Most businesses look for ways to increase work production and customer satisfaction, both of which are factors of employee engagement. Adding comfort to the workplace is an easy way to improve employee engagement and make employees happy to be at their jobs.
Employees need to have their basic needs met. Before you implement any other employee engagement program, it’s a good idea to consider how comfortable your employees are at work. Safety should always be your first concern, but ensuring that your employees are comfortable in your environment will allow them to work to the best of their abilities. Here we’ll discuss how comfort relates to employee engagement and some ideas for making the workplace more comfortable.
Uncomfortable and Unproductive
If you haven’t fully considered your employee’s level of comfort, you could be negatively impacting your work production and employee’s level of engagement. There are a number of ways comfort impacts employee engagement, directly and indirectly:
- Discomfort is a distraction. Uncomfortable environments and clothing can slow down work processes. When employees are comfortable at work, they perform better because they aren’t focused on whatever is making them uncomfortable: whether it’s wearing uncomfortable clothing, sitting in an uncomfortable chair, or being in an environment that is too hot or too cold.
- Comfort is caring. When a company prioritizes comfort, the employees know the company cares. If employees feel their company invests in making their jobs and lives better, they become more engaged and invest back into the company.
- More comfort equals more morale. Adding more comfort to a workplace can bring an overall boost of morale to your company’s culture. When people are comfortable, able to do their jobs, and feel they’re at a company that cares, this puts everyone in a better mood, improving morale overall.
Comfort Considerations: Your Employees and Their Environment
The efforts you can make to improve comfort depend on your unique work environment. In many cases there are limitations on what you can do and safety should always come first. With safety in mind, there are always creative solutions to improve employee comfort regardless of the environment. Here’s what you should be considering when trying to improve your employee engagement:
- Facility design: There may be aspects of your building or work area that can’t change, but you can make efforts towards creating a more homey feel. Simple additions like painting the walls a new color or adding decorations can promote overall well-being.
- Break areas: If your employees work in a dangerous environment, it may be hard to compromise safety for comfort. In this case, make sure your employees have a safe and relaxed place to go while on break.
- Furnishing: If employees work while sitting, make sure they have comfortable seating and tables and that desks are the appropriate height.
- Temperature: Are your employees working in a hot or cold environment? Can the temperature be changed, or is it necessary that it stays the same? Make sure your employees are able to wear clothing that keeps them as comfortable as possible regardless of the temperature.
- Clothing: What clothing do employees wear at work? Can modifications be made to your uniforms? Can they be designed so they are more comfortable and easier to move around in? Some safety regulations won’t allow your employees to wear whatever they want, but you can make protective clothing as comfortable as possible. If employees are on their feet a lot, they need comfortable work shoes with their uniforms; if the workspace needs to be cold, they need uniforms to keep them warm.
Finding Solutions for Employee Comfort
Comfort and necessity can conflict, and safety concerns often compromise comfort, but outside help from experts can help you improve various aspects of your workplace. While you may not be able to change some facets of the work environment, adding safe break areas and improving comfort in your uniform design are both always possible. Consider consulting experts who understand your industry and how to address specific challenges for improving comfort—and by extension, employee engagement.