A company’s work environment is essential for employee loyalty.
Too many managers think they’ve done all they can after installing a foosball table in the dining room or organizing a few happy hours.
What makes an ideal work environment, and more importantly, how can it contribute to your team’s well-being?
What does the work environment entail?
The notion of work environment is broad, yet its impacts are very specific.
We define the work environment as “all the physical and human components that can impact workers in their daily tasks.” The notion encompasses several features, such as:
- Workplace layout
- Corporate culture
- Health and safety
- Flexibility and work schedules
- Workplace relationships and organizational climate
At Agendrix, we have carried out a multitude of initiatives associated with all these elements, and we’re proud to report 7 years of operations without a single voluntary departure, which we believe says a lot.
31 ideas for an ideal work environment
An inspiring workplace should reflect the company’s image. It should ideally be aesthetically pleasing, bright, airy, clean and well organized. Workplaces like this spark motivation and make people want to be at work.
A lunchroom that doubles as a storage facility or an odour-ridden locker room will not make your team want to be there, believe me.
Tips and tricks:
1. Have windows that open.
2. Swap out neon lights for more natural lighting (yellow instead of white) in areas where employees get together.
3. Have closed cabinets and bins so that stored items stay outside the view of employees.
4. Delimit areas according to their assigned purposes: the break room must remain a break room, the locker room a locker room, and so on.
5. Include some greenery in your décor.
6. Have an outdoor area for breaks or relaxation.
7. Involve the team in decorating things, such as the break room.
💡 An inspiring workplace will make your employees want to come to work and perform at their best. No one can achieve their full potential in a dark, depressing environment.
A strong, positive corporate culture
Corporate culture is a vital part of any work environment, and includes an organization’s attitudes, behaviors and values. It affects a variety of elements, from strategic decisions to the employee and customer experience, internal and external communications, talent acquisition, retention, and more.
Did you know that having a strong corporate culture improves employee performance by an average 22%?
Tips and tricks:
8. Clearly define your mission and corporate values.
9. Reiterate them by displaying them clearly on your website, repeating them during your employee onboarding process, mentioning them during your team meetings, etc.
10. Make sure you walk the talk—i.e., stay true to your corporate values in all your decisions.
11. Use your company’s logo, for example on sweaters, coats, water bottles, caps, and winter hats. At Agendrix, we recently produced our own caps and hoodies.
12. Frequently tell the story of your company’s inception and reason for being. Stories capture the imagination, stir up emotions and help forge a myth that your employees and customers will remember.
13. Decorate your workplace using your brand colors and image, with a focus on quality design, originality and your unique hallmarks.
💡 A strong corporate culture helps build team members’ pride and loyalty. Employees will tend to be more efficient and motivated when they rally around a company that reflects their values and that makes them proud to belong to something bigger than themselves. In short, corporate culture is a strategic tool not to be overlooked.
Prioritizing health and employee wellness
Studies have found that physically active employees are on average 12% more productive than mode sedentary ones. This makes sense, since being healthy gives us energy, helps cope with stress and emotions, improves concentration, and more.
Tips and tricks:
14. Make healthy snacks available to your employees in the cafeteria (fruit bowl, nuts, etc.).
15. Offer healthy options at your cafeteria.
16. Offer discounts to restaurants with healthy menus for quick lunches.
17. Offer your team discounts at a spa.
18. Give your employees sports challenges.
19. For a summer party, try holding a barbecue (grilled meats and vegetables) instead of the classic pizza dinner.
20. Put together a sports team.
💡Allocating a portion of your company budget to employee health sends the clear message that you care about their health.
A flexible policy
Today, flexibility is the element most highly sought-after by young workers (15-40 years old), as it is the key to work-personal life balance.
Flexible scheduling might seem unique to office work, but managers across all industries can be flexible with leave requests or let employees trade shifts.
A scheduling app greatly facilitates this kind of flexibility. With Agendrix, for example, you can authorize your employees to swap shifts amongst themselves, according to your criteria.
Tips and tricks:
21. Allow your employees to trade shifts.
22. Let your employees take vacations, and respect their preferences as much as possible when scheduling them.
23. Be understanding of any requests connected to work-life balance.
24. Ease your criteria for sick leave—routinely requesting a doctor’s note sends the message that you don’t trust your employees and puts pressure on anyone who has to miss work for health reasons.
25. Ask your employees about their scheduling preferences and availability.
💡 Today, it’s essential for employees to be able to enjoy their lives, cope with unforeseen events, and remain open to opportunities. In short, flexibility is a must.
Developing strong relationships
Interpersonal relationships have a decisive impact on companies’ work atmosphere. And it’s no secret that conflicted relationships often produce a toxic work environment and a tense climate.
There’s nothing worse than a divided team and low motivation across the board.
Tips and tricks:
26. Fine-tune your onboarding process so that everyone is quickly and easily integrated into the team.
27. Plan a budget for team-building activities.
28. Assemble an events committee to bring the team together on a regular basis.
29. Take the time to meet with your employees regularly, and check in on how they’re doing and how they feel about the team.
30. Place special emphasis on candidates’ personality fit during the recruitment process.
31. Host a welcome lunch when a new employee joins the team.
💡 When you make employee relationships a priority and develop team cohesion, your success is all but assured.
An ideal work environment takes hard work
A pleasant and positive work environment is essential to your company’s sustainability.
This being said, it takes action and effort to create a great place to work; it doesn’t magically happen by itself. Don’t be afraid to launch initiatives, even if you have to break some eggs. And most importantly, always check in to see how your most important stakeholders, i.e., your employees, are doing.