While companies have gone on to create more casual and friendly offices, one survey from the organization Udemy found that workers are not as happy about the blurring of professional and personal lives when it comes to the workplace environment. According to a Fast Company article, most of the 1,000 full-time workers surveyed would rather come to the office, complete their assignments, and go home instead of socializing. Essentially, companies may need to consider going back to a more professional and conventional workplace environment in order to satisfy the majority of employees.
Keep reading to learn more about the following topics regarding developing an appropriate workplace environment:
- The Statistics from the Udemy Survey Showing Employees’ Preferences
- How to Develop an Appropriate and Professional Workplace Environment
- Creating Office Landscapes that Stimulate Productivity
- How to Improve Employee Retention Rates
- The Best Workplace Environment for Millennials
- Project Management Software is Essential in the Changing Workplace
The Statistics from the Udemy Survey Showing Employees’ Preferences
More businesses have been moving toward more casual work atmospheres and the media portrays offices as hangouts where you can bring your dog and email your boss GIFs of animals. While companies are providing workplaces where employees can play a game of poker or ping-pong, the Udemy survey found that the majority of employees are not looking for a very casual workplace environment. Below are some of the key statistics found in the survey outlining employees’ preferences for their place of work.
- 66 percent of survey respondents feel that their coworkers should not be allowed to bring any pets to the office
- 65 percent of respondents state that workout clothes are not appropriate to wear in the office
- 63 percent keep their social media accounts private from their co-workers
- 53 percent stated being uncomfortable when coworkers gossip too much
- 51 percent of survey takers feel that hugging is not appropriate in a professional environment
- 41 percent of survey takers have seen bullying in the workplace
- 39 percent reported being uncomfortable when coworkers speak about politics in the workplace
- 37 percent of respondents stated that their coworkers are too informal on workplace messaging platforms
- 31 percent of survey takers received an unwelcome hug at work
This survey helps managers and employers better understand the desires of their workers, including those who are millennials. With a clear understanding, it is essential to go on to create an appropriate workplace environment with clear boundaries between professional and personal lives.
How to Develop an Appropriate and Professional Workplace Environment
First, it is essential to set the boundaries between professional and personal lives at the top, which means managers and executives need to set an example. Fast Company advises company leaders to open the lines of communication in order to learn more about employees’ work styles, job satisfaction, and the type of workplace environment where every individual can be engaged and productive.
Company leaders are advised to look more deeply into employees’ preferences to find out how they feel about workplace cultures and behaviors. Managers will need to figure out how to best relieve any tensions in the workplace to create a better atmosphere for all employees.
To create an appropriate and professional workplace environment, there are five steps company leaders should follow to develop better boundaries between coworkers and managers. These five steps include:
- Creating a culture of feedback
- Balancing both guidelines and rules effectively in the workplace
- Communicating that it’s safe to speak up
- Defining inclusion, authenticity, and diversity
- Training and updating employees on their soft skills
Providing constructive feedback will be key to creating an open dialogue with employees on personal boundaries. It may be beneficial for executives to train managers and employees on ways to provide and receive helpful feedback. By gaining more feedback from employees on personal boundaries, human resource departments and managers can create more effective company guidelines.
Instead of creating new rules, it may be more effective to develop guidelines that help workers understand their behaviors in context and how behaviors impact others. Additionally, through training programs, employees can be taught that it is safe to speak up whenever they feel uncomfortable as long as communication is open, respectful, and honest.
Human resource teams will also need to hold conversations between employees where they can discuss authenticity and diversity while also learning how to be respectful of others’ boundaries. Allowing employees to define inclusion and authenticity will help workers better understand each other. Lastly, it is essential to keep training employees on soft skills such as team building, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and empathy.
Now that you have learned the key ways to create a more appropriate workplace environment with clear boundaries between professional and personal lives, it is time to learn ways to develop office space landscapes that lead to more productivity.
Creating Office Landscapes that Stimulate Productivity
Due to the drudgery that many employees have felt in the typical office space, it is necessary for companies to begin revamping office landscapes to create a more positive environment for workers. However, creating a truly effective model may take more time to emerge, according to The Economist.
Currently, businesses are still trying to create a new model for their office landscape. Originally, offices grew larger due to the need to process more and more paperwork and the need for more clerks.
However, the Internet, mobile devices, and personal computing has led to significant changes for the typical business. Currently, managers can quickly and easily communicate with their employees even if they are working remotely. The need for staff to be located in one office has also become less necessary.
There are multiple factors that the new office landscape model will need to consider including the desire of workers to have flexible schedules, the high cost of renting or buying office space, and the preference to have workers in one office in hopes of promoting collaboration and productivity.
Many companies have begun utilizing a hot-desking system where workers are expected to find a new seat every day. Often this means fewer desks are available while employees are offered more flexibility to work remotely. However, the hot-desking system has plenty of disadvantages. For example, every evening, workers must remove their possessions and office supplies since they will likely be sitting elsewhere the next day.
Desks are also positioned very close to each other in this atmosphere and workers tend to wear headphones to keep their environment more quiet for greater productivity. In fact, studies show that less collaboration occurs in this workplace environment and employees are more likely to use email.
In such an atmosphere, high skilled workers are less likely to stick around and companies may face higher turnover rates. More quiet spaces and better lighting may be a better space for workers.
The open plan office is another idea where walls between employees are removed and cubicles are put aside. While this was expected to boost collaboration, productivity, and communication, it has actually led to too much noise and too many distractions for the everyday worker. Research shows that this type of office landscape leads to more stress, less productivity, and more sick leave among workers.
The best type of office landscapes tend to have both open concepts and private areas where work spaces include walls between employees. Essentially, the best landscapes will likely have meeting rooms along with private space and small shared spaces for only two to four people to meet.
How to Improve Employee Retention Rates
While creating more boundaries for a professional working environment and developing the appropriate office landscape are important goals, managers will also need to drive workers to follow their passions, make the job fun, and truly care about their employees. This will help improve employee retention.
For instance, managers need to learn about important aspects of their employees’ lives such as the ones who are caring for sick family members at home or those who have children to take care of. To better retain employees in these situations, it is helpful to provide a more flexible schedule for these workers or allow them to work from home for part of the week.
Managers are also advised to use performance data to develop learning opportunities where employees become more engaged with their daily assignments and company leaders can drive workers to follow their passions. Making the work environment more fun and enjoyable can also help improve employee retention rates.
Along with these factors, employers are also looking at how more millennials are entering the workforce than ever before. Below are a few tips for how company leaders can make the right workplace environment for managing millennials.
The Best Workplace Environment for Millennials
When seeking to create the right workplace culture and atmosphere for millennials, it is essential to foster a sense of community, develop flexible work arrangements, and to give these workers a voice in the office.
When developing a sense of community, be sure to create a culture that inspires employees and encourages positivity and learning. Creating flexible work arrangements also benefits millennial workers who are seeking options such as working from home and telecommuting. Offering remote working options and flexible hours is encouraged for this generation of workers.
In addition, it is useful to give this generation of workers a voice by allowing them to come up with innovative solutions to common problems at your company. Lastly, providing this generation of workers with the right tools to get their job done remotely or in a new office landscape is essential.
Project Management Software is Essential in the Changing Workplace
You will find that project management software like Runrun.it tools are necessary to meet the requirements of the changing office landscapes where more employees are working remotely. Such tools will keep your team connected and collaborating regardless of where each team member is located.
Runrun.it software will keep your team motivated and keep the communication open and transparent while streamlining the workflow between managers and professionals. To check out Runrun.it project management software, click here for a free trial.