Work Environment and Employee Satisfaction: What Does Research Say About Their Relationship?

happy employee

Employee satisfaction should be one of the goals of any business. It is common knowledge that a satisfied employee contributes a lot to the company’s success. It also lowers the turnover rate, which affects a business significantly.

The work environment is one of the aspects considered by business owners, stakeholders, and even researchers when talking about employee satisfaction. According to a study by Dr. Ruchi Jain and Surinder Kaur, the work environment can be defined as both the ambiance in the workplace and the relationship among employees and the management.

Since the definition includes the ambiance, does that also mean office fitout project management is needed in every office whether in Sydney, Singapore, or Canada? The following studies provide an answer.


In Jaipur City, India, Jain and Kaur conducted research among the employees of Domino’s pizza. They asked 100 randomly sampled individuals to answer a structured questionnaire and to be interviewed. The questionnaire and the interview focused on the factors that affect their job satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

The results indicate that working condition has a significant impact on employee satisfaction. The condition includes physical and mental environment, which consists of ventilation and temperature, infrastructure and interior, amenities, noise, attitude and behavior of colleagues and supervisors, and workload and overtime policies. The rating, however, for each of these factors was not mentioned.

In other words, the way an office looks on the inside affects an employee’s satisfaction level.

Taiwan—container shipping companies

industrial crane loading containers in a cargo freight truckIn Taiwan, Kelvin Pang, a member of the Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, surveyed 59 individuals working in different shipping companies. The study’s purpose was just to evaluate the impact of motivation on satisfaction and the overall performance of the entire organization. The study looked into different motivation factors in the workplace, such as security, environment, remuneration, and achievement.

Since the study was conducted among different companies, the result varies. For example, in a large firm, the workload is the most important motivating factor for satisfaction. For foreign companies, it’s more on recognition and personal development. The significance of the factors mentioned above also differs depending on the employees’ years of tenure. But financial motivators have positive effects on the companies’ financial health. On the other hand, non-financial motivators positively affected productivity, service quality, and consequently, customer satisfaction.

What this study failed to mention, though, is the definition of the work environment. That said, we are not sure if furniture is part of the criteria. Nonetheless, it supports the study mentioned above regarding the positive effect of work environment on employee satisfaction.

Dhaka—pharmaceutical companies

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, M. M Nurul Kabir, a lecturer in Govt. Shohid Suharwardy College, conducted a study on work satisfaction among for pharmaceutical companies. The number of respondents was not mentioned, although the study states that data were gathered using an interview in a literature review.

The researcher included the following as the possible factors that affect job satisfaction: work condition, financial remuneration, promotion, job security, relationship with co-workers (including supervisors), and fairness.

The results of the study indicate that relationship with co-workers is the most motivating factor that affects the employees’ satisfaction, followed by the working conditions. Working conditions include the rules and policies in the workplace, the equipment and instruments, and the nature of the job itself.

From these studies, we can conclude that the work environment indeed affects employee satisfaction across different industries and countries. Whether the environment includes the physical aspects, one thing is for sure: a workplace with unappealing interior and incomplete equipment is surely dissatisfying. So yes, office fitouts matter.

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