April 4, 2004Chapter 10The environment of the workplace is as important to an employee’sefficiency and satisfaction as the work they are completing. Thisenvironment is comprised of several conditions such as location of workfacility, the internal temperature, light and color schemes used within theworkplace, elevators, and any other extra facilities such as day care orcafeterias.

The division of psychology that studies the effects of theseconditions upon workers is called environmental psychology.The office setting is one of the most critical factors to considerwhen developing a productive environment. One of the most common forms offloor plan is called the landscaped office. This plan includes thegrouping of employees into functional units with no floor to ceilingbarriers. Each employee is given his or her own space in what is commonlyreferred to as cubical.Another important part of the workspace makeup is the lighting andcolor scheme of the work area.

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Depending on what the task at hand is thelighting must fit the need of the employee. For example, when working in aprinting facility the light must be as clear and natural as possible inorder to correctly determine the colors within the printed work produced bythe press. The actual color scheme of the environment must also be thoughtof when designing a work environment, if the work being done is stressful,the company might want to use a cool calming color scheme to help relievethe stress.The largest factor within the realm of working conditions is how manyhours is the employee working. This factor breaks down into twocategories, nominal and actual working hours.

Nominal working hours is thescheduled or prescribed number of hours that an employee is supposed towork and actual is how many hours the employee was performing work. Toinduce better performance an employer can reduce nominal working hours in anumber of ways. The use of flextime where employees choose their ownschedules, higher more part-time employees, and give more scheduled restbreaks. The study of this subject will continue and improvements to thework place will continue in order to continually improve productivitywithin a company.

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