Employers should never underestimate the potential benefits of a positive workplace environment.
Dominic Swords, co-chair of judges for the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, suggested that the office surroundings, layout and conditions can make a difference to productivity.
He said the small details can matter when it comes to bringing the best out in employees.
“If the environment you’re working in is not inspiring and causes you not to feel creative, that can limit your ability to see beyond the day job,” he stated.
“There is a moment where you’ve got to be practical, and not splash the cash on very extravagant environments, but if you want to be more creative you need to create environments where people are inspired by their working surroundings.”
Mr Swords, an economist at the Henley Business School, described this as “an important issue” which affects how people think and how they relate to each other.
One way of ensuring higher levels of engagement in the business may be to involve them in the decision making process by tapping into employee ideas, he suggested.
He said that with the world of business becoming increasingly competitive, giving workers a platform to present their own ideas can be one way of boosting profitability.
Mr Swords said companies are looking to unearth as many possibilities as they can to create new ideas.
“A lot of that is about engaging effectively with their workforce, and really energising people, engaging them with thinking about what they can do, how they can do things better, what opportunities there are, what their customers want,” he added.
But if businesses do tap into employee ideas, they need to ensure that the individuals concerned are adequately rewarded, Mr Swords said.
“Noticing what people are doing and giving them due regard and acknowledgement for what they are doing is actually a very motivating thing for people, and something that gives them the willingness to commit themselves to the organisation,” he said.