Do better workplace environmental conditions improve job satisfaction? is the article written by Erro-Garcés, A. and Ferreira, S. and published on 10 May 2019. The paper targets managers, business specialists, and also the general public, as it covers the topic of job satisfaction. The researchers make a hypothesis that workers are more content about their place of employment if they are provided with good workplace environmental conditions. The issue is studied from the perspectives of different countries through the analysis of the survey data.
As emphasised in the introductory part, job satisfaction is significant in every working process, as content employees are less likely to quit the job or be absent. Moreover, appropriate conditions of work are essential for both employees and company managers, because the satisfactory workplace environment can lead to an increase in production. Although salary, organisational peculiarities, and other details are important for workers, it is also vital to provide them with proper environmental conditions, such as comfortable temperature on-premises and calm atmosphere.
Compared to the previous studies on the topic, the methodology used by the researchers allowed them to collect a significant number of data, and therefore, study the issue more profoundly. The problem was discussed from the cross-national perspective, as the authors considered the correlation between job satisfaction and overall geographical and economic situation of various regions. The research data was collected from the results of the European Working Conditions Survey conducted in 2015 (Erro-Garcés and Ferreira, 2019, p. 938).
In general, the authors analysed the statistical data from 35 countries and 44,000 respondents (Erro-Garcés and Ferreira, 2019, p. 938). The results were discussed according to the duration of the employment contract and the characteristics of a certain country.
The results of the research are presented in tables and pictures for better visualisation. As the data was collected from the respondents with different social and cultural background, the factors influencing job satisfaction were arranged into groups. For example, gender, age, and marital status were classified as “individual characteristics” (Erro-Garcés and Ferreira, 2019, p. 938).
The conditions of work, such as wages, the degree of stress, macroeconomic factors and environmental details were also included in the results table. The respondents had to evaluate to what extent certain factors like vibrations, high or low temperatures, and safety risks are present at their workplace.
The results of the survey show that the degree of job satisfaction depends on the geographical position and overall welfare of a country. For example, North Europe is characterised as a region with high salaries and positive macroeconomic situation, in comparison to the Mediterranean and East European countries. Therefore, companies located in the northern countries can provide their workers with better environmental conditions, and the degree of job satisfaction is higher in this part of Europe.
As for specific data, noise and second-hand smoking were the criteria that varied a lot across Europe. The differences for temperatures appear to be the largest: workers in the Mediterranean and East European countries were more exposed to hot or cold indoor climate. The researchers also confirmed that environmental conditions of workplace in countries with high unemployment rates are usually worse. They also noticed that employees with contracts of extended duration experience better environmental conditions. At the same time, the authors accept that not all the data is clear, and the issue demands further research.
To conclude, the survey analysis confirm that proper environmental conditions affect the physical and emotional well-being of a worker positively. It is impossible to create standard criteria for job satisfaction evaluation, as they depend on many external factors, such as the unemployment rates or a country’s GDP. The data used in the study is cross-sectional, which makes the research limited; therefore, the issue remains an essential study topic and demands further in-depth analysis.
Erro-Garcés, A. and Ferreira, S. (2019) ‘Do better workplace environmental conditions improve job satisfaction?’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, pp. 936-948.