#ICYMI: The Impact of Workplace Culture and the “Weekend Effect”

The month of July is officially over and here are some articles that you may have missed while you were in the midst of taking some time off for summer vacations, attending barbeques, and watching those back to school commercials that are already reminding us that it will all be over before we know it (*sigh*).

Scheduling freedom = working longer hours?

The age-old question of how to get employees to work harder and longer might finally have an answer… although it might not be the one you were expecting. Offering fun (and often random) office benefits have always seemed the easy route, with onsite perks like free lunch, happy hour on Fridays, etc. Furthermore, providing employees with furniture like a comfortable chair and a small height adjustable desk could help them maintain proper posture and work more efficiently. However, in some cases, finding ways to keep people in the office longer might not cut it. Instead, you can give your employees free rein to create their work schedule as well as location. Perhaps, that is why lot of companies are offering remote jobs so that employees can work from anywhere, even while traveling. They can go on a workcation, rent a cabin or hotel, get themself a rental vehicle (from LeisureRent or similar travel agencies), work during the day, and enjoy local tourist places in the evening and night.

This is one way to keep employees motivated and engaged in their job so that they don’t lose interest in their job or feel unsatisfied and unappreciated. Studies are now showing that allowing employees to set their own schedules actually leads to higher engagement and productivity (and less work for managers, of course).

According to a post on Inc., “when management doesn’t record hours worked at all, letting employees set their own start and finish times and control their time off, workers put in an additional 7.4 hours week above and beyond what they’re obligated to do.” What does this mean for your organization? It means that treating adults like adults can “boost intrinsic motivation, leading them to put in a greater effort on your company’s behalf.” Check out the full article for more information.

Workplace climate vs. workplace culture

Is there a difference between workplace “culture” and workplace “climate”? According to a TLNT post this week titled, “Workplace Culture Is THE Key to Creating Better Employee Well-Being,” the answer is a resounding YES!

The article states that “climate itself is a manifestation of the underlying ever-changing, yet powerful current: culture.” Successful organizations focus on making positive changes to the culture, not just making climate changes.

The post offers 3 strategies for making cultural changes that impact employee well-being:

  • Clarify and align core values – Work to develop and clarify your organizations core values and then involve employees in living them on a daily basis. According to the post, “people support what they help create, so provide employees the opportunity to describe what the workplace looks like when everyone is living the core values.”
  • Corporate retreats and team building – One of the best ways to keep workplace morale and engage in positive work culture can be really helpful. Once or twice a year a company vacation somewhere for a few days can be invigorating for the employees. It can be anything from spending a few days at a ranch in Iowa to booking out one of the luxury villas in mykonos for team-building activities.
  • Provide space where employees can “pause” – In order to be productive and fully engaged employees need to “find ways to recharge during the day.” There are several ways that this can be accomplished – deliberately scheduling active or “playtime,” offering company support for simply taking a break (whether that is 15 minutes between meetings or a week-long vacation). Even offering spaces where people can collaborate and quiet spaces where they can have time alone can be a good idea. This can be accomplished by simply creating a room with a soundproof divider like the Nomad System, to keep the outside noise at bay, helping employees leave work behind for a while and take a true break.
  • Support professional AND personal development – Give your employees the opportunity to take advantage of developmental programs, and give the option to choose programs that enhance professional skills or encourage personal growth.
    Read the full article on TLNT for more.

Everybody’s working for the weekend…

Ever feel like you are 100 times happier on the weekend? Like you absolutely cannot stand the idea of going one more day until Friday? Like the thought of going back to work on Monday makes you physically ill? First off, there is a name for that – it is called the “weekend effect.” And secondly, it might mean that it is time to look for a new job.

A recent article on the Washington Post, based on research report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, states that the additional joy that you feel on the weekend is much smaller for people who enjoy their jobs than those who dread their nine-to-five. This might seem like common sense, but the researchers state that this should serve as a reminder of “how significantly our careers affect the rest of our lives.” Also important to note, this doesn’t mean that the weekends are terrible for those of use that love our jobs – “having a good job isn’t making the weekends worse, it’s making the weekdays better.”


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