THE EFFECT OF WORKING ENVIRONMENT ON WORKERS PERFORMANCE IN THE BUEA COUNCIL
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Organizations must step outside their traditional roles and comfort zones to look at new ways of working. They have to create a work environment where people enjoy what they do, feel like they have a purpose, have pride in what they do, and can reach their potential.
The study aimed to assess the impact of working environment on employees’ performance at the Buea council. For the purpose of this study, descriptive research design was used. Simple random sampling technique was respectively used to select the respondents for the study. Respondents for this study were 130 made up of middle level and supporting staff. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection.
The study findings indicate that, organization working environment had an impact on members as far as respondents are concerned. The study also revealed that employees’ will improve their performance if the problems identified during the research are tackled by the management. The problems are flexibility of working environment, work noise distraction, and training and development in the organization so that to motivate employees to perform their job.
In conclusion based on the findings the study recommended that, the organization needs to have periodic meetings with employees to air their grievances to management and serve as a motivating factor to the employees. Management should find ways and means of communicating their goals and strategies to their employees in order to achieve what the organization is in business for, its mission and vision.
1.1 Background to the Study
Working environment plays an important role towards the employees ‘performance. Working environment is argued to impact immensely on employees’ performance either towards negative or the positive outcomes (Chandrasekar, 2001).
In the world, there are international organizations who debate the rights of employee. Most people spend fifty percent of their lives within indoor environments, which greatly influence their mental status, actions, abilities and performance (Dorgan, 1994).
Better outcomes and increased productivity is assumed to be the result of better workplace environment. Better physical environment of office will boost the employees and ultimately improve their productivity.
Various literature pertains to the study of multiple offices and office buildings indicated that the factors such as dissatisfaction, cluttered workplaces and the physical environment are playing a major role in the loss of employees’ productivity (Carnevale 1992, Clements- Croome 1997).
In the 1990’s, the factors of work environment had changed due to the changes in several factors such as the social environment, information technology and the flexible ways of organizing work processes (Hasun & Makhbul, 2005).
When employees are physically and emotionally fit will have the desire to work and their performance outcomes shall be increased. Moreover, a proper workplace environment helps in reducing the number of absenteeism and thus can increase the employees’ performance which leads to increased productivity at the workplace (Boles et al.2004).
As the Economic and Social Council reported in 2007, global economic growth is increasingly failing to create the kinds of new and better jobs that can lead to a reduction in poverty. Despite high and sustained economic growth in many developing countries, unemployment is rising, a large proportion of the labor force is working below poverty level wages, and the majority of non-agricultural employment is situated in the informal economy.
It is of little surprise that in recent years there has been a shift of focus from a singular interest in economic growth to an enlarged concern with improving the quality of work. Governments from across Africa have forcefully called for action to overcome these challenges.
The African Union Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty Alleviation in Africa (Ouagadougou, September 2004) overwhelmingly endorsed the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda with an emphasis on the creation of quality jobs.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
The work environment has a significant impact upon worker’s performance and productivity. Noble (2009) states that more attention should be paid in identifying and dealing with working environment because when workers have negative perception to their environment they sometimes suffer from chronic stress.
Work place environment plays an essential role towards worker’s performance and productivity in any organization (Shikdar and Shawaquwd, 2013). When people are working in situations that suit their physical and mental abilities, the correct fit between the person and work task is accomplished.
Opperman (2012) stated that working environment means those processes, systems, structures, tools or conditions in the work place that impact favorable or unfavorable individual performance. The working environment also includes culture, resources, working relationships, work location, and internal and external environmental factors all of which influence the
ways that workers perform their job functions. Providing a good work place environment increases workers performance in an organisation.
There is important evidence that productivity advancement in government organizations has not kept pace with the growth discovered in the non-governmental sector (Killerfer and Mendonca, 2016).
The difficulty is that encouraging local workers is not an easy task in the mist of poor working environment. Government workers have a status for sluggishness and indolent due to their poor work environment and managers cannot do much to resolve the issue because of the firm civil laws. How local managers can inspire their staff is considered to be one of the big challenges of public management.
This study is designed to examine the impact of working environment on worker’s performance at the Buea Municipal Council (BC). This is a public organisation which operates under the government with 240 workers.
The problem which made me to undergo this research is based on the physical work environment which mostly affects worker’s performance. The organisation is located in an area of 3aces which is small compared to the number of workers and so workers are forced to share office with their colleague.
This result to lack of enough offices for workers to do their work effectively, noise which cause discomfort depending on the task they are given and the environment of the place they are working.
Through this study, the employer will get to know how its work environment has a great effect on the worker’s level of performance. A well designed office signals the value and objectives of the organisation and the use of design in the office interior communicates an organization values and identity.
Office designs should therefore be one of the factors affecting worker’s performance. Workers morale is often interrelated when it comes to productivity in the work environment.
It is therefore important to find the effects of working environment on worker’s performance in the organisation which will provide knowledge and measures to other public organizations in Cameroon.
Therefore, specifically, this study investigates the effect of working environment on worker’s performance in the Buea council. The study examines how working environment affects worker’s performance and evaluated the extent to which working environment would contribute to encouraging or discouraging the workers to perform their duty well.
One cannot fully appreciate improvements, made in science, knowledge or technology without some understanding of the conditions inside which these growths happen.
In an effort to evaluate how work surroundings can be successfully used to stimulate worker’s efficiency in Buea city council, the study hopes to address the subsequent questions which specify what the researcher wishes to investigate. The main question is; what is the effect of working environment on worker’s performance?
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the effects of physical environment on employee’s performance in Buea Council?
- To what extend does work life balance affect the performance of employees in the Buea Council?
1.4 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this research work is to ascertain the effect of working environment on employee’s performance in the Buea Council. The specific objectives would include:
- To examine the effect of physical environment on employee’s performance.
- To ascertain the extent to which work life balance effect the performance of employees