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While the team members themselves are what truly makes a team successful, the physical environment in which the team operates is an important, yet often overlooked factor that has a significant impact on team performance .
Whether in a traditional office space, a creative environment, or an outdoor setting, the surroundings will greatly influence how team members communicate and work together.
If you can learn to adopt the following changes in your team’s environment, you can influence their working behaviour to help excel performance.
1. Embrace working outdoors
Outdoor working spaces offer a refreshing change of scenery that can boost creativity, focus, and overall well-being . It is found that teams who work in greener and more natural environments will have improved cognitive function and reduced stress in comparison to those who don’t.
Encouraging your team to work outdoors, whether it's in a garden, park, or a specifically optimised outdoor working space, can promote a sense of freedom and inspiration, leading to improved performance and engagement across all areas of the business.
By using outdoor working spaces or through incorporating natural elements into your team's routine, you can help provide your team with a refreshing change of scenery, improve morale, and help stimulate fresh ideas.
2. Ensure meetings are distraction-free
Make sure your meeting areas are distraction-free to improve your team’s engagement with one another and accelerate their decision making.
A well optimised and distraction-free meeting room can boost engagement and problem-solving, leading to more successful outcomes and increased team performance.
When your meetings take place in your usual office space, you risk team members being distracted by emails, phone calls, other colleagues, and anything else that may occur. The lack of privacy may also discourage your team from sharing their thoughts openly.
The intimate nature of a meeting room, however, will help team members to feel comfortable in sharing their ideas which will help to facilitate productive discussions and assisting brainstorming sessions. Additionally, the presentation tools that are typically available in meeting rooms help to ensure that ideas are conveyed effectively, helping your team to make decisions.
By making sure you have a distraction-free meeting room, you help to encourage your team to engage well with each other and focus on the agenda at hand.
3. Work in creative environments
To help with enhancing your team’s creativity and problem-solving skills, encourage them to work in a creative space .
Dedicated creative working spaces help to provide an environment that stimulates imagination and innovation as these spaces are designed to inspire out-of-the-box thinking and encourage collaboration.
Through the incorporation of unique elements such as vibrant colours, interesting furniture, and interactive tools, you can help fuel creativity and problem-solving skills amongst your team and empower them to think creatively and generate unique solutions.
4. Commit training to a designated space
Committing any team training to a designated learning space is important to upskilling teams effectively and ensuring best possible performance.
When undertaking training in your team’s usual working space, you leave them disadvantaged when it comes to information retention and concentrating at the task at hand.
In addition to the typical office being rife with everyday distractions, training in an office environment may cause team members to feel reluctant to share ideas in fear of being wrong in front of their peers.
A private and well-designed training room provides a focused and comfortable training setting where teams can confidently engage in the training activities, supporting better concentration and information retention.
Additionally, a training space that is equipped with modern technology will help to ensure the smooth facilitation of exercises and interactive sessions, which will promote active participation and collaboration among team members.
By providing a formal and professional atmosphere, a good training room will set the stage for productive learning, skill development, and ultimately, improved team performance.
5. Organise team-building weekends
Building a successful team requires nurturing friendship, trust, and communication among team members, which can all be achieved through well-planned team building weekends .
Creating a fun and positive experience for employees is a highly effective method for enhancing employee satisfaction and performance across various aspects of the business.
In fact, it was revealed that providing employees with ample time for socialising with their colleagues resulted in a 20% increase in organisations’ overall efficiency and a 10% boost in employee satisfaction, as well as an over 50% improvement in communication patterns.
Consider occasionally taking your team out of the office environment, and into somewhere that encourages some fun and relaxation.
By taking the team to a venue that offers a diverse range of activities, such as gaming tournaments, outdoor exercises or climbing , you can help create memorable experiences for your team and support them to develop friendships with one another, ultimately improving their performance.
6. Encourage comfort
If your team’s environment is uncomfortable or unaccommodating, you risk lowering morale and slowing down the pace of work.
Consider implementing ergonomic furniture, adjustable desks, and comfortable seating to minimise any discomfort that could prevent them from focusing on the task at hand.
Make sure you also pay close attention to the lighting, sounds, and temperature of your team’s environment, as these can all hinder performance and distract your team if not attended to.
Beyond your teams’ physical comfort, encourage the display of artwork, plants, and personal items to create an environment that makes your team feel at ease.
Gail has over 20 years of experience within the events services industry at Warwick Conferences, developing strong business relationships through a consultative sales approach. Primarily specialising in the automotive, construction, logistics and manufacturing sectors.
Gail dot Tomlinson-Short at warwick dot ac dot uk