We spend more than a third of our day at the workplace. We can almost consider it as our home away from home, and hour home should be a place where we feel comfortable. ‘Good vibes’ at the workplace help us stay active, interested and optimistic. That’s why more and more professionals are wondering how can they contribute to achieve a good work environment.

Good working environments, a mental and social need

According to a report by the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety make companies lose a billion dollars in productivity. A fact of interest for executives, since it is a key factor that may not be apparent at first glance.

Companies are aware that a positive work environment has a direct impact on their employee’s productivity, so many of them implement actions in order to promote fellowship and self-confidence among staffers.

Corporations are responsible for part of this process, but we shouldn´t ignore that the ultimate drivers and recipients of said good work environment are employees themselves. So, what’s the benefit in promoting it? First and foremost, what was already mentioned in the WHO report: mental health. It’s extremely complicated to give your 100% if every work day is seen as a drag.

Individuals capable of staying happy and productive usually have been lucky to perform their duties within healthy, participatory work environments. In addition, being seen as a resolute person with attitude and a sense of fellowship is undoubtedly one of the personal skills most valued by companies. The thing is, who would want to work along with somebody problematic? No matter how well they perform their duties, no one wants a toxic person close.

Other benefits associated to a good working environment

In addition to an increase in productivity that translates into an optimal work environment for companies, it also improves many other professional aspects:

  • Synergies to learn and improve. By getting along with your colleagues, you’ll create a “triple positive threat”: you will come up with new ideas and twists to what’s already established, improve your professional skills and broaden your knowledge, and even discover new horizons that you never considered before.
  • Less occupational risks. According to the Eurobarometer, more than 50% of the workforce consider stress as a significant occupational risk. An optimal work environment reduces the level of stress, so your physical, social and mental health will improve. It also cuts down on healthcare costs and number of lost workdays.
  • Self-fulfilment. Maslow’s pyramid theory classifies human needs in five levels. The last one, only satisfied once we surmount the previous four, is self-fulfilment. An optimal work environment helps us on every level, facilitating our journey to the top.
  • Building a contact network with people from other departments is something you should pursue, since one of the main advantages of a good work environment is the possibility to access different profiles more easily. Not only “analogically”: it’s easier to make a connection in social media platforms like LinkedIn if we’re recommended by a third party.

Think over before getting started

Previous to knowing how to improve the relationship among your colleagues, you must observe and evaluate what is the current state of things. This way It’s possible that you detect strengths and weaknesses, as well as the reach of your capability regarding its improvement.

An environment requires a certain amount of time to adapt to new situations and provide a response, although it’s true that bigger structures require a slower, long-lasting process. But remember: by doing your bit, you contribute to improve the bigger picture.

How can I contribute to creating a good working environment?

Now that you’ve identified the benefits of an optimal professional environment, it is time to ask the following question: how can I contribute? Here are some recommendations to take action:

  • Respect. Value each and every one of your colleagues and never discredit their ideas. Respect must be the foundation of every relationship, even more so within work environments.
  • Leadership skills. Being a leader is not at odds with being a good colleague. Furthermore, being able to ‘pilot the ship’ and organizing your co-workers will mark the distinction between being just like all the rest or standing out. Besides, by becoming a leader you will facilitate the duties of your colleagues, who will gladly follow your lively and innovative spirit.
  • Recognition of others’ work. Bragging about your achievements is usually not the best strategy to thrive professionally. If, in addition, you do it at the expense of foreign ideas, you could end up becoming the toxic person in the office. To avoid that, always acknowledge your colleagues’ merits, and praise their good practices. Identifying and giving recognition to their work speaks volumes about your self-confidence and empathy towards others.
  • Show autonomy. That doesn’t mean to avoid asking for help. You should be autonomous enough to organize your own duties, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid asking for some assistance. By doing so, you show trust in your co-workers and help to achieve a good work environment.
  • Be thankful. We all need a companion at some point. By humbly acknowledging your weaknesses and appreciating their help, you’ll become a respected individual at the workplace while enhancing your colleagues’ self-esteem.

One last advice: value your colleagues the same way you’d want to be valued. By doing so, you’ll achieve mutual understanding and, accordingly, find the way to promote ideal conditions within a work environment.


El País, Expansión, OMS

At ACCIONA our aim is for our workforce to be made up of the best professionals around. We want people who wish to contribute in designing a better planet. Discover our job-offers available worldwide.