Important Posts

Ergonomics: What it is, Elements and Environments


Your work environment consists of all the elements that can affect your daily productivity, including when, where and how you work. 

As your career progresses, you can pursue opportunities that provide a comfortable work environment that enhances your success and aligns with your core values.

In this article, we discuss what a work environment is, the elements it consists of, and how to determine the best suitable work environment during your job search.

What is the Ergonomics?

The work environment is the place, social characteristics, and physical conditions in which you perform your job.

These elements can affect feelings of well-being, relationships in the workplace, collaboration, efficiency, and employee health.

Following are the important aspects of the work environment:

  • Physical environment: This element consists of the size, design and location of the workplace, whether the work is done indoors or outdoors, the facilities available in the workplace and the furnishings used during the work.
  • Company culture: This element refers to the way in which the company and its employees operate, including the form of effective communication between the different levels of employees, the employees' perspective of the company's leaders, the goals of the company and what the organization values.
  • Terms of Employment: This element includes the formal terms under which employees are hired, such as pay rate, work contract, and length of work day. It can also cover recreational activities and other initiatives to promote a healthy workplace.

What are the elements of the work environment?

Use the following descriptions of each element of the work environment to define a positive and productive workplace:

1. Physical environment

The physical conditions you work under will play an important role in enabling you to reach your full potential. Some important aspects of your physical environment to consider include:

  • Size: The size of your work area can have an impact on whether you have everything on hand to get your work done, while at the same time making a huge impact on how you feel at work. To assess the size of your workspace, consider how much space you have to move around freely, whether you have all the equipment you need nearby and whether the area is large enough to accommodate all employees.
  • Layout: Some indoor workplaces have an open floor plan, while others use cubicles or other dividers to separate spaces. The design of the workplace may depend on the type of work. For example, a more collaborative environment might benefit from an open design, while a job that requires discretion would work best with separate desks or cubicles to ensure privacy.
  • Furnishings: Desks, chairs, conference tables, and other workplace furniture can also affect employees on the job. Access to comfortable and adequate seating, clean workspaces and functional desks can ensure that indoor workplaces remain functional. Outdoor workplaces may include comfortable furniture for breaks.
  • Equipment: Some roles require special equipment to do their job, and depending on the company, the employer may or may not provide it. Some roles, such as a mechanic, may be required to bring their own set of tools. Indoor office spaces are more likely to provide necessary equipment, such as computers, printers, and other basic technologies used for the job.
  • Facilities: Other amenities can affect how you feel physically and mentally during your working life. The ability to take a break or go to the bathroom is an essential part of any productive daily routine, so the location of these facilities can also affect the work environment. Additional facilities such as relaxation spaces and on-site gyms can have a positive impact on employees.
  • Location: Some roles work mostly indoors, some spend most of their work day outside and some roles may contain a mix of indoor and outdoor work. Many employers may provide additional facilities or equipment to ensure employees are comfortable while working and maintain productivity.

2. Company culture

Your company's beliefs and how its goals align with yours can be an essential factor in your comfort in the workplace. The following are the important elements of company culture:

  • Code of Conduct: Some companies may explain their business culture in a formal code of conduct or provide guidance to employees. These documents can cause you to follow certain conditions when performing tasks as well as when interacting with co-workers, workplace leaders, and external stakeholders. These instructions are often found in an employee handbook.
  • Encouragement and Development: Some employers directly encourage collaboration and teamwork, emphasize positive feedback and consistently celebrate successful employees. Other employers may provide more constructive feedback to encourage employees to improve.
  • Company mission statement: This statement is a set of values ​​that the company seeks to develop through its work. Although these values ​​may not be discussed daily, they guide every task you do and every goal you define as a contributor to the organization.

3. Working conditions

The following elements determine what your day might look like and how your work affects areas of your life that are not related to work:

  • Work-life balance: The number of hours you work each week and when can vary depending on the role, company, and industry. Some organizations may promote work-life balance by offering paid time off or flexible work schedules. Other employers may encourage employees to work overtime to meet deadlines or provide 24/7 service to clients.
  • Terms of Employment: In addition to the specified working hours, these terms may include whether your employment is a temporary contract or a permanent one. This item may also include benefits and terms of paid leave as well.
  • Workplace safety: There are nationally imposed workplace safety regulations that all employers must follow. The employer may display regulations in public places to ensure that all employees understand and adhere to these policies. In addition, the safe use of equipment, as well as access to exits, emergency equipment and first aid, also affect this element of working conditions.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Some employers may encourage employees to keep fit and eat balanced meals to improve their overall health. They can even stock up on healthy snacks, partner with a nearby gym or host team events that include physical activity.

