The environment in which your workforce operates has a significant impact on their productivity, which in many sectors such as manufacturing, needs to be as efficient as possible. Below we discuss how the work environment can determine productivity levels and how you as the employer can look to optimise it.
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The work environment sets the foundation for workplace culture to develop. Positive workplace culture can inspire and unify a workforce, while a negative one can divide teams and disrupt proceedings altogether. Creating an environment where people want to work will help to create a thriving workplace culture that raises the performance and attitude of everyone simultaneously. Healthy team culture can be driven both by management and employees, especially if both parties get what they want from the other.
Staff turnover and absenteeism
Productivity relies heavily on staff turning up to work consistently and is optimised when team changes are kept to a minimum. Integrating new starters or having staff absent can eat away at your productivity but you can take steps to avoid this wherever possible. The work environment is significant for employee satisfaction, as well as other factors such as remuneration and development opportunities. When job satisfaction falls, employees are much more likely to be attracted to roles elsewhere and the chances of absenteeism rise sharply too. As such, doing everything possible to optimise the work environment, whether it be aesthetic, practical or psychological, can help to reduce interruptions to production.
Feeling safe and secure at work
Every employee wants to feel safe and secure at work. Otherwise, they can spend more time ruminating than actually being productive. This can refer to safety on the job and job security alike because both can have detrimental impacts on their livelihood if not assured. So, make the necessary steps to provide a safe working environment – this could include ergonomic furniture and equipment for office workers or the necessary safety equipment from PPE suppliers to protect employees in more physically dangerous working conditions. Job security can never be guaranteed, but employees will always respect transparency and honesty when it comes to these sorts of topics.
Ability to concentrate
Employees need to be able to concentrate to be productive, but this relies on an optimised work environment to facilitate this. Get the basics right such as temperature and noise control, lighting, breaks as well as clear tasks and management structures to help employees understand what they are meant to be doing. Allowing employees to take regular breaks, or short periods away from their workstations, is a healthy way to maintain concentration and productivity throughout the day. Learn how to limit distractions too because these can really eat away at productivity.
Inspiration and motivation
The work environment has a role to play in employee inspiration and motivation. Many businesses in the creative industries have colourful and distinctive office or workspace designs – because it provides an inspiring space from which creativity can flourish. Perhaps your office space needs sprucing up or redesigning to engage your team more and generate further productivity. Other factors such as natural or even just sufficient lighting are important for employee motivation, so consider how you can create a healthier work environment with these elements in mind.
The work environment you create is multi-faceted and each factor can influence productivity immensely. Consider the above points and make a plan to optimise your work environment today so you can benefit from a more productive workforce.