Effects of Poor Office Environment on the Motivation of Workers

The Effects Of Poor Office Environment On The Motivation Of Workers In An Organization


The poor office environment occurs where there is no conducive working condition for workers to carried out there duties in the office.  According to office Act (1963), stated that, the physical office environment in the context of management comprises lighting, heating, ventilation, noise control, decoration, floor covering, safety measures and general cleanliness. 

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When all these environmental factors mentioned above by office Act is not obtainable in the work place, it will have negative effects on the workers motivation.

It is clear that environment has far reaching effects on mass in whatever, he does.  This shows that employees respond to their surroundings physically and emotionally, so that the study to create the best possible work environment is very much while.  A health and stimulating work environment enhances workers morale and job satisfaction (Office Act 1963).

The poor office environment has attracted divergent views from many authors.  These views should be cited according to authors. According to John J.W. et al (1972) stated that “human behaviour is probably

the must complex phenomenon faced by management because it is intangible

and emotion base to a large extent.  They are of the opinions impact in the

human behaviour condition of the workers.  They explain it as:

  1. The across the desk “confrontation” of manager and worker. Behavioural scientists often regard this physical arrangement as putting one worker against another.  They said that such a situation does not suggest a natural responsiveness on the part of the work.  They went further to explain that a worker is likely to be psychologically inhibited in part of the arrangement.  His work and working relationship are affected.
  2. A lack of definition of the unique personality and job responsibilities of each employee. John J.W. et al suggested that this has negative impact on motivation of workers unless the employee’s physical environment should promote concentration as well as easy communication depending upon the particular job to be performed.

Finally they views that, the main sense of seeing, hearing, touching and feeling  and heir relation to the office environment should be given prior study in the management of any office. Denyer (1980:P.66) is of the same view with Ayrora (1980:p.99), as he pointed out that “the manner in which office are often left to become too hot and stuffy has a negative effects on workers moral”.  This according to him, makes the air state and surroundings unhealthy resulting to a poorly ventilated work place, undue fatigue, drowsiness, slower and less accurate work.  This as a result promotes work inefficiency yet excessive noise can cause speech interference, loss of hearing and emotional stress.

According to Sunday .T. (1963: P.3) reports that Doctors in German Federation/Republic have emphasized that “loud noise could damage the entire organism mostly by causing high blood pressure” Again, Liffled et al (1970: P.349) goes on to stress the effect of noise on office workers by seeing noise and office executives as perpetual enemies.  In order words, noise is said to have a detrimental effects on health and on physical, mental and nervous mechanisms of individual.  Noise also affects office works efficiency, difficulty in concentration, telephone use become difficult, increase in fatigue and lower moral of employees.

According to Paul S.U (1968: P. 81-82) stated that, high level of noise may

impair hearing, increase blood pressure by cause fatigue, and in some cases

bring about neuroses.  And also a five years study made by the United States

Health Services of Department of Health Education and Welfare, said that, the

prolonged exposure to high noise levels can produce a permanent effect in

hearing ability.

William H.L. and Edwin M. (1950) stated in their book that office work cannot

be efficiently done if there are constant interruptions.  They viewed it must be

remember that not only does every interruption by considerable time necessary

to get back into the swing of the work.  To them “noise” is one of the great

disturbance, not only unusual noise but also the noise that is constant.  They

emphasized that noise is a disturbing element attested by the fact that

practically every person engaged in work, that particularly requires mental

concentration will it possible seek quiet and solitude.

They maintained that these too conditions are impossible in business as work of almost any kind is accompanied by move or less noise.  Yet office work, being almost entirely mental, requires concentration, the effort to concentrate amid noisy surroundings causes a strain that result in fatigue.

