“What is your ideal work environment?” It’s one of the most common and important questions that interviewers ask. With the answer to this question, employers ascertain the personality and sustainability of the interviewee for the job.
The work environment significantly affects employee motivation, team morale, job satisfaction, and performance.
But an ideal work environment is more than a competitive pay and employee perks. According to Glassdoor, an ideal workplace also depends on the company’s location, growth opportunities, facilities, culture, and communication, to name a few.
We’ve rounded up the top characteristics of an ideal work environment. Note that the definition of a perfect workplace may vary from generation to generation, so flexibility is the key.
# Encourage Professional and Personal Growth
“Where do you see yourself after five years?” Another common interview question!
Well, the best talents understand that life is the process of constant learning. High-performers long to learn and grow their expertise while working.
It’s important because the technology and working procedures keep updating every day. If employers don’t provide training and development programs, you would be at the same place year after year.
According to a Social Market Foundation survey, satisfied employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. So a good work environment focuses on training and development programs both for personal and professional growth.
Picture a work culture where you feel your personal interests, health, and goals matter. An ideal work environment encourages self-awareness, provides personal development resources and schedule time for personal growth.
# Promote Work-Life Balance
A Harvard Business School survey revealed that 94% of service professionals spend 50+ hours weekly at their workplaces. Some even claim longer working hours.
Once we pass the threshold of normal working hours, we lose work-life balance. As a result, we suffer consequences such as impaired sleep, stress, harder time collaboration, etc.
That’s why work/life balance is as important as the salary you receive. Choose an employer who focuses on keeping their existing employees happy while taking into account their personal as well as professional lives.
Having flexibility, such as flexible working hours and work from home benefits, improves employees’ morale and job satisfaction.
An ideal work environment in this context is one that encourages your career growth without having you sacrifice your personal goals, interests and needs. You get enough time for other pursuits of your life, like your family, vacation, hobbies, etc.
# Security and Stability in a Job
One of the most important things an employee need is a secure and stable work environment. This doesn’t mean a regular pay, but also means a steady success with a sense of job security.
Expecting smooth sailing all the time from an organization indeed is unrealistic. But a solid track record of a company can indicate that it is able to provide you the ideal work environment you need to succeed.
# Recognition for Outstanding Performance
After a long workday, you might want to know whether your time and efforts in a task are valuable.
Rewards in terms of incentives are necessary to encourage the employees for more work. Not only, incentive programs in an organization inspire you to outperform but are also a huge draw for prospective employees.
Receiving a reward for outstanding performance is a positive reinforcement under operant conditioning. Offering bonuses and gifts to employees is a sign of an ideal work environment.
Recognition programs inspire employees and keep them happy. Research proves that happiness and motivation among employees increase:
• Sales by 37%
• Productivity by 31%
• Accuracy by 19%
That’s why the reward and recognition of employees for their excellent performance is essential in any organization. Monetary reward is good, but verbal recognition from supervisors and managers is encouraging.
# Competitive Pay from Employer
The salary level of employees in an organization is still a crucial element when it comes to the best work environment.
Let’s approach this point with a positive angle – a competitive pay or salary package incentivizes you to do your best for the company and encourages loyalty. An organization with a carefully constructed salary policy shows that it respects its employees and their work.
Every employee should choose a salary based on his or her experience and skills. Never undersell your skills, try to compensate with the employer to get what you deserve. And, the organization with an ideal work environment will pay you best in the competitive world.
Also, by paying a competitive wage, company, or employer clearly shows that you are important to them. You should welcome this message as encouragement, and in return, you should give your best to their business.
# Managerial Support for Ideal Work environment
The support of a manager is crucial for the success of the workplace and employees’ wellness. A leader or manager who builds a supportive work environment help promotes employee’s health as well as well-being.
When you feel some difficulty with your work, you need your manager’s support especially when you are dealing with stressful situations. Having someone who can solve your problem when you are stressed is crucial for an ideal work environment.
A manager with a supportive nature who cherishes successful moments by sponsoring a lunch or dinner for you and your team will make you feel happy.
Further, good leaders provide the best example for you to follow – creating a relaxed and positive workplace.
Whether you’re looking for a regular job, paid or unpaid internship, finding an ideal work environment goes way beyond the job description. From work flexibility to opportunities for growth, there are several things you should keep in mind when choosing an organization.
The work environment can put a significant effect on employee’s motivation, team morale, loyalty, and success. You will love to go to work every day if the work environment meets your conditions.
And, when you’re asked about the work environments you prefer in an interview, you should be as honest as possible to get hired in the right company.
Working in an office or company which has all of the above characteristics means you have found the ideal work environment.