No matter which way you look at it, having happy employees means better business.
It’s been shown that having happier employees results in staff doing more, higher quality work than their unhappy and cranky counterparts. Plus, people happy in their workplace are much more likely to stay put for longer periods of time.
Every workplace is different, and different team enjoy different perks, however there are a few simple, universal strategies you should keep in mind when organising your business to help keep your employees satisfied. If you want to boost productivity and keep staff happy, you may want to take a look at how you’re running your business, and search for any signs that you may be letting them down.
Believe it or not, the temperature of the office can have a direct impact on productivity levels and how happy your staff are. In fact, in 2009, 33% of staff mentioned that temperature levels were the main cause for concern in their workplace. For every degree the workplace deviates from the ideal temperature, employee speed and accuracy also drops. The recommended optimal temperature for performance and comfort is 21 to 22℃.
Daylight and view
What might come as a surprise is the amount of sunlight in the office doesn’t really affect the productivity of staff. However, what does have the biggest impact is having a decent view. A study of a call centre showed those that had a view of the outside took 6% less time handling calls than those who didn’t. Additionally, those who can see a nice view when working operate at 10-16% better than their peers who don’t. So, position desks near a window or view if possible, and see productivity skyrocket!
It’s important for staff to work in areas where there is reduced pollution and irritants in the air. In a study completed in a call centre, an old particle filter was replaced, decreasing the time required to service calls by 10 per cent. Be aware of any pollutants in your staffs work environment. Ensuring good ventilation is key factor to increasing productivity.
Noise can impact staff in different ways, and generally men and women are affected differently. 1 in 3 men will be distracted by noise, whilst 1 in 4 women will be impacted. The noise level in the workplace, including conversations heard by their coworkers, can be problematic for some people trying to concentrate on tasks. By allowing staff to use headphones in the office, they can block out sounds and conversations should they feel the need (keeping the office as quiet as a library can have a detrimental effect, as any slight sound will act as a distraction).
The equipment and tools you provide can have a long-lasting effect on the productivity levels of your staff. Dual monitor set-ups have been shown to increase office productivity anywhere between 9 and 50 per cent. Providing laptops so staff can take their work home with them, should they want to, also helps. By providing laptops instead of desktop computers, there has been evidence which suggests that on average an employee will work an extra 100 hours annually.
The majority of people will think that social media is a definite distraction in the workplace. After all, if staff are on Facebook or on Twitter, they’re not exactly working, right? Well, there are some studies that support this theory, however a survey conducted by Microsoft found that 46 per cent of staff believe that social media helps with productivity levels, and they feel that they can do their work better if social tools are able to be used. Being able to quickly browse social media momentarily throughout the day has shown to act as a “palate cleanser” from usual work, a kind of reward throughout the day, which inevitably can help keep staff feeling more motivated and happier.
We’re in a day and age where employers can provide more flexibility to staff members than ever, thanks to evolving technologies. The traditional 9-5 no longer applies, so if you have the resources, consider allowing your staff to work more flexible hours or given them the option to work remotely. A lot of employees will have conflicts between home and work life, and being able to provide these flexible options can allow staff to get what they need completed for their family while still working efficiently for your business.
According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey in 2016, two-thirds of millennials are looking for mentorship in the workplace. Mentorship provides millennials with a person who they can easily turn to for advice, and who can help them develop their leadership skills. Not only can a mentorship program help young professionals develop their skills, but it can also work to help strengthen their loyalty to the company. One of the other key finding from the survey was that millennials ranked “opportunities to progress/be leaders” second behind having a good work-life balance. Employers can encourage these kind of opportunities through providing an effective mentorship system, helping young workers feel satisfied with their progress in the workplace.
Communication is key in any workplace, no matter what industry or sector. If communication fails goals and objectives are lost or unmet. Aside from keeping employees in the loop, informing staff members of what’s happening and talking about ongoing projects helps make them feel like they’re a part of the team. It also helps to define other aspects in the workplace such as shared goals, deadlines, and tasks for the day and week ahead.
Providing a happy workplace for staff goes further than just putting a smile on their face. It’s about supporting employees so they feel a sense of achievement, are fulfilled in their work, remain loyal to the company, and, most importantly, stay productive - which inevitably helps your business meet its bottom line.