THE EFFECT OF WORK ENVIRONMENT ON EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY: A CASE STUDY OF DELTA LINE
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This section shall examine at length the meaning of the effect of work environment and some selected theories of work environment. Also brief attention will be given to the application of the various existing theories in respect of the Nigeria work environment. Over the years, theories has made series of attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding why people tend to display certain behaviour in a given condition, they believe that every behaviour manifested in the work place or otherwise is a goal directed. Work environment entails its buildings, its furniture, and layout as well as the physical condition under which employee operate. This brings us to the definition of environment.
Kochan (1980) considers environment in the following context, economic context, and social and technology context. It could be looked at as the surrounding of all situation, people event etc that influence life. Thus, people who are working in a good environment exert greater effort to perform than those who work in an unhealthy environment. However, this definition above as related to the following theorist tells us more about work environment.
2.2 TYPES OF WORK ENVIRONMENT
Work environment are grouped into two; the internal environment and the external environment.
THE EXTERNAL WORK ENVIRONMENT
Molokwu (1993) see’s external work environment as a result of factors such as custom and laws of the community within which the business operate, weather condition, policies etc outside the work environment.
Kochan (1980) was of the opinion that external work environment are exhaustively discussed as under the following environment contexts such as economic context, public, policy context, etc.
THE INTERNAL WORK ENVIRONEMNT
Internal work environment is seen as the surroundings such as things concerned with the operation. Molokwu (1993) on his own view that internal work environment consist of the buildings, furnitures, layout, as well as the physical conditions under which employees operate.
2.3 GENERAL EFFECT OF WORK ENVIRONMENT
The environment has many effects and opined by the following theorists, Gnaft (1964) comments on the effect of work environment, in his write up he stated that environmental factors contributes to employees productivity, quality output, level of wastage and rate of turnover. He further postulated that unhealthy depressing and unsafe work environment leads to job dissatisfaction and eventually low productivity. He went further to mention that when an office is grossly deficient in stimulation, the resultant effects are absenteeism, lateness, wastage of resources, disobedience and many other negative attitudes.
Hicks (1974), opined that poor working environment expose employees to injuries, discomfort and helps to reduce productivity, therefore an organization has to provide a conducive environment that will protect them under emergency conditions.
Flippo (1993), postulated that the physical environment is our greatest material resource without relatively clean air, pure or clean water and hygienic surroundings, people become unfit to work and for living. He further stated that air is not polluted and that safety of employees must be protected for higher productivity by ensuring that air is not polluted and that the physical environment should be devoid of any injury or threat to the life of workers.
Hicks (1974) Discussed that an organization does not exist in a vacuum, it exist in him, there is nothing a worker can do without the environment being friendly and conducive. As a result of this, all efforts should be geared towards providing those conditions like enough space, good ventilated office, adequate light and other materials that will enhance the productivity of the employees.
Oliver (1975), in his own contribution stated that an unsafe physical condition gives rise to accident of which employees are bound to sustain injuries in thier working place. Unsafe equipment and tools, polluted air with toxic substance, poor ventilation and inadequate personal protective equipment pose a great danger to the health and life of employee. These things drastically help to reduce productivity of the employee. He went further to urge employers of labour to provide good working environment that is safe without risk to health and also provide facilities that will ensure the welfare of employees at work.
2.4 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE EMPLOYEES PRODUCTIVITY
In every organization, many contributions in enhancing workers morale to achieve a particular purpose and such conditions are;
- Safety Measure- level of safety measure in an organization helps to improve employee’s morale and make them contribute immensely toward the productivity of the organization. Every manager should be conscious comfort for the interest of their employees.
Anderson (1980) opined that safety measures are important in every organization. According to him, many people are not only interested on the salary scale when seeking for employment, but also want good working conditions which includes the health and safety of employees. In addition, he stated that inadequacy of fire extinguishers, first aid box etc in the office will affect employees negatively. He further emphasized that the morale interest and attitude of workers will not be boosted if they understand that they are not cared for.
- Prevention of overcrowding – According to Molokwu (1993), office is safe for employee when overcrowding is avoided. This allows free movement of both workers and materials as well as enhance effective operational process.
David (1981), postulated that overcrowding causes inadequate ventilation in work environment. In his view, he suggested that adequate effect should be put in place to see that overcrowding is been prevented in an office. He further highlighted that environment comfort is achieved by controlling the movement of materials in the office.
c. Poor Ventilation- Groft (1964) posted that a stuffy atmosphere reduces capacity to think and act, this reduces output, he went ahead to say that proper ventilation ,makes for a healthy working environment devoid of fatigue, laziness, drowsiness etc, and consequently promotes workers efficiency. According to David (1981), state that inadequate ventilation and air conditioning system provides environmental discomfort to employee.
d. Good Quality Lighting System
Onibon Joe (1974), postulated that poor standard of light obviously affect workers interest and attitude towards their work and makes them to suffer from degree of eye strains and fatigue . Adequate lighting system stimulates workers to carryout the work effectively. He said that office shop and railway premises act of 1963 stated that sufficient and suitable light either natural or artificial should be made available in the office.
Denyer (1974), stated that bad lighting system causes eye strains and fatigue to employees. He went ahead to say that the result of a test carried out in Bureau of internal Revenue in Washington, USA shows that productivity in the office increases by five per cent 5% as a result of introduction of higher lighting system. He further stated that good vision is important for the satisfaction of the industrial work and its essential quality and safety
e. Good coloration – According to Oliver (1975), a well decoded office or working environment is an ideal home and has a reaching effect on the morale and interest of employees. He further opined that appearance of work environment has a positive effect on people working in it to him, dirty stinking and unsafe surroundings are depressing to workers while bright and cheerful colour base have great effect on employees.