The impact of the workplace environment

Nov 19, 2018 | Good Management

The definition of what constitutes the workplace environment includes both the physical environment and also cultural and social factors in the workplace.

Both these elements need attention, but are you aware of the significance of the impact a poor workplace environment can have? Here are just a few ways neglecting the workplace environment can impact your business.

Productivity and quality

The environment people work in is a key factor in their productivity levels. Employees in a positive, pleasant and supportive workplace environment will be more motivated, make fewer errors, have higher output levels and will produce better quality work.

A good workplace environment will increase levels of innovation, and make staff more receptive to learning new skills and putting these into practice. Customer service levels will be better, which can clearly have a direct impact on business success as customers stay with you and recommend you to others.

Attendance and health

It sounds obvious, but if work is a nice place to be, attendance issues are significantly reduced. This includes lateness and short-term absenteeism, but also the risks of longer-term and/or stress-related absence are reduced when people are coming to work in a supportive, positive, conflict-free environment.

Higher levels of absence or lateness in turn has an impact on the business’ bottom line as money and time have to be spent on additional staff, management efforts in dealing with problems and then recruitment to replace leavers.

More specifically, there is a recognised condition called- sick building syndrome’ which can be caused by physical workplace issues such as poor ventilation; dust, smoke or fumes; or bright or flickering lights.

Working together

A good workplace environment where there is a positive atmosphere and supportive colleagues increases people’s willingness to collaborate, generating ideas and leading to increased team productivity levels.

A poor atmosphere or problems between colleagues results in conflicts, hostility, increased management time, the burden of grievances and disciplinaries, and in turn to stress problems, absence problems, lower motivation and poor staff retention.

A negative atmosphere in the office can also be detected by visitors so may also impact recruitment if job candidates visit the workplace during a recruitment campaign.

Management of the business

If staff are frustrated with bureaucracy or systems being used in the workplace, or with the support they get from management, their level of engagement in the organisation will reduce as will their productivity in turn.

Dissatisfaction with management is a significant contributory factor to staff leaving, and if management lacks credibility or is unsupportive, indecisive, inconsistent or fails to engage or consult with staff, retention levels can be significantly impacted.

Staff frustration and reduced management credibility makes it more difficult for those leading the organisation to do so effectively, as decisions become harder to implement and targets remain unmet.

Overall it can be seen that by considering all the different areas which comprise the workplace environment, the performance of individuals, the team and the organisation as a whole can be enhanced in many different ways, while attendance and retention rates also improve.


For further information on the impact of your workplace environment, do get in touch.