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A Balanced Ecosystem: How to Improve Workplace Culture

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 6, 2017 in Thinking Positive

CityA workplace also functions like an ecosystem. There is a natural energy flow or work process that is in place to ensure that the company functions and contributes to the overall industry. Employees (the living) have to interact with non-living things such as computers, pens and documents to accomplish tasks and contribute to the team.

However, like animals in the wild, an employee cannot productively contribute in the office if the surroundings are toxic and when natural resources are in shortage. To make sure employees get to live up to their full potentials, they need to thrive in a balanced workplace ecosystem – where their needs are being provided, their roles are well-defined and their environment is a conducive place to work in.

One way of ensuring that the workplace does not become too toxic is by improving workplace culture, below are a few tips:

  1. Let employees live/work freely.

Like a bird locked up in a cage, employees can easily feel demotivated and unproductive when they are limited to the four walls of the office or their cubicle all day. That is why you should learn to loosen up a bit and allow your employees to work outside the office once in awhile. You can let them work from home during certain days, or allow them to work from a cafe or other co-working space where they feel more comfortable.

  1. Improve collaborations and cultivate relationships.

A balanced ecosystem is also about harmony. A harmonious working environment is created when all the employees work well together, and no cloud of negativity is lurking between teams or co-employees.

To avoid brewing up toxicity in the workplace, make time for weekly consultations and open forums where everyone can freely say something and confront others about certain issues. Go out on team building activities every other month, and try to diffuse any kind of tension in the workplace before it blows up big time.

  1. Make the office more conducive for work and productivity.

The ambiance and surroundings of your office can help increase the mood and productivity of employees. When there are enough resources, natural lighting, a clean and cool air and comfortable work desks, employees can thrive and become efficient at what they need to do. You can also add in relaxing music to stimulate everyone’s creativity and technical ideas.

You can rearrange your office’s interior design and add a board where employees can track their daily tasks and progress. Make the office more interactive with trackers, a lounge area and even an entertainment nook for breaks and refreshments.

  1. Weed out the bad stuff once in a while.

Weeds can grow anywhere and they are almost unnoticeable up until they grow big enough and become a nuisance. This is why it is best to pluck out weeds when they are still small. And in an office setting, weeds could come in the form of stockpiled documents, trash, or even an inconsiderate employee. Don’t waste time when it comes to these issues – clean and straighten things up before it is too late.

Assign one day each month wherein employees can do a general cleaning. Put away all documents and office stuff that are not needed anymore. For papers that you still need as reference, put them away in a filing cabinet or storage.

  1. Value time-off.

Your employees need rest – not just during the weekends, but also right after their designated work hours. Once they are out of the office, avoid contacting them about work (except if it is a matter of life and death), or this would only add up to their stress levels. Allow them to zone out once their time at the office is up. This is their time to recharge and devote time to things that they are most passionate about.

Remember, a workplace culture should not just be balanced, it should also be harmonious as well. If a new organism (employee) is introduced in your corporate ecosystem, make sure he/she settles into a role that will still be connected to all the others. Otherwise, it could disrupt the balance and result to company losses and damage.

Unlike an ecosystem where organisms are only driven by their nature, employees in a corporate system can be taught their roles. As long as communication is done right, it will be easy to fit into the company’s ecosystem.

 

This Guest Post was contributed by Gemma Reeves. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

Author Bio:

Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace

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The Ape – Jungle Moms

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 28, 2009 in Building Confidence, Career Path

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The human’s closest relative in the animal kingdom is the Chimpanzee. Like humans, during the first months of life chimp infants are completely dependent on their mothers for food and care and stick close to their mothers until they are mature. It’s a tough job to raise a family and a tough decision when mothers need or want to go back to work.  Whether it’s because your family needs the income or because you’re ready to take on corporate challenges again, you feel torn between the responsibility you have to your family and the obligations you accept with your new employer. Here are a few things to consider as you re-enter the work force:

·         Be confident in explaining that you took time off to start a family. When you organize your resume, make sure the work experience that you intend to carry forward figures most prominently on the first page. It’s ok to have a gap in employment and you should feel free to explain that you took time off to start a family.  There’s no need to pull out the family photo album in the interview, though. 

·         Be flexible and willing to negotiate. Many people leave behind high powered careers and want to return exactly where they left off, or even at a higher level.  In many cases employers may not be willing to pay for someone lacking the most recent, up to date experience.  You can prove yourself over time and get back to where you want to be, but be open to the fact that no matter how smart and hard working you are, there will be a learning curve.  Consider ten years ago many people didn’t have Internet access at their desks; ITunes and text messaging weren’t even in the dictionary as a quick reminder of how technology alone has changed in a short period of time.  

·         When you do land your job, get up to speed as quickly as you can. Read appropriate trade publications and obtain necessary computer training.  Be pleasant and personable, but professional.  Don’t make your water cooler talk about your family until you know more about everyone you work with and avoid overcrowding your workspace with excessive amounts of photos . A few nicely framed ones will keep you focused on why you’re there and keep you from getting too homesick.

·         Have a back-up plan and alternative help for the unexpected things that might pop up.  Most employers will have a 90 day to 6 month probationary period where you may not be eligible for personal leave or sick time.  Obviously emergencies occur, but your new employer will not look favorably on you taking unplanned days off before you have accrued leave.

·         Keep one calendar for work and personal so things don’t slip through the cracks.  Do your best to schedule doctor’s appointments and necessary personal meetings on one day a month that you have set aside and requested off well in advance, for example, the last Wednesday of the month.  That way, you always know if you need to schedule a service appointment you can use that day.

·         Consider starting a home-based business. If the thought of going back to an office and giving up the joy of raising children is just too much for you, consider starting a licensed day care service.  There is a large need for qualified, caring, daycare providers in many areas.  It’s possible that you could earn as much as or more than you would by getting an office job.  It’s your own business, too.  Licensing, insurance, supplies and advertising cost money, but the bookkeeping alone is great experience you can carry forward into an office later as well.  

So, Monkey Mamas! Get out there! Good Luck!

If you have specific questions or need assistance in polishing your resume, finding a job or preparing for interviews, we have on demand webinars, publications and other resources on my website www.carolynthompson.net.

 

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on Amazon.com!
and TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB…available on Amazon.com!  

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