There’s nothing worse than an office atmosphere that makes you dread coming into work. You tend to be more distracted by a Facebook post or perhaps you would rather complete a Buzzfeed quiz or two. Whatever the issue may be with the office, you aren’t getting the work done that you expected to get done.
Do you know the causes behind this lack of morale in the office? Do you see a lot of your employees facing this challenge too? Understanding the causes behind the lack of your productivity and the bad office culture can help you identify the right tools to correct the issue. In this blog, we will take you through office characteristics that lead to a bad culture in the workspace and then suggest tools to combat these issues and improve productivity.
1) Open Offices
Cubicles may have once been seen as boring and impersonal, but studies show this may not be true. Sometimes walls are important for employees to block out distracting conversations or actions happening in the hallways. Let’s face it, it is a lot easier to be drawn away from your task when you can see everything that happens in a large room.
Additionally, employees have reported that they increasingly feel as if they are being spied on when they work in a space where everybody can see their screen. This has the possibility to discourage and demoralize a workforce.
Giving your employees some private space can have a dramatic impact on your output as a business. The great news is that you don’t have to do a complete office remodel to accomplish this. It could be something as simple as strategically placing memo boards, plants, and other decorative features around so as to break up space a little bit. An additional benefit is that workers feel more at home and comfortable in an office that has these decorative features.
2) Inflexible Work Hours
Different people work on different schedules. It often doesn’t make sense to have everybody on the payroll working on a strict 9-to-5 schedule. Some employees are more efficient in the afternoon, while other get work is done in the mornings. It should be the responsibility of the employer to allow employees the freedom to work at the peak of their productivity.
While some people fear that flexible scheduling means less accountability, studies have shown that this fear is not founded. In fact, the increased output by allowing employees to work their own schedules can add to your bottom line.
There are a few simple ways that you can put scheduling power back into the hands of your employees. One way to do this is to set up a free online booking calendar. It allows your employees to schedule their time when they want. You can combine all of the separate employee schedules and apply them all to one master schedule. This will still allow you to have administrative powers over all of our employees’ schedules.
3) Unimportant Messaging and Emailing
Some people think that open communication means constant communication. A constant stream of messages can make employees feel overwhelmed. Worse still, it can distract from the actual work that needs to get done.
Another point that most people don’t think about is that constantly messaging employees can be viewed as a type of micromanagement. In order to increase morale, it is highly important that you maximize the effectiveness of your communication.
You can minimize any stress your employees may feel when checking their inbox by priming their expectations. Let them know that you will always send an End of Day wrap-up message around 5 pm every day. Or, if you are interested in really cutting down on your messages, consider sending only weekly or monthly follow-ups. To make this more efficient you can set up a program to help you schedule your emails. Of course, occasions will arise when you will need to send other emails, but employees will feel accustomed to your schedule.
4) Lack of In-Office Benefits
It may seem counterintuitive, but a few diversions in the office are not necessarily a bad thing. Employees sometimes like to have spaces away from their desks where they can clear their heads and take time to switch between tasks. By providing a relaxing space separate from their computer, you are giving the people you work with the freedom to be inspired and take a break. Studies show time-management techniques like the pomodoro method are extremely effective. Time away from work actually boosts productivity when this method is applied.
An easy way to solve this is to create a space for your employees where they can get away and relax. By placing items like a ping-pong table or couch in a break room, you almost immediately make it a more inviting place for colleagues. These sorts of benefits combined with others like readily-available snacks and drinks boost morale in a great way. And your company bottom line will be the main beneficiary of that morale boost.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can overcome a demoralizing office culture. A few small changes can change the ways that your employees think and act. Even if you make these changes small and only make them one-at-a-time, you will find that the morale and the output of your office can gradually improve as you move forward.