Work environment can be anything that exists around the employee and can affect how he performs his duties. A working environment is both an external and an internal condition that can influence working performance. According to Sedarmayanti (2003), a decent working environment is a condition where individuals can do their jobs in an ideal, secure, healthy, and comfortable way. Therefore, many studies classify the work environment into toxic and conducive environments.
Some of the factors that influence the workplace include: cleanliness, water, lighting, colouring, security and music etc.
Work Environment Factors that Influence Employee Performance
- Air factor
The air in the work environment; especially, its components can play a considerable function in relation to the work behaviour, specifically job performance. The quality of air is significantly important to the health, comfort, and job performance among employees. Indoor contamination levels frequently exceed open air levels and most of the time employees might spend up to 90% of time alone inside. Pollutants such as odours and dusts can cause critical discomfort and feelings of unwillingness, that may lead to a reduction in productivity and job performance.
- Temperature factor
A suitable room temperature increases productivity and reduces stress in employees as it plays notable role in workplace environment. High temperatures can affect employee’s performance, particularly duties required for cognitive, physical, and perceptual functions. (Badayai, 2012) and Chandrasekar (2011) state that high temperatures can have a direct impact on health and lead to stress and heat exhaustion.
- Sound factor
Noise is defined as an unwanted sound (Wikipedia), it is the most common complaint in the workplace. Many researchers indicate that exposing employees to noisy conditions can affect their job performance quality. Melamed, Fried and Froom (2001) confirmed that exposure to high levels of sound may lead to several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, endocrine and digestive reactions particularly in complex jobs not in jobs that require little or no physical or cognitive ability.
- Light and colour factor
Regardless of fit-out design or building type, daylight is considered to be the number one wanted natural feature in the workplace as researchers have discovered that exposure to natural light in an office space impacts employees’ quality of life. The amount of light needed in the workplace depends on the kind of tasks being performed, either outdoors or indoors, or when they are performed, in the day, or at night. As a consequence, it will either increase or decrease the performance. Inconvenient lighting is a source of distress; thus, leading to poor job performance. This happens when the employee is exposed to an uncomfortable working environment in which there is a high glare, or dim bulk, or a lack of natural light in the office. The brightness of office light influences concentration, alertness, and task performance. Modifying the quality and nature of light can appreciably enhance working experience and productivity.
- Space factor
The actual physical layout of an office is highly important when it comes to maximizing productivity among employees. Nowadays, work environments support new ways of working and flexible workplaces which displays ease of communication and interpersonal access contrasted with fully enclosed private offices, and this change to open plan office has boosted employee’s productivity paralleled to closed office spaces (Becker, 2002). An employee’s workstation that is too crowded and restricted, will lead to stress, pressure and other psychological effects. According to Sehgal (2012), space components like office furniture comprises of desks, chairs, the filing system, shelves, drawers, etc., have a specified part to play in the productivity and the efficiency of the employees and the suitable functioning of any office.
It is suggested that employers should take initiative to motivate employees by improving work environments. As employees are motivated, their job performance will increase, and they will achieve the desired outcomes and goals of the job. Thus, increasing the employers’ satisfaction.