Literary Review on the effects the work environment has on workers.

Relationships between work environments, psychological environments and psychological well-being by R. B. Briner talks about how different factors in the workplace can affect the workers. It talks about how the physical work environment can affect the worker in different ways, some more apparent than others. Worry about safety and social interaction can affect the worker psychologically as well as stress caused by noise. It also talks about how many factors outside of work can affect the worker during the work period. The main focus of the article is in fact on how stress caused by variable factors at work can badly affect the psychological well-being of employees and therefore it would be beneficial for employers to pay attention to the factors which contribute to stress. Employers with make the workplace less stressful would benefit greatly as it would increase productivity among there staff and ergo they would have a more successful workforce which can’t help but lead to a more successful company.

It talks about several psychological models and how they are used to look at the psychological well-being of workers and how they are affected. The article uses these to back itself up, so it isn’t just one person’s opinion. Though it also suggests that these models aren’t all conclusive and that they all have limitations and therefore there is no way of understanding the relationship between work environment, the psychological environment and psychological well-being quite fully. The writer also uses a lot of references to back himself up so we can be sure that he isn’t just writing on opinion alone. And although the article is extensive, it lacks depth in all of the points it makes which makes it hard to follow and the reader lacks a full knowledge of the subject.

 

A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants by L. Edwards and P. Torcellini talks about the many benefits that companies get from installing daylight technology. The article says that having daylight in the office increases employee health by decreasing headaches, SAD and eyestrain. It also suggests that plants in the office or views of natural landscape lowers blood pressure as it helps them to relax and increases employee attentiveness. Workers take less time off work, have more job satisfaction and motivation and because of this more people want to work in the buildings with the increased daylight. Daylight increases attention and alertness which increases productivity. Companies using daylight technology save money because employees work more effectively, take fewer sicks days and stay at the company longer. The cost of installing daylight technology into the workplace or building offices with more windows is less than the company would save and make from doing this, so it is far more cost affective than leaving workplaces as they are. The article also says that a lack of windows can lead to feelings of isolation, claustrophobia and depression.

However the article also says that companies can use daylighting wrongly and that it can effect the worker badly. If the light is too bright it can cause glare and over heating. Employees need to be comfortable to work well so lighting that is either too high or low reduce comfort greatly and therefore reduce productivity.

The article uses a lot of examples of real companies to back up it’s points so it is reliable as a source. However the article repeats itself a lot and gives a lot of examples which, although they prove it’s point, the number of examples are unnecessary and just bulk it out without giving any more insight into what the article is talking about.

 

It is clear from these two articles that the environment an employee works in greatly effects the worker. Whether it is the lighting or the stress brought on by the workplace, the worker is effected in a number of ways. The first article could have gone into it’s examples more but the second maybe gave too many detailed examples which were unnecessary. The workplace can effect the worker enough to hinder or enhance the work satisfaction and therefore the productivity of the worker. If companies took in how much the work environment and daylight effects the worker and changed the workplace to improve it with these factors in mind they would have happier, more productive workers and they would make more money and be more successful. To make employees productive both articles suggest that comfort is all-important and that workers will be so much more content in their work and consequently more effective.

This is relevant to our group project because we are trying to improve the workplace so we can now take into account the comfort of the workplace and how the work environment affects the worker, whether beneficially or badly. The outdoor work environment is constantly affected by daylight with the change throughout the day as well as throughout the year. The outdoor work environment is also never constant, it changes from season to season and from year to year. Therefore these articles are relevant to us and useful to look to for research.

 

R. B. Briner. (2000). Relationships between work environments, psychological environments and psychological well-being. Available: http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/5/299.full.pdf. Last accessed 18th Oct 2012.

 

L. Edwards and P. Torcellini. (2002). A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants. pp9-16 Available: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/30769.pdf. Last accessed 18th Oct 2012.

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