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What is the Ideal Work Environment?

For most employers, good employees are those who deliver quality work consistently and are always productive. What do workers want to be good employees? Well apart from an attractive paycheck that can sponsor a vacation in the Maldives, all we want is a good work environment. The work environment plays an indispensable role in motivating the employee, promoting job satisfaction, and boosting team morale. An ideal work environment will keep employees happy and have them anticipating their return to work, as soon as they leave.

Beyond the office location, the work environment also includes the company’s work ethics and office culture, the relationship between employers and employees and among coworkers, and available growth opportunities. In other words, building a great work environment is not the headache of employers who have on-site workers alone, those whose employees work remotely are not exempted. An ideal work environment should have all these things:

1. Great Communication between Employers and Employees

Effective communication is an important skill relevant to human interaction. In the workplace, employers should be able to communicate the company’s rules, regulations, work ethics, and culture, not just by stating them, but also by implementing them in their work attitude. An ideal work environment is built by an employer who is not just a manager, but also a good leader.

A good leader is transparent in his dealings with staff, empathic, and an active listener. He communicates policies, rules, and expectations clearly and abides by them. He cautions employees gently and offers suggestions on how to improve when they err. A good leader gives his employees an audience to voice their opinions on important topics in meetings and allows them to air their complaints and frustrations when they have them. In addition to allowing employees to be expressive, good leaders act on the complaints brought to their notice and implement employees’ suggestions when they are innovative and helpful.

When employers are good leaders, trust is established and employees are better inclined to see the company’s goals and visions as a collective objective, rather than targets. An ideal work environment is one where the working relationship between employers and employees is more like a collaboration than supervision. Workers are better inclined to put in their best efforts when they get the impression that they are working with you rather than for you.

2. A comfortable Relationship among Coworkers

Just like everyone prays to have a great boss, we also pray to have understanding and cooperative coworkers and team members. As an employer that wants to build a good work environment for the company’s staff, you should try to promote team bonding among your staff. Employees who are united achieve more, and there are fewer conflicts.

While healthy competition should be encouraged, favoritism and victimization would only breed envy and strife among your employees. An ideal work environment is one where all members of staff work together as a unified team, senior executives and management inclusive. It is one where there is no power tussle and mutual respect exists across all levels of the company’s hierarchy. Employees should be encouraged to hold one another in high regard regardless of level or qualifications – when senior level staff respect juniors, there will be complimentary respect for constituted authority.

3. Opportunities for Growth

While employers are consistently scouting the labor market for the best minds that will be valuable additions to their team, workers are attracted to organizations where they have the opportunity to grow in their careers. An employee is more inclined to stay loyal to a company that is supportive of his career growth, as soon as he feels like there is no more room for growth, he will begin to look for other job opportunities.

An ideal work environment is one that consistently offers employees opportunities to grow and develop their skill sets. An employer that seeks to build a good work environment should be prepared to invest time and financial resources into staff training. The business world is constantly changing as technology keeps evolving. To stay up-to-date with the changing times and remain relevant in your industry, your workers have to keep up knowledge-wise.

 As an employer, you should always be willing to organize staff training on how to use the latest technology, and educate them on the recent trends in cyber security and information management, and other relevant topics. You should organize team-building activities that provide an avenue for staff to improve on their existing soft skills and develop new ones where possible.

While not all companies may be able to afford it, investing in making opportunities where staff can improve their technical skills is as beneficial to the company as it is to the employee. When an employee improves his skill set, he will employ the new knowledge he has gained in his work, which will, in turn, increase his work productivity.

The trick is not to aim to employ the best minds and retain them, but to recruit minds with great potential and train them – they will be sure to stay.

4. Good Work-Life Balance

For a lot of employees, job security equals financial stability. To this end, most employees are willing to work extra hours every day in hopes of attracting a promotion, or a salary increase. This decision, however, alters their work-life balance and oftentimes poses a threat to their mental health. Unfortunately, most employers encourage this by imposing longer working hours on committed employees and rewarding a job well done with more work.

An ideal work environment encourages a good work-life balance and motivates employees to take their personal lives as seriously as they take work. It prioritizes mental health and allows committed employees to take time off work when necessary, and enjoy vacations and holidays from time to time. An employer who seeks to build a good working environment should organize events that allow employees to unwind from work-related stress from time to time, and reward hard work with pleasant compensations like a day off or a salary bonus.

In this generation, a good work-life balance is a top priority. People are more inclined to opt for jobs that offer flexible working hours and allow them to bond with friends and family and not just coworkers, hence, the desire for all jobs to be remote work.

An ideal work environment is one where workers are happy – when workers have a good work-life balance, they show up to work more relaxed every day, and will be more effective and efficient when carrying out their duties.

5. A Reward System

Employers can build an ideal work environment by recognizing and applauding the efforts of committed employees. When employees are appreciated and rewarded accordingly, they will be motivated to do better. Giving rewards for a job well done periodically (by the end of every performance review for example) also encourages healthy competition and encourages all staff to put in their best efforts.

Good rewards are not only restricted to those of monetary value. While a pay raise or merit bonus may keep the employee happy and enthusiastic about his job for the rest of the year, other forms of reward that have no monetary value work fine as well. Some of these rewards include time off work, verbal praises, and appreciation, a promotion, and good recommendation.

 Giving accolades for little shows of effort like executing a task effectively before time, or coming up with a brilliant idea for a new project, will go a long way to make your employees feel valued in the company. It is in human nature to prefer to stay where we feel valued as opposed to where we feel unimportant, regardless of pay. An ideal work environment is one where employees feel safe, valued, and supported.

Creating an Ideal Work Environment is Possible

Interviewers may often ask recruits about the kind of work environment they would like to work in. This question is to ascertain if the potential employee would thrive in the company. As a job seeker, you should be sure that the hiring company’s work environment fits into your preferred ambiance before you apply – do your research. As an employer, you should strive to build a good work environment so that your employees can thrive. An ideal work environment may be hard to come by, but we can settle for something close. The most important thing is to ensure that the work environment provided exudes positivity and is rid of all forms of toxicity. Hopefully, the tips shared in this article will help you achieve this feat. Remember, a good work environment equals happy employees which in turn equals great work productivity.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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