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Factors Influencing Work Behaviors

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Behavior at work can be influenced by factors both inside and outside of the work environment. Even if the management style, communication techniques and workplace attitudes of a company are top-notch, outside factors can affect production and work behavior of an employee. Sometimes this personal problem affects an employee so much that it changes his attitude and spreads like a ripple in the water, so take into consideration as many factors as possible when assessing someone's work behavior.


Work environments with lots of light have been shown to increase productivity, but if employees believe they are being watched and studied for how changes to the setting affect their behavior, the positive changes will last, even if the new lighting does not. If work environments are clean and well-kept, employees often have more pride in their work than if a building looks old and dingy. If a building is dirty but the owners clean it up and clean the surrounding area by removing graffiti and picking up litter, chances are employees will follow their lead and do the same.

Management Style

If a boss yells at her employees, especially in front of other employees, and it seems like nothing is ever done up to her expectations, productivity will decline. A simple word of encouragement or taking five minutes to go over expectations will make an employee feel like he is not just another face in the crowd but a valued member of a company team. That feeling of value will make the employee work harder and care about the result, instead of just rushing through a project to check it off his list.

Personal Factors

A person's life does not stop and start at the office front door. Sometimes there are things at home that an employee is dealing with that weigh heavily on her mind. Big events, such as upcoming nuptials, a death in the family or even something small like a fight with her spouse, can affect an employee's work behavior. Everyone has a bad day or two, but if the employee can't seem to snap out of her new attitude, talk to her about the change in behavior. Just knowing someone noticed could snap her out of it.


Communication is the foundation of any well-run business. Think of a company as a machine and each spoke has to turn a wheel and each wheel is interconnected. If one spoke doesn't receive the command to turn, the works get jammed up. Don't rely on anything that involves multiples like multiple time lines for one project or multiple servers to store papers. Have one master time line that everyone can refer to. Forward all emails to anyone involved on a project and be as transparent as possible to keep the wheels turning like a well-oiled machine.


Suzanne Hodgson is a graduate of Penn State University, receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and integrative art. She works at a marketing firm and has previously served as the photographer and journalist for the "Kennebunk Post," a weekly paper in southern Maine.

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Compassionate Eye Foundation/Mark Langridge/DigitalVision/GettyImages