Creating a workplace that’s happy and healthy is more than just an altruistic ideal. Studies show that the happier and healthier employees feel, the more productive they are.
Not only that, but a workplace that’s perceived positively attracts a higher quality of workers. Case in point, Google, which has become something of a destination workplace.
So what are the main components of a positive work environment? It really can be boiled down to two things: strong company culture and a pleasant work setting. If these two qualities are in place, everything else will follow. Here are some steps for laying that foundation.
Hire the Right People
Yes, it’s important to get the most qualified, talented candidates you can find. But equally important is how those candidates fit in with the rest of the team. Relationships are essential to human happiness and this doesn’t change at work.
Look for employees who will be team players rather than competitors. Don’t underestimate the impact a toxic personality can have on an entire office. Negativity can be very contagious, affecting attitude and general morale. Alternatively, friendly, conscientious and enthusiastic workers tend to rub off on others.
Promote Personal Responsibility
Workers are happiest when they feel as if they’re making a difference. They’re also more likely to live up to their potential when managers demonstrate confidence in their ability to deliver.
You don’t necessarily need to police the comings and goings of employees who are reliable and personally invested in their job. A flexible workspace is born out of a strong sense of mutual accountability. Conversely, this sense of freedom and self-determination creates a deeper sense of purpose and workplace satisfaction.
Thursday afternoon happy hours. Team bowling nights. Off-site retreats. Special services such as lunchtime yoga or meditation. These kinds of bonding activities give employees a deeper sense of satisfaction and connection with their work and colleagues.
Create a Pleasant Work Environment
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how one’s physical surroundings can affect well-being and productivity. After all, would you enjoy working in a dreary office with outdated equipment, uncomfortable furniture and poor lighting? Or would you prefer a well-lit space with modern equipment, comfortable furniture and a cool, contemporary vibe? While the latter option can be energizing, the former can be downright soul crushing.
Finally, a welcoming environment doesn’t end in the “working” spaces of an office. It’s important not to neglect the small things that can make a big difference – a clean, up-to-date and well-stocked break room; decent coffee and snacks; and clean bathrooms. All play a role in overall morale. And a happy and healthy employee is always a company’s best asset.