The quality of the atmosphere at your workplace is bound to affect your performance, since you spend eight hours a day there during the week. If you work for an employer who doesn't take an interest in his employees, an uncomfortable atmosphere of working conditions and temperament can create stress. For your personal well-being and professional productivity, you need more than just a healthy and safe work environment, you need strong workplace morale. The higher the quality of workplace atmosphere, the more satisfied your day-to-day experience will be.
If you feel valued, safe and in control in your workplace, you're in a healthy atmosphere that works for employees in a positive way. These conditions are shown when your employer values employee input during meetings. Coworkers treat each other with trust, respect and fairness. Employees work comfortably because they have adequate resources, income, and opportunities for personal growth through training and development. Aside from regular vacation time, an organization with a healthy atmosphere is generally not affected by problems of absenteeism. The workplace also thrives in increased productivity for both employees and the organization.
When the organization you work for lays off co-workers because of budget cuts, the atmosphere becomes stressful and negatively affects employee relationships. You can't help but wonder if you are next. If your workplace develops an atmosphere of tension, fear, uncertainty and stress becomes contagious. A stressful atmosphere leads to irritability that affects interactions and teamwork. Being positive and keeping your own negative attitude under control can help you cope with a stressful workplace atmosphere so you are less affected by other people's negative stress.
Employers should not be ignorant about the hazards of a noisy atmosphere that could affect the health of employees. You could be working in a company with poorly maintained equipment and inadequate buffers or hearing protection. You might be sitting beside photocopiers, printers or even a ventilation fan. The persistent noise not only drives you crazy, but could have a seriously affect on your health. Excess noise can result in an irritating ringing sensation in your ears or you could start to lose your hearing. Workers have the right to a healthy and safe workplace with controlled levels of noise.
If a co-worker, customer, client or employer harasses you in the workplace with bullying, threats, degrading comments, intimidation or even violence, it takes a toll on your well-being. If you don't feel comfortable coming forward with your concerns or if your complaints are not taken seriously, the atmosphere can start to feel hostile. In the workplace, information travels. You and your coworkers can start to become anxious, angry and less focused if hostility is in the air. If employees feel they need to take time off from work to escape a hostile workplace atmosphere, the company may face financial consequences, notes the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
- HelpGuide.org: Stress at Work
- British Columbia Ministry of Health: What Makes a Healthy Work Environment?
- CUPE National Health and Safety Branch: Noise
- Ontario Ministry of Labour: Overview and Context for Action
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: American Time Use Survey Summary
- Creating Healthy Organizations: How Vibrant Workplaces Inspire Employees to Achieve Sustainable Success; Graham Lowe
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images