Does a workplace influence human behaviour?

We’ve all heard that a workplace reflects the team and its culture. That a workplace is inspired by its people. But can its reverse logic be equally true? Can a workplace influence human behaviour?

While it may seem indigestible to most, it is actually possible and happens quite often. An employee works for an average of 8 hours in an office. Hence, it’s logical to assume that they might be affected by the environment, bringing change in their behaviour or personality. A Workagile study reports that 53% of prospects turn down a job offer if they do not like the working environment.

Let’s see how a workplace can affect a human being.

1. Location & Commute

Office location plays an important role in employees’ life. Proximity to home, convenient commute facilities, and other amenities are critical to reducing travel time. If the office is located on the outskirts of the city, it may take an hour or two to reach, leaving the employees lethargic. It also affects their personal lives as reaching home after completing their work shift and bearing the additional commute time, they are all drained of energy. They may have little or no enthusiasm left to spend time with their families, which eventually builds up to frustration.

2. Physical Impact

The ergonomics of the office has a pronounced impact on the physical health of the employees. People work all day long, sitting in the same position, on the same chair. If, say, the design of the chairs is not ergonomic, it can lead to an acute or chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain due to sitting in improper postures for longer periods. Often ignored, the offices, in fact, need to focus on furniture design and their impact on employee health and invest in some good designs for their employees’ wellbeing. Physical wellbeing reflects directly on employee productivity. A Workplace insight report hints that physically fit employees churn out an average gross profit margin of 8% more than the unfit workforce.

3. Psychological Impact

There’s a reason why leaders and the HR department work so hard to build a positive working environment in the workplace. According to WHO, a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems, causing absenteeism and loss of productivity.

Employees take their workplace experience back home. How they feel at work, clearly defines their mood in their personal space. A happy state of mind needs an interplay of multiple factors like harmonious team bonding, recreational activities to take a break from work, incentives, and rewards to keep oneself motivated, and open employee-to-leader reaction to discuss any discrepancies.

4. Interiors

A positive place buds positive energy within people.

Office interiors play a major role in creating a positive vibe. A research conducted by the University College London in 2015 found that there have been recurring patterns that show the impact of spatial workplace design on staff satisfaction, wellbeing, exchange of information, communication, and movement flows. A study by CBRE adds more gravitas to this fact, where the top-five most valued perks at the office found were outdoor view (53%), natural light (53%), office cafe (44%), kitchen (37%), and open spaces (28%).

An ideal workplace pleases all the human senses like pleasing colours, pleasant smell, optimum temperature, etc. Bright colours cheer up the whole place, letting people have a positive mindset all the time. More access to natural light and outdoor air keeps the environment refreshing. Adding to that, placing plants inside the office also helps in lifting the mood and keeping the air fresh. All this leads to a more healthy and productive mind.

5. Flexibility

A workplace that is flexible in its work culture and mindset observes a happy workforce. A workplace that is designed according to the people’s needs is open to flexibility as per their needs. This has given rise to a new workplace called ‘Activity Based Workspaces’, where the entire space is divided into different zones for various purposes like brainstorming, meeting, telephone booths, and relaxing rooms. Such a design keeps the employees moving throughout the day, breaking the monotony in their routine and giving them a breath of fresh air. According to a Forbes article, an inclusive workplace where employees can bring their whole selves sees 42% lesser resignations for better positions.

Thus, a positive workplace helps in striking the right work-life balance which in turn, helps them achieve peace of mind. And it is not just one person’s job to create such an environment. The architecture, design, HR teams along with leaders, have to come together to create a holistic workplace.

A managed office space is a great opportunity for companies to create such an environment, as they have the liberty to design it as per their requirements and build a people-friendly environment. Buzzworks leads by example with its ergonomic and open environment, favourable, and ideal for people working in its workspaces.

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