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Background of the Study

Humans are influenced by certain activities around their habitat or working environment. A work conditions can be identified as the place that one works, which means the milieus around a person. It is the social and professional conditions in which a person is supposed to interact with a number of people. Hay Group (2007) contends that work conditions include a friendly, well-designed, safe physical space, good equipment and effective communication, which will improve productivity. Well-designed and organized offices and work areas make significant differences to how people feel about their work. Working conditions can give some depressing messages about how much the organization value employees and the standards it expects from them (Armstrong & Murlis, 2007).

Positive work environments are necessary for employee’s psychological and physical welfare, but they aren’t shaped by mistake. Good quality working conditions take place from ethics that the company views as significant to its undertaking, such as ensuring a controllable workload, and promoting two-way communication through open office sitting room and regular team meetings. Nurturing a constructive place of work makes good business sense. A positive workplace is characterized by value that supports employee commitment. It also develops a high performance background that encourages improvement, innovation and creativity. Business firms seen as positive places to work will always have a competitive edge because they draw and retain highly skilled staff. A positive workplace atmosphere is expected to result in less absenteeism and employee turnover, less cases of fraud, improved security practices, and improved workforce wellbeing and comfort. Good working conditions are created by companies where employees communicate positively and openly, where manager expect the best from workforce and where respect and appreciation is given. Good working conditionsincreases the capability and efficiency of the company as a whole. Employers and employees have shared responsibility for building well balanced and respectful workplaces.

Management’s new challenge is to form a condition that attracts, retain and motivate its workforce. The responsibility lies with managers and supervisors at all levels of the organization. They have to create a working condition where people enjoy what they do, feel like they have a purpose, have pride in what they do and can reach their potential. The work conditions affect employee morale, productivity and engagement- both positively and negatively. In an effort to motivate workers, firms have put into practice a number of activities such as performance-based pay, employee involvement, recruiting agreements, practices to help balance work and family life as well as various forms of information sharing, (Chandraseker, 2011).

According to Abdulla et al. (2010), environmental factors represent the immediate job conditions that contains skills required to perform a job, authority, autonomy, relationship with supervisors and co-workers and other working conditions. It is important for the employer to know how its work conditions impacts greatly on the employee’s level of motivation and performance. A well designed office signals the values and objectives of the organisation and the use of design in office interior communicates an organisation values and identity. Office design therefore should be one of the factors in affecting employee’s productivity. It’s therefore important to find out if employee’s health can directly or indirectly disturb their work performance or productivity. So it is necessary to study the effect of the workplace conditions in an organization on the performance of its employees with focus on managers. Brill (1992) estimates that improvements in the physical design of the workplace may result in a 5-10 percent increase in employee productivity.

1.2              Statement of the Problem

There are many factors that affect the performance of employees in organizations. Workplace conditions plays an essential role towards workers’ performance and productivity in any organization (El-Zeiny, 2013). Providing a good workplace conditions increases employee performance in organizations (Shikdar & Shawaqed, 2003). When people are working in situations that suit their physical and mental abilities, the correct fit between the person and work task is accomplished. Employees are then in the optimum situation for learning, working and achieving. Work conditions comprises the totality of forces and influential factors that are currently or potentially contending with the employees’ activities and performance. According to Chandrasekar (2011) there are key factors in the workplace conditions that could give a great impact towards the motivation and performance level. The business conditions is becoming very competitive, dynamic and complex. Management should therefore find ways to ensure that workplace conditions is conducive enough to enable employee performance in order to remain competitive.

In the many Sector, there is cut throat competition; the employer is faced with the challenge of attracting, retaining and motivating the employees. These employees are faced with a myriad of problems in relation to their work environment. This is especially in terms of the working hours, mobility at the workplace and compensation. In order to reach their organizational peak performance, the mobile companies must be able to create a workplace conditions where employees are motivated to work. Boles et al. (2004) state that when employees have physical and emotional desire to work, then their performance shall be increased.

