The Built EnvironmentWeekly Columns

The Business of Retention:Environmentally Yours

by: - November 9, 2018
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Dan Buettner, longevity expert, led a global expedition during which he discovered four astonishing secrets of people who “forgot to die”. Firstly, these individuals live in natural environments with mountainous terrain that make it nearly impossible to import food. As such, their only option is to eat what is naturally grown; secondly, their physical work environment is designed to support physical activity; thirdly, their eating utensils discourage overeating due to their sheer size and lastly, scheduled breaks are allowed once per week to socialize with family and friends.

Borrowing from Beuttner’s findings, one can deduce that visible and invisible forces in our environment, truly impact our productivity and effectiveness.  Employers tend to ensure that the physical work environment is conducive for work and conclude that employees need no more in order for them to be efficient on the job. In addition, job design is an ongoing attempt to identify the needs of employees and organizations and to remove obstacles that frustrate those needs. Agbozo et al. (2017) wrote on the psychological, physical and social work environment.

They alluded to the fact that all three factors can have an impact on job satisfaction and performance. The layout and design of office space dictates how employees interact and the nature of these interactions. The physical environment may also offer more or less safety and concerns about accident or injury is likely to have an effect on the workers’ psychological well-being. Assuredly, the quality of lighting at the workplace promotes or hampers the work experience and prompts an improvement or decrease in performance by five (5) to ten (10) percent.

Some branches of thought hold that, ultimately, the physical environment is only a contributing factor to job motivation- that other factors such as perception and educational level, determine how effective one would be in any physical work environment.  Join me next time as we discover what these scholars have penned on the issue.