Ideal Work Atmospheres for Students

By Danielle Wirsansky on July 1, 2017

In this day and age, it is very difficult for college students to be just college students. With mounting debt and student loans, many students cannot enjoy the luxury of studying at college without working. College is hard enough by itself and jobs can be a hassle on top of it.

If you want to recruit college student workers, and then not only get them but keep them, you need to create the right work atmosphere for them. Jobs can