Empirical studies done include Gitahi (2014) who looked at the Effect of Workplace Conditionson Performance of Commercial Banks Employees in Nakuru Town and the findings showed that psychosocial aspects are an important factor in boosting the performance of employees than the physical workplace factors and work life factors. Naharuddin and Sadegi (2013) did a study on Factors of Workplace Conditionsthat Affect Employees’ Performance: A case of Miyazu Malaysia. The findings showed that only supervisor support is not significant towards the employees’ performance while job aid and physical workplace conditionshad a 5 significant relationship towards employees’ performance. Amusa et al. (2013) studied Work Environments and Job Performance of Librarians in Public Universities in South-West Nigeria. The findings revealed that there is significant correlation between work conditionsand job performance in libraries. However, these studies conducted do not establish the effect of working conditions on the performance of office managers.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the effects of poor working conditions on the performance of an office manager. Specific objectives include;

i.                    To study how working conditions affect the morale and interpersonal relationship between managers and the other employees.

ii.                  To determine whether physical working conditions have influence on the performance of managers

iii.                To identify how poor working conditions affects office managers

iv.                To recommend interventions to improve efficiency

1.4       Research Questions

        i.            Does working conditions affect the morale and interpersonal relationship between managers and the other employees?

      ii.            Is there a relationship between physical working conditions and the performance of managers?

    iii.            To what extent do poor working conditions affect the performance of office managers?

    iv.            What are the possible ways through which managers efficiency can be improved?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

H0: Poor working conditions do not have any significant effect on the performance of office managers

Hi: Poor working conditions have significant effects on the performance of office managers.

Hypothesis II

H0: There is no significant relationship between physical working conditions and the performance of managers

Hi: There is a significant relationship between physical working conditions and the performance of managers

1.6       Significance of the Study

Many people in an organization try to attain a higher level safety or job security in their place of work. And this study when completed should be of immense help to different organization and individuals. It will help to highlight the effect of work conditionson the productivity of employees in Edo City Transport Service, so that the management will look into the problems with a view to make an improvement on its environment. It will enable the management to create minimum standard of good working conditionsfor workers to achieve optimum productivity. The study is intended to enlighten management that to create monetary incentive alone cannot motivate employees to better productivity without the provision of good conditionsunder which they operate. Moreover, it will assist to uphold or testify the idea that good conditions is very important and indispensable to growing needs of workers. It will also be beneficial to prospective students who will need some information contained in this work to guide their own research work which is related to the present study.

This study will be of benefit to the categories of people’s

– Employer’s of Secretary: This study is hoped to be of importance to employer as it would enable them have an insight of an ideal working condition necessary for higher productivity.

– Secretaries: This study will be of benefit to practicing secretaries, as it would reveal the essence of good working condition thereby making them perform at their best.

– Office Technology and management Studies: This write up will also be of benefit to office technology and management students in preparing them for their own research works

– Future Researchers: It is hoped that future researchers would use the findings as data for future project works.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.7       Scope of the Study

This study is restricted to investigating the effects pf poor working conditions on the performance of office managers. The study will be carried out in four selected organizations within Kaduna metropolis and in view of their size and popularity:

– Nigeria Telecommunication Limited

– National Board for Technical Education

– Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company

– Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Kaduna

1.8       Limitations of the study

The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all businesses or organizations but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9       Definition of Terms

Productivity: This is being able to produce or to be fertile

Adequate: Satisfactory or sufficient requirements

Condition: The thing that must occur if something is to exist

Extrinsic: The environmental condition attached to one’s work

Haphazardly: Without order on plan

Intrinsic: The incentive attached to one’s job

Performance: To do work or to achieve

Organization: Organized body, persons or systems

Secretary: Assistant to an executive employed to help ideal with correspondence and routine office work

Validity: State of being legal

Worker: Members of the working class

Promotion: Act of been given a higher position or rank

Executive: Person or group in a business or commercial organization with administrative or managerial power


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