Types of work environments

There are many different types of work environments that include a mix of physical components, company culture, and working conditions.

The elements that make the best types of work environments depend on the industry and age of the organization, the number and types of employees, and the ideal environment that the organization wants to raise.

According to Holland's theory of personality and functional compatibility, some environments may be better suited to some personalities.

When considering the work environment, explore the characteristics and values of your personality type to find the environment that best suits you. Personality-based work environments include:

  • Realistic: This environment promotes physical activity and may be best for a greater number of kinesthetic employees, also called "doers". Those who do well in this environment are often skilled and prefer to use tools and work with their hands. Jobs with real-world work environments include those in engineering, maintenance, and construction.
  • Investigative: This type of environment is built on critical thinking, experimentation, and problem solving. Much of the work in this environment involves gathering evidence, studying information, and learning as well as drawing conclusions. "Thinking" employees can thrive in these environments, which are often found in occupations such as healthcare, engineering and technology.
  • Artistic: This environment encourages innovation and experimentation as well as personal expression. Artistic environments are often best for those known as “creators” who thrive in a more fluid and emotional environment. Some of the occupations that work best in this genre are in areas such as design, fine arts, and performance.
  • Social: This type of environment promotes communication, assistance, healing, and education among employees. Those who do well in this environment are often known as "healers" and have traits such as kindness, empathy, and compassion. Jobs that typically offer social work environments include education, social work, counseling, and nursing.
  • Adventure: This work environment also includes communication but has a focus in directing others towards goals. Entrepreneurial environments are best for “persuasives” who thrive on competition and prefer working in roles that include selling, persuasion, and discussion. Some of the jobs that contain adventure environments include real estate, politics, public service, and sales.
  • Traditional: This environment is built on privacy, predictability, and regulation. Those who prefer traditional environments are often referred to as "organizers" and do best in environments that are clearly ordered, encourage practicality and rely on value. Roles found in traditional work environments include those in finance, auxiliary positions and traditional office settings.

How to select the right work environment?

While searching for a job, consider evaluating potential employers to find a comfortable work environment that enhances your productivity, efficiency, and success.

Use the following tips to discover ways to identify elements of your work environment:

  • Read the job description carefully. The description may give you an idea of ​​the physical environment you will be working in, such as common daily tasks and the type of physical setup. Review the employer's expectations for the role to find elements of the company's culture.
  • Find the company online. Many companies have a website, so use this resource to learn more about their values ​​or goals, find out if they have recreational facilities or read about the latest team building activities. You can also find their social media pages and see how they interact with customers or other third parties.
  • Ask questions in the interview. After doing your research ahead of time, you can also prepare several questions that focus on the work environment, such as what equipment they will use, whether they have healthy eating options nearby, and how they prefer to resolve conflicts in the team.
  • Visit your workplace. After some interviews, the company may invite you to take a tour of their facilities and see what it's like to work there. You can visit the physical environment where you can work.
  • Ask the contacts who work for the company. If you know of any current or former employees, call them and ask them what they work there. You may gain more insight into employer-employee relationships and company culture.
  • Read reviews online. Many job search or job search websites give you the opportunity to read about other employees' experiences. Read positive and negative reviews to understand the pros and cons that the job or company may offer. View these responses in terms of how these elements will affect you if you work there.
  • Read the employment contract and introductory documents. Once you receive a job offer, you are likely to review the onboarding documents that discuss the specific conditions that make up your work environment. For example, contracts typically include your hours, job requirements, and salary rate. You can also review the employee handbook to understand company policies and procedures.
  • Ask questions if you have any outstanding concerns. If you feel you need more information about the work environment after receiving an offer, ask your Human Resources representative or hiring manager about their experience with the company.

SeeEntrepreneurs and Strategic Decisions

No comments
Post a Comment

    Reading Mode :
    Font Size
    lines height