Estimated reading time: 1 mins
I just found this interesting post (below) on the valleywag blog, naming the 10 worst workplaces, according to their own research. I don’t think the research was done scientifically (so read it with a tongue-in-cheek). However, it does raise an interesting subject; does your workspace encourage you to work hard, give 110% and enjoy your work?
Numerous research papers suggest that your workspace influences your motivation, energy and well-being. Gone are the days (I hope in all cases) where technical people were pushed down into the basement floors, never to see sunlight. But is the modern workspace condusive to healthy, productive and enjoyable work? Take a look around you at your workplace and see for yourself. Can you see sunlight or an outside space? Can you see your co-workers? Is the environment noisy, or quiet? What about the temperature? Can you personalize your space, or does your organization enforce a clear-desk or hotdesk policy? These conditions do have an effect on productivity.
A number of people I’ve coached didn’t realize this. In some cases they felt that their productivity was below their own expectation, and sometimes energy levels were under the required level to do their job. In a few of these cases, we concluded that their work environment, if changed, could resolve these issues and in every case but one, it did. For example, a programmer asked to have the partitions in her cubicle lowered to allow more sunlight into her workspace. She found that this had a psychogical effect and increased her energy and motivation. In another example, a product tester moved her cubicle away from the office door to reduce the amount of noise and to limit distraction. Testing productivity increased by about 25%. Conversely, a different example was the opposite, where a lonely business analyst moved towards the office door so that she would experience ‘passing traffic’ and engaged with colleagues much more. She discovered that this greater level of engagement made her feel more connected with the work of others and she received feedback on the quality of her work.
These examples show that sometimes a simple environment change can solve problems that might have otherwise persisted.