Mar 20 2018
Top tips for creating a happy working environment

By  Jessica Toms

My role at the Centre is to make sure that the office runs smoothly, that all of our equipment works and to keep the Centre looking fresh and up-to-date.

One of the most important aspects of my role is to ensure that our delegates have a positive experience whilst at the Centre. An experience that leaves a good impression, and which will encourage them to return and recommend us to their friends and colleagues.

This also applies to our office working space. The team spends eight hours a day, five days a week at work, so getting the environment and working conditions just right is key to having a happy workforce.

Our office is very open plan and we have a number of different personalities within the team, so last year I conducted some a research on how I could make our (very busy) open plan office a more welcoming and enjoyable place to work.

So here are my top three tips for creating a happy working and learning environment:

Whoa, oh, oh, oh on the radio 

Introducing a radio to a busy office can have a huge impact on the atmosphere of the office. Not everyone will have the same taste in music, so picking a station or a playlist that suits everyone and keeping the music upbeat helps create a happy environment.

It’s a proven fact that when we listen to music, multiple areas of the brain are activated including those associated with movement, planning, attention and memory. It changes our brain chemistry as well. Listening to music we enjoy stimulates the release of dopamine that makes us feel rewarded.

Somewhere that’s green

Being on the third floor and in an office that is glass fronted and has no opening windows has an impact on the air that we breathe, especially during winter when the coughs and colds kick in.

So to help keep the air cleaner we introduced some air purifiers which provide relief to people suffering from airborne allergies; relieves symptoms related to dry seasons and air conditioning; helps to purify the air we breathe; eliminates odours, bacteria and air contaminants; not to mention the lovely fresh aroma!

We also added some succulent plants around the office to enhance the atmosphere and improve the air quality. Not only do they look pretty, but plants in the office have a number of benefits; they help reduce stress and sickness, clean the air, and can boost creativity.

Reward and recognition

At the Centre we live and breathe our values, and feel it’s important that we recognise our staff achievements.

Every Monday we have a team huddle, during which we talk about our successes, achievements, and challenges from the previous week. During these meetings we also encourage staff to nominate someone for a treat; someone who has gone above and beyond, or done something that relates to our values. These nominations and treats are open to staff and trainers, and we feel that this little gesture makes people feel appreciated and are more positive about themselves, and their ability to contribute to the organisation.

We also like to reward the whole team by treating everyone to lunch per quarter. We all get together and sometimes combine this with a fun Bitesize training session. Not only does this encourage learning, it also gives the staff the opportunity to work with people from different teams and gives us the opportunity to have a chat and get to know each other beyond emails and training chat!

The above ideas on reward and recognition are just little things that we find works at the Centre. Reward and recognition does not have to be public display, just saying those magic words of ‘thank you’ in an email, or a little note left on the desk at the end of the day, can be more of a reward then a material object.

Research shows that employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued by others. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.

So why don’t you bring some of these ideas in to your workplace to help create a happy working environment.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.