Career & Work Life Matters, ISSN 2150-6299, Vol 4, no. 5
Does Your Environment Support Your Best Work?
|How does your external environment affect your experience of work? Read this issue to discover why your support systems should include an assessment of external factors in your work environment. Small changes may have a big impact on your well being and ability to do your best work.|
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What if it was easier?
Does your external environment support your work? As a professional much of your work is complex and demanding. But if your work is a good fit for you, you are likely to experience these challenges in a positive way.
It’s more than the work itself
When I interviewed nurses and other health care professionals about their experiences of job stress, a frequent theme was that it wasn’t the direct patient care that caused the most stress. Even though the work was demanding, most of the time it was stimulating and satisfying. So what made work stressful?
One of the most common issues was a perception of inadequate support in the external environment. Additional research found that nurses who felt that did not get adequate support from their organization were also more likely to report stress-related health problems.
Assess your external environment
When did you last consider how your external environment affects your experience of work? Although great strides have been made in improving health in the workplace, modern jobs expose us to different hazards. Many of us spend much of the day doing sedentary work at a computer screen. In 2011, one-third of all work-related injury and illness cases were categorized as musculoskeletal disorders.
Even if you are not exposed to any particular workplace hazards, it’s important to consider whether your environment is a good fit for your personal preferences and work style. In our age of “always on” technology, many professionals struggle with managing distractions. Does your environment contribute to the number of distractions that negatively impact your work flow?
2 Simple Questions to Get Started
You may not have control over the requirements of your job, but there may be ways of modifying the environment to make your work easier. When did you last ask, “Does my external environment support my best work?“
Complete the 2 sentences below to identify the conditions that help or hinder your best work.
|I do my best work when ….||It’s hard for me to be productive when …..|
Review what you have written. What stands out? What is one thing you can adjust in your external environment to enhance your experience of work?
You’ll get more ideas about improving your work environment in this Mindtools article.
In previous issues I covered how to create the work life support you need. But don’t forget to include your external environment when you are thinking about ways to improve your support systems.
Questions & Comments
What factors in your external work environment help or hinder you at work?
What changes have worked for you?