How does the working climate affect the productivity of employees?

Service Business

Workers' productivity depends on several factors that include physical and social working conditions. Adequate lighting, temperature and room aesthetics, ergonomic desks or chairs and workplace equipment affect the speed of activities, the ability to concentrate and the ability to think creatively. Social working conditions, i.e. relationships with colleagues, superiors and subordinates, also have a significant impact on the effectiveness of activities undertaken by people employed in a given organization. How does the working climate affect the productivity of employees? How can a favorable atmosphere in the workplace be created?

Work environment and employee productivity at the beginning of the 20th century

The beginnings of the 20th century were associated with an increased interest in work efficiency. Researchers of the time, who were also precursors in management sciences, focused on creating methods that would affect the speed of activities. For example, piece-work remuneration was introduced, which made the amount of the received payment dependent on labor productivity.

However, it was quickly recognized that money was not the only factor affecting performance. E. Mayo noticed that when employees feel comfortable in the workplace, their efficiency increases. This is because people have a strong need for affiliation. Shaping a friendly climate is directly related to the general attitude to work, influencing the speed and accuracy of performed duties.

Example 1.

E. Mayo was asked by the owner of a fabric factory to improve efficiency in one of the production plants. The researcher introduced piecework pay - a seamstress who worked faster was able to earn much more. Initially, Mayo achieved a satisfactory result - productivity increased, but over time it fell to the level that was achieved before the changes in the remuneration system. Mayo decided to talk to the employees of the plant. It turned out that the more industrious seamstresses were forced to work slower by the threat of being excluded from the factory community. Less effective female employees stated that they would not be friends with them. Seamstresses who were able to work faster and more accurately, and thus earn more, gave up this opportunity because they were more interested in good relations with their friends. The prospect of non-affiliation worked for them.

Why does the working climate affect employee performance?

People have a need for affiliation, i.e. to be part of a given community. Each person wants to belong to a given team to a different degree. Extreme individualists are able to work independently very effectively. Such employees do not pay attention to the working climate, they are not interested in entering into long-term and positive interpersonal relationships. However, people with such personality traits do not happen often. People don't like to work in a place where they feel bad and face hostility from their colleagues. Constant malice, fierce competition, lack of trust or the possibility of talking on trivial topics contribute to the emergence of aversion to the workplace.

Superiors and leaders also have an impact on the working climate. Paying attention to subordinates is important, but it cannot be the sole part of communication with employees. Praise and be concerned with the needs of those employed. If an employee tries, gives his / her best, and will be pointed out every time what he did wrong and will not be praised for what he has done well, his motivation will drop. And the lack of willingness to work will reduce productivity.

How to shape the work climate to increase employee productivity?

The atmosphere in the workplace depends on all employees. It may turn out that the positive attitude of superiors towards employees is not enough to make everyone on the team feel good. The presence of one person who is negative about everything and everything can worsen the working climate and reduce employee productivity.

The working climate can be built through:

  • friendly treatment of all employees, treating employees and superiors with respect,

  • equal treatment of all employees,

  • ensuring adequate circulation of information so that no employee feels uninformed or blamed, and he has to learn about his duties from colleagues, and not from his superior,

  • clear division of tasks and positions, so that everyone knows what his duties are,

  • providing substantive support when employees are struggling with problems,

  • organization of informal integration meetings to which all team members will be invited,

  • providing current feedback on the tasks performed - reprimands should be given one-on-one, while praise should be given to the whole team.


If you see that, despite your best efforts, an employee has a negative impact on the atmosphere in your office, transfer them to another team or assign them new responsibilities. If this is not possible, say goodbye to him. Remember that an unfavorable working climate will have a negative effect on the performance of other employees.