6 Ways to Build a Successful Work Environment

The work environment of some organizations is iconic.  Just a mention of Google brings to mind bright, rainbow colors, playful furniture, and generally positive atmosphere. The undertone to all this fun is success. It seems incongruous that the fun atmosphere belongs to one of the most successful companies on the planet. But innovation needs room to grow, and Google has practically defined innovation within a business culture in recent years. But how do these features lead to a successful work environment?

Here are some tips from Business News Daily (and most of them do not include kooky color schemes or break room redesigns). 

1.    Hire the right people, and let go of the toxic ones
It’s amazing how a single toxic person affects a work environment. Not only do they infect their coworkers, but customers as well can pick up bad juju. Hire people who are invested in both themselves and the organization. These people understand that putting their best foot forward helps both the company and their goals.

2.    Keep common spaces clean and well-lit
Policing workspaces has its limits, but an uncluttered space leads to increased productivity. So does good lighting. Natural light is optimal, especially for employees who work on computers all day. Poor lighting leads to eyestrain, headaches, and decreased productivity. If natural light isn’t an option, look into filters that a can mimic sunlight. A few amenities or upgrades tell employees that the organization wants to invest in them.

3.    Make a dry-erase wall
For the low cost of a few bucks, you can turn an entire wall be a brainstorming wall. Or wall of positive messages. Whatever you need to use it for, but dry erase walls encourage interactivity and collaborative thinking. They keep enthusiasm flowing as employees can literally build on other ideas. 

4.    Encourage collaboration
On that same note, have spaces where employees can chat and work together--outside of their offices. If you space is open concept, then have side rooms that can accommodate two, four, multiple numbers of people to fit the needs of their project. Taking people out of their spaces helps them focus on the task at hand, and not the emails piling up in their inbox or other work.

5.    Do things together
Go on a field trip to an escape room. Eat together. Do things as a department outside the normal flow of the workday.  These types of things help break up the work week, and give employees the chance to talk freely without the underlying notion that it should be about work. It improves company culture to have employees who like to talk to each other.

6.    Be transparent
When companies grow or contract, what might have been a successful work environment might start to waver. If people start to feel out of the loop, they can turn from happy productive employees into suspicious toxic ones. Be transparent with them about why certain decisions are made, and if possible, create a feedback loop so they feel heard.

A successful work environment is any space an employee feels that they can be successful. It takes time for an entire company culture to change, but start in pockets. Positivity is more attractive than toxicity.