The Importance of a Positive Workplace Culture

Research conducted over the past few years has further supported the importance of a positive workplace culture. According to Glassdoor’s 2019 Mission and Culture Survey, 77% of respondents said they would look into the workplace’s culture before they would even consider applying for a job. When it comes to culture versus paycheck, more than half of all respondents believe culture is more important. Those numbers rise to 65% when the survey focused in on Millennials.

In a study done by Randstad, it was found that 58% of workers say that they’d stay at their current job if they had a great boss and positive company culture, even if that meant a lower salary. When it comes to the reasoning behind why respondents have left jobs in the past, almost all the answers were directly related to poor company culture or negative personal experiences. Jim Link, chief human resources officer of Randstad North America, went on to explain that today’s workers have very high expectations when it comes to the workplace and the intangible benefits, like day-to-day positive work experiences, are a top priority.

How the Physical Workplace Impacts Culture

Insights provided by Leesman, an organization dedicated to improving the employee experience and creating high performing work environments, stated that only 59.9% of employees think their workplace enables them to be productive and only 52.5% of employees would feel proud to show visitors their workplace.

Additional research shows that 61% of employees are experiencing burnout in their current workplace and 86% of potential employees state they wouldn’t want to work for a company if it’s culture and overall workspace was perceived negatively by former employees. To top everything off, 85% of employees globally agree that workplace design is important to them and the overall culture of the space.

How To Improve Workplace Culture

Based on the research above, one of the best ways to improve your workplace culture in 2020, is to focus on the design of workplace itself. Listed below are tips for Forbes and HOK, a firm specializing in innovative and sustainable design, on how to improve the design of your workplace:

  1. Nature Views and Light: Daylight, as well as opportunities for active and passive contact with nature, positively impact well-being and keep employees’ daily waking and sleeping cycles in check. Try to organize the office so that spaces around the windows are the most open. Also, include plants in the office design and consider creating an outdoor break area.
  2. Sensory Change and Variability: When a work environment is stimulating, employees feel an increased level of creative drive. You can introduce “texture” into a space by using natural materials such as wood, cork, plants, natural fibers.
  3. Color: Studies show that color can have numerous positive effects on the brain, especially in the office. For example, incorporate pops of reds, blues and greens for higher focus and task accuracy and pops of yellow and orange for improved decision-making abilities and self-esteem levels.
  4. Ergonomics: Designing a work space for human comfort will help improve productivity, health, and company culture. Provide adjustable chairs, task lights, sit-to-stand desks and keyboard trays, so individuals can adjust their work spaces to meet their needs.
  5. Break Rooms: Investing in a quality breakroom not only encourages mental breaks and social interactions, but it is also an important element to employees. 90% of employees claim their breaks make them feel more focused and ready to go back to work and 4% say breakrooms with tea, coffee, or healthy refreshments is very important in the workplace.

“The workplace is constantly reflecting your culture and values. You choose whether to manage that message or not.” Despina Katsikakis, Head of Occupier Business Performance Cushman and Wakefield.

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