Comfortable working conditions taken for granted, or something employers don’t think about

In order to increase the efficiency of staff, it is necessary not only to properly motivate them, but also to create comfortable working conditions. I visited many offices and was able to make a number of mistakes made by employers when organizing the work of employees. Often, seemingly self-evident things were simply ignored. I will focus on the most obvious ones, which many people don’t even think about.

Table. One company offered a table 90 cm wide as a desktop. Under the tabletop, the table had a hanging drawer. The employees constantly kicked their feet against this cabinet. A request to the caretaker to remove the box was met with “Not allowed.” Why it was not allowed and by whom it was not allowed was not explained. As a result, the employees brought tools from home and removed this box themselves. And all the manager’s attempts to quarrel failed, so no one listened to him and, to put it mildly, sent him to the garden to breathe butterflies. It would seem that there is a need to remove the box – 5 minutes. But stubbornness and lack of flexibility caused bewilderment, turning into irritation and anger.

A hanging cabinet on a narrow table is evil

A hanging cabinet on a narrow table is evil

Chair. A chair is important both for posture and for proper sitting, which directly affects human health. I saw in one organization chairs (there are even photos) purchased by the employer in large quantities, which were the cheapest craft that can be found. The new chairs had a wobbly back, it was impossible to adjust the tilt, but all this paled in comparison with the seat, which was a metal plate covered with centimeter-long foam rubber covered with fabric. Essentially people were sitting on metal. Can you imagine what it’s like for a person who works all day in such conditions? Requests to buy normal furniture were unsuccessful. Employees bought cushions to put on the seats, and some even bought chairs. Often chairs were given as a gift for a team birthday.

The thickness of the soft part of the seat is about 1 cm

The thickness of the soft part of the seat is about 1 cm

And after all, the employer could easily afford to buy furniture of adequate quality. But for some reason I preferred to save. How will an employee work if his buttocks become numb from sitting on a hard chair? He will constantly get up and walk around to exercise. And this is unlikely to add loyalty on the part of employees.

Climate. The climate in the office directly affects the efficiency and comfort of work. If a person is cold, he will not work. The only thing he will think about is a cup of tea or coffee. And instead of working, it will warm up. If the office is hot, then sweaty employees will also not add efficiency to their work. Plus, in tightly packed rooms there will be a very specific smell (to be honest, not everyone can take care of their hygiene at the proper level). In one department there was a situation where, due to ill-conceived ventilation and an attempt to place people where they should not be, the huge open space did not turn on cooling in the summer, so a stream of icy air blew over some of the employees, causing colds, neck pain and other delights. This caused arguments and swearing with those who sat and sweated due to the lack of cooling and ventilation. At some point, the director came out and said that he forbids turning off the cooling, the climate must be adequate, and those who are cold should get dressed. As a result, some people sat in comfort, while others wore sweaters and scarves to escape the cold. This part of the workers demonstrated the lowest level of efficiency, as they were forced to constantly go out to warm themselves. A striking example of the fact that the manager did not want to solve the problem, take into account the opinions of the staff and look for an approach that would suit everyone. It was enough to ask to change the office, to make a redistribution within the office, or to demand that the ventilation be adjusted, eliminating direct flows of icy air onto the workers.

Personally, I had a situation where I was transferred to an office that had no heating. At all. And the windows were old. At first I didn’t attach any importance to this, but when the cold weather began, I was very surprised. The thermometer brought from home showed 16 degrees Celsius. We were forced to go to another office and bring electric heaters the next day, although they are expressly prohibited by company standards. Do you think we quickly corrected the situation? Whatever the case. We suffered for about two weeks. I sent the staff home and went to another office. I constantly pulled at those who are responsible for the functioning of the office, until they came and replaced the windows, replacing them with used ones, but at least they didn’t let in the cold as much. It became warmer, but the fan heater still worked constantly, since without heating the temperature in the office dropped.

Cabinet. In Russia there are standards for free space, which should be per employee. Unfortunately, they are often violated and ignored. I saw an open space in the accounting department of a large federal-level company, where people sat surrounded by mountains of papers, with their backs to each other at a distance of less than 1 meter and a distance of about half a meter from the neighbor on the left or right. It was chaos. I can’t imagine how they worked and organized their workspace. In another office, employees sat in such a way that the person sitting behind looked at the back of the person sitting in front, seeing his monitor. This is a very big discomfort when someone is constantly looking at your monitor, it creates a kind of psychological pressure, as if you are under surveillance.

Bathroom. Probably one of the most important elements of the workflow. It was not for nothing that Boo Andersen, when he came to AvtoVAZ, first of all put things in order in the bathrooms by making repairs. When employees see dirty and uncleaned toilets, they will feel great discomfort. Agree, there are all sorts of situations, sometimes a person needs to sit on the toilet. And if it is dirty, what should I do? Therefore, cleaning the toilet should be regular, ensuring cleanliness and order so that the employee does not run around in a panic, looking for a clean toilet. Alas, even in large offices this is often not given due attention.

There are a lot of such nuances. You can add here the availability of special clothing, tools, and places to eat. But the point is the same: if you want to get an adequate team that will be interested in working with you, and will not run away at the first opportunity, make the working conditions comfortable!

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