Simplicity in the Workplace Really Matters

John Krautzel
Posted by

While the world is pretty complex, many employees believe the tasks they complete at work should be simple and straightforward. People appreciate knowing what's expected of them, and according to a study by Siegel+Gale, four out of five workers find their workplace to be overly complicated. Here are some of the key benefits of simple workplaces.

Simplicity Boosts Trust

When employees don't know what to expect of their organization, or what their managers expect of them, building trust is a challenge. It's no surprise 95 percent of employees at simple workplaces trust the leadership of their company, compared to just 69 percent at complicated workplaces, according to the Siegel+Gale study. Simplicity can be the bridge that companies use to create a culture of trust, transparency and clear expectations.

Increased Innovation

The numbers clearly show that complexity doesn't breed invention. A mere 2 percent of employees at complex workplaces find innovating at work easy, compared to 54 percent of people at simple workplaces. When employees' minds aren't occupied with figuring out their basic job duties and expectations, they are freer to create.

Hiring and Retaining Employees in a Simple Workplace

Simplicity is the key to a more positive work environment, boosting the likelihood of employee advocacy. Around 65 percent of workers are more likely to recommend their organization to someone looking for a job if it features a simple workplace. This would mean hiring managers spend less time recruiting and have an easier time filling vacancies. Workplace simplicity also plays a role in boosting loyalty. Around 84 percent of employees in a straightforward work environment plan to stick around longer, compared to 74 percent for more complicated workplaces.

Communication and Workplace Simplicity

Companies wondering how they can harness the power of simplicity should start with communication. Simple workplaces communicate key details to all workers, including business goals, company values and the role employees play in both helping customers and driving results. This emphasis on communication helps employees feel safe and secure so they can better focus on their job responsibilities.

More Tips for Simplifying the Workplace

To create a culture of simplicity, business leaders need to evaluate every element of the workplace. This might include the company's purpose, expectations for each role, organizational processes, incentives and goal-setting measures. Businesses should adopt the habit of communicating plainly and setting clear goals and deadlines. Surveys and questionnaires can help in identifying which areas employees find complex, as well as which barriers are hindering them from maximizing their productivity.

Cutting out unnecessary complexities is a sure way to create a better work environment and boost employee sentiments. What are a few other ways that business leaders can simplify their organizations for the benefit of workers? Share your ideas for creating a simple workplace in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch