Positive Working Environment: Definition and Characteristics

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 9, 2021 | Published April 3, 2020

Updated June 9, 2021

Published April 3, 2020

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach

Related: Job Cast: Work Happiness: Improve Well-being at Work and in Your Job Search

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Your work environment can greatly influence how you feel about your job. Because of this, it's important to find an employer that fosters a positive atmosphere and encourages you consistently. When you have a positive work environment, it can improve your happiness, increase your productivity and motivate those around you. In this article, we discuss what a positive working environment is, why it's important and the various characteristics that comprise a positive working environment.

Related: 6 Different Work Environment Types and Example Career Roles

What is a positive working environment?

A positive working environment is a workplace that promotes employee safety, growth and goal attainment. These environments are most conducive to a successful workforce as they encourage employees to perform to their highest ability. Companies can achieve a positive working environment by focusing on their overall culture, supporting employee growth and making employees feel safe and comfortable.

Related: 5 Types of Work Environments (and How to Identify Which Is Right for You)

Why is a positive working environment important?

Positive working environments provide several benefits for both employees and employers. This is because this type of environment can lead to employee success and happiness both personally and professionally. Here are four reasons why a positive work atmosphere is important in the workforce:

Increases productivity

Having a positive working environment is a great way to increase your work output. When you're happier, you may be more productive and more equipped to complete your tasks efficiently. This can also help you become a better employee, which leads to raises and promotions.

Improves morale

Because your mood and attitude affect your team members, a positive working environment can be a good influence on those around you. When you view your work in a positive way, it can influence how others in the workplace see their responsibilities too.

Fosters growth

When you're motivated to succeed in your position, you're more apt to find opportunities to advance in your career. When your employer provides positive reinforcement, it can make you feel like a valuable contribution to the company, and it may motivate you to continue or improve upon this behavior.

Promotes collaboration

When you're motivated on an individual level, you're more likely to support and encourage others in your company. This can also lead to improved professional relationships with your colleagues. The greater the bond is between coworkers, the better chance a company has of achieving its short- and long-term goals. This is because teamwork is often the foundation of company success.

Related: How to Deal With an Unhealthy Work Environment

Characteristics of a positive working environment

A positive working environment has several noticeable factors. To better understand this atmosphere, it's important to know its common attributes so you can look for them with your current or future employer. Here are seven characteristics of a positive working environment:

  • Productive atmosphere

  • Open and honest communication

  • Compassionate team members

  • Positive reinforcement

  • Growth opportunities

  • Positive thinking

  • Good work-life balance

Productive atmosphere

A positive working environment has a calm atmosphere that leads to greater productivity. When you're able to work with minimal distractions, you're more likely to stay on task and accomplish more of your daily responsibilities. It also means you're able to work in a stress-free setting that promotes your cognitive performance and physical well-being.

Related: How to Balance a Fast-Paced Workplace

Open and honest communication

Positive working environments often include clear communication between various members of an organization. This includes communication between employees and upper management, and between coworkers themselves. When you have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback, it can help you feel valued in the workplace. It also allows you to grow by getting open, constructive feedback.

For example, if you're working on a new project that requires brainstorming, you can get ideas from your colleagues. Knowing you can ask them questions and receive honest feedback can help you grow your professional relationships and improve your overall quality of work.

Compassionate team members

A positive working environment encompasses a level of respect, empathy and overall understanding between colleagues. These sentiments can also foster collaboration and help you feel heard and valued at your workplace. For example, when a coworker thanks you for assisting them on a project, it lets you know that you're appreciated and that someone genuinely cares about your contribution to the company.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a way for employers to praise you for your good work. Companies that provide positive reinforcement can help foster a positive working environment for all. Here are some examples of positive reinforcement that you can receive from your employer:

  • Work bonuses

  • Catered lunches

  • Pay raises

  • Reserved parking spots

Growth opportunities

It's important to have a positive working environment where you're encouraged to grow your individual skills and strengths. This can help you find contentment in your job. This facet of a positive work environment is important because it means you're able to advance in your field with the support of your employer, manager and coworkers. Also, the more motivated you are, the greater the quantity and quality of work you'll produce.

Positive thinking

Looking at work with a positive mindset can help spread a good mood throughout the day. For example, if you're a team leader and you experience an issue with a client, the way you handle the situation can impact the attitude of others on your team. If you're able to overcome the obstacle with an optimistic outlook, your team is more likely to follow your example. Ultimately, a positive outlook can help you and your team focus on the pros rather than the cons.

Related: How to Improve Employee Morale and Job Satisfaction

Good work-life balance

A positive working environment consists of a healthy balance between your personal and professional life. This ensures you can continue to find job satisfaction without letting your job overtake other areas of your life. Ultimately, a positive working environment encourages employees to find fulfillment in both their work and personal lives.

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