Moreso, Faber B. (1968:P.93) suggested that inadequate and improper lighting contributes to eyestrain, which in turn, may be the cause of many physical disorders such as muscular tension, eye fatigue, and an increased blinking rate.  He explained that unfavourable lighting conditions may cause poor  workmanship, mistakes and decreased production as the result of inability to see the work clearly and quickly enough, as well as leading to Fatigue and irritability on the part of the workers.

In a related study, Milts and Staning Ford (1978) said that, the attractiveness work.  They quoted that “office decoration can have a noticeable effect upon the morale of the start, drab surroundings are depressing, and pleasant surroundings are conductive to work”.  This means physical appearance to an office could be a source of motivation to those who work in it.

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Finally, Ejiofor P. (1987:P.255) discussed the need for safety in work place.  He said that, the safety of the work place is very important.  An injured employee cannot be around to perform his responsibilities.  Therefore, the more care must be taken to prevent accidents, the more productive hours will be put into work.



Adequate light is one of the most important considerations in an office.  Many

office task are of an exactly and close nature.  Small print carbon copies of

typed material, and poorly hand written notes are among the regular hard-to-

see materials that must be handled.  The advantages of good lighting system are:

  1. Less turnover
  2. Aesthetic satisfaction
  3. Greater prestige
  4. Higher morale
  5. More work
  6. Fewer absences
  7. Fewer errors and
  8. Less fatigue

William H.L et al (1950:P.335) sustained that office lighting should make possible more than merely seeing; it should make possible for the worker to see what he is doing clearly, quickly and accurately.  They described that less than adequate illumination results in delays and mistakes delays, because it takes longer in poor light; mistakes, because the visual image is indistinct instead of sharp and clear.  In addition, they explained that, the effort made in trying to adjust the eyes to inadequate or improper illumination causes eyestrains, fatigue, headaches and other ailments which result in further delays, errors, and interruptions to work.  They suggested that improvement in lighting fixtures and with the instruments and lighting engineers available for determining what is required, there is no excuse for not providing it.  They considered cost to be insignificant when compared with the resulting benefits in improved work, quicker work, fewer absences, fewer delays, and because of these benefit actually lower over all cost.

According to Ejiofor P. (1987:P.255) He said that, a well lighted office could affect productivity. However, he said that constant failure of electricity could destroy both motivations to produce, as well as kill initiative.


Faber B. (1968:P.93) suggested that inadequate and improper lighting contributes to eyestrain, which in turn, may be the cause of many physical disorders such as muscular tension, eye fatigue and are increased blinking rate.  He explained that infavourable lighting conditions may cause poor workmanship, mistakes and decreased production as the result of inability to the work clearly and quickly enough, as well as fatigue and irritable on the part of the workers.  He concluded that adequate and proper lighting assist in maintaining health and increasing employee productivity.



Adequate ventilation is very necessary in the business organization.  A humid office is tiresome and reduces productivity (Ejiofor P. 1987: P.255).  According to William H.L et al (1950 P.350) says the following with reference to ventilation.  He said that many experiment have determined that the idea office temperature is approximately 68R.  when the temperature either rises above or falls below that point and remains so for sometimes, a distinctly uncomfortable feeling is experienced, this lack of physical comfort inevitably resulting in a lowering of the general output of work.  A now in which the heat is automatically regulated by thermostatic control is much more comfortable than one which is alternately hot and cold.  Whenever radiators are placed else where than below windows, it is the location very uncomfortable.  This condition may be mitigated source what by placing a screen in front of the radiator, which will have the effect of directing the heat upward.



This is very necessary in the business organisation if the rest rooms are kept clean and neat, employees can remain in the company premises throughout the working hours cited by Ejiofor P. (1987).  According to him, he said that in most organisation midday meals are provided, as a result, there is a tendency for the employees to concentrate on their work without thinking about where to eat during the recess/or lunch break and where to go to toilet.  He also said that restroom should also be adequately performed and cleared to avoid odour.


In addition, he suggested that, the cleaners should be thoroughly supervised and the supervisor should remember that clear work environment does not enhance productivity, it also prevents sickness, keeps away flies from the office and toilet areas.

According to the Noma Office customs survey (1947:p.4-10) stated that, rest rooms for women are requirement in some states and are all advantages everywhere, as they improve the morale of the organisation.  It mentioned that, these rooms should have a home like appearances, with easy chairs and cost, a separate room with a lot should be provided, where is case of necessity, a person can (i.e. down and sleep without disturbance).

This also explained further in a situation where smoking is not permitted in the office, the provision of a room should be made where employees may at times retire for a smoke will be found to be a deaded advantage, in an office where smoking is not allowed, the smell of smoke can usually be detected in hallways and toilet rooms, an indication that the toilet rooms, an indication that the clerks appropriate time for a smoke not with standing the prohibition it suggested that it would be much better to allow them a comfortable room where they can indulge openly, for a secret violation of office rules always impairs the motivation of the organization.

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In the first place people are fascinated and motivated by the appearance or the look of their office or place o9f work. The decoration of offices to meet the taste or aesthetic value of those who work in them is very important. The attractiveness of all office is a strong motivator to hard work infact, office decoration can have a staff, drab surroundings are conducive to work”, (mills and standing ford, 1978). The physical appearance of motivation to those who work in it.

An office should be dedecorated with cool colours, not harsh colours. In some cases the office worker may be involved in the selection of decoration for the offices some of us are turned on or attracted to all office by the inscription printed on some pictures.  Beautiful Africa or oriental arts with cool colour beautify the office. Offices could also be decorated with beautiful calendars, which are usually given free by business organization. What we been trying to emphasize is that the hot of an office and its surroundings in terms of architectural design and decorations greatly affect people.




The safety of the work place is very important. Any injured employee cannot be around to perform his responsibities.  Ejiofor .P. (1987) he said that the more care taken to prevent accidents the more productive hours will put into work.

According to foster .J. (1990:p.258) he discussed about safety under the legislation.  This said that accidents lack of thought and under the health and safety in offices.

The industrial injuries act of 1946 provided on scheme of insurance against accidents at work for all employees, including office workers and to protect them.

In 1963 the office, shops and railways premise act was passed, which laid down regulations for as well as minimum space (4w cubic feet) for each office worker, first aid and safety, firms employing over 150 people had to arrange for one employee to trained in first aid.

More so, the most important development in office worker conditions is the health and safety at work act (HASAWA) which includes all the regulation already in existence but is much more compretiensive and also applied to schools and colleges which the previous legislatio9n did not control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations came not force in 1988, and in 1989 all employers (regardless of their of business were required to provide health and safety information in the form of leaflets  and posters.


Again, between 19063 and 1974, the formation of trade unions for office workers influenced working conditions and helped to improve them as did also the second world war-even a generous salary does not compensation for insurable working conditions.



Welfare facilities provided by the employee, which are in addition to wages or salaries to keep them in good health condition.

The attainment of organisaitonal objective is of significance to the management has major responsibility upon himself to fulfill employee’s welfare obligation as entrenched in the company’s policy.

According to Strains (1950) welfare benefits are partly to raise employees moral to meet their social responsibility and to make more effective use of their workforce.  He said that “the need to earn a living is the most powerful single reason for work”.  And also in the work of Ubala (1975), he affirms that only where the immediate physiological and safety needs of employees are satisfied that one can expect them to performance well in effort to achieve higher needs.  This assertion is further sustained by horn in (1974) which defined welfare benefit as a condition of having good healthy, comfort living and good working condition.  Fire precautions Act (1971) also emphasized on workers welfare condition in the place of work.  According to show (1982:P.386) stipulates that preventions should be taken to ensure that, there is no fire outbreak in the work place.  Here, he holds the view for effective work to be done, this provision must be made.  David A.H. et al suggest that: the portable tire extinguisher’s should be provided in accordance with local code.  A group of psychologist various Keener et al (1951:108-111) in the journal of applied psychology asserts that: “Am unsafe physical condition gives rises to accident, the office workers are bound to sustained injures in their work place such unsafe physical condition includes defective condition of equipments and tools, hazardous atmosphere (Toxic substance in their air and poor ventilations and in adequate or improper protective equipment).  bad conditions such as heat, noise cause tension and frustration.  This frustration Vernon Keener state that “distracts the workers, causing them to have more accidents”.

Moreso, some large organisaiton appoints welfare officers who are solely concerned with welfare and well being of the employees, welfare services include such provisions as medicine services sport and recreational facilities, staff magazine, protective clothing, education and services libraries, poor employee’s welfare services can drastically affect employees efficiency.

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Most organizations that engage the services of the employee have now come to realize that for more organisaitonal efficiency and effectiveness, the employee should be made to be satisfied the aim of most managers.  The contention that a satisfied employee has a better attitude to work it is also believed that a job satisfaction would lead to a high performance, which inturn increase productivity level.

According to Ungerson (1980) almost all the people at work particularly the moral are likely to be attracted to a job, which provides opportunity for a sense of personal achievement in it’s satisfactory discharge.  He further stated that if a job is demoted of any opportunity for satisfaction and interest then if is not likely to attract an effective record.  Denyer (1980:P. 957) said that “a clear brain and physical condition that do not cause distraction are pre-requisite for effect work”.  He stresses further that adverse condition leads to mental strain, which results in low output, inaccurate work or moral.  Supporting this assertion, Harrision (1980:129-130) state that “it is a known fact that clerical work and the health of employees suffers if the physical conditions are below standard.  The work will suffer and will be inaccurate if the lighting is poor, mistakes will be made in an excessive noisy office.  Denyer (1980:P.66), Aurora (1980:99) from the manner in which offices are often left to become too hot and stuffy.  This according to them made the air state and surroundings unhealthy, resulting to a poorly ventilated work place, undue fatigue, drowsiness, shower and less accurate work.  This as a result promotes work.  This as a result promotes work inefficiency.  “Yet excessive noise can cause interference, loss of hearing and emotional stress”.  The Sunday Tribune (1963:3) reports that Doctors in German Federation and republic have emphasized that “loud noise could damage the entire human organisam mostly by causing high blood pressure”.

Liffled et al (1970:349) give on to stress on the effect of noise on office worker by seeing noise and office executives as perpetual enemies.  In their words, noise is said to have a detrimental effects on health and on physical, mental and nervous mechanisms individual. Noise also affects office works efficiency, difficulty in concentration, telephone use becomes difficult, increase in fatigue and lower moral of employees.



An important issue in a pay or compensating system is equity.  Equity according to Vernon .A. et al (1950:175) refers to the extent to which employees think a pay system is fair.  If a pay system is viewed as not fair, it usually results in a reduction of effect of the job.

In his work, Ubaka (1975:20) says that all conditions of services, salaries and wages top the list as fair as basic needs of employee are market, value because they normally had contacts with colloquies who had comparable skills and working in other organizations.  Ubaka further said that we must recognize large family responsibility concerning with the arguments above on salaries and wages.

Pigons et al (1971:356) mentioned that equality or fairness of wages and salaries increase are also important to employees Pigons explained that if the general level of wages and salaries in the organisation is lower than that of their counterparts in the same type of firm such management would find if difficult to attract a qualified employee.

Gellerman 3rd edition P. 103 noted order money, “there is order for money to motivate workers and pay increase must be extremely large to create the feeling of wealth”.

According to Igboeli N. (1990:P.127) in his traditional theory of the motivation assumed that money is the primary motivator and that a worker would relationally chosen more works for greater money.

Vernon’s expectancy theory state that an employee is motivated to work if he expects that increase effort will lead to an increase in performance will lead to increase in rewards.



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