It’s much harder to prove the benefits of a positive work environment than it is to come up with theories on how to make an office a better place to be.
As an article on business.org points out, improving workplace morale can often cost time and money – and those who wish to create an optimistic atmosphere need to research the return on investment of the actions necessary to succeed. The benefits of a positive work environment should include improved services, products, and profits that make up for the time and money spent on improving conditions.
No two companies are encouraged by the same actions and changes. However, any ROI can be measured by two results: profit increases and time saved. Consider the following benefits of a positive work environment and begin developing strategies tailored to your unique company and workforce.
Team Spirit and Stronger Results
Employees working in the same office don’t always naturally bond together. Team building exercises, company outings, and other events can bring them together and form team spirit. Companies must invest money into these events and take time out of the week, normally be used for work.
Compare the time invested in building togetherness and the time saved at work by cooperation to find out the ROI of building team spirit. Team unity will increase cooperation between employees and branches. A team whose members are familiar with one another will also know who to go to for help when issues arise. If your employees are not cutting down on time spent on each assignment after significant team building, it may not be worth additional investment.
A More Positive Physical Environment
Studies have shown that poorly designed offices can negatively affect workers. Poor lighting, bland walls, and a lack of sunlight create a stagnant and uncomfortable work environment. Some factors like bad lighting and uncomfortable chairs can also cause injuries. Improving lighting, adding windows, repainting the walls, and adding plant life can all improve the work environment. Changing offices may be the best option in some situations. These improvements require money spent on parts and labor and may require the business to be shut down for at least one day.
Find the ROI of creating a positive physical environment by comparing the money spent on changing the office to your employees’ happiness when working. Employees who enjoy being in the office will call in sick less, have a quicker working pace, and have fewer complaints about the job. Take a survey of their feelings on work before and after the improvement, and then compare the two to find the ROI.
Changes in Office Hierarchy
The positions of your employees may not be correct. The hierarchy of your office may have been haphazardly put together or rendered obsolete by time or the hiring of new employees. In either case, problems with this hierarchy can lead to poor office morale. Employees who disrespect those in positions above them will have a worse attitude about their work. A worse attitude can lead to a poor quality of work and less client satisfaction. Those who are unsatisfied with their job and the hierarchy of the company may quit or be let go due to poor work performance.
Determine the amount of time it will take to train a new employee or create a new position within the company. Compare this to the time saved through better communication, increases in team spirit, and decreases in employee turnover. Wait at least one month to allow all employees to adjust and become comfortable with the changes before determining this ROI. Compare once again in three months to view increases or decreases in ROI.
Improvement in Wages
Every employee would enjoy his or her job more if given a raise. Your workers may believe they deserve more money or may have certain life goals that can be reached faster with better wages. Workers who are paid more are thankful for the raise, feel increased company loyalty, and work harder to maintain their jobs.
The ROI of the benefits of a positive work environment may be the easiest to determine when it comes to wage increases. Compare the increases in monthly pay to your monthly profit margins. Wage improvements will ideally cause more dedication from employees. In turn, this should result in higher quality service, greater client satisfaction, and profit increases. If it does not, determine which of these other options is better for the work environment.
Time for Creativity
Many offices keep their employees working consistently at all hours of the day. Inflexible and airtight schedules do not allow for creativity or new ideas to grow. New ideas could turn into new products, service changes, or improvements to the business as a whole. Your business can create this time by decreasing the amount of assignments for each day, altering deadlines, or even scheduling dedicated creativity or discussion times.
The ROI of time for creativity can be discovered by viewing what has resulted from employee creativity. Determine if there have been any improvements to the business and its products or services rooted in the creative or discussion times. You can also change the amount of assigned time and its guidelines and measure if the results improve or worsen. Testing changes will help you determine if there are rules and time periods that work best for your company.
The benefits of a positive work environment are seen in companies around the world. If you have a specific change in mind that can really improve employees’ morale, start there first. Once you comprehend your return on investment, consider whether you should take further action. Keep in mind that ROI increases will occur over the span of months and years, rather than days. Be patient with your employees and keep thinking of new ways to improve your office environment. Happy workers mean happy customers, and happy customers mean stronger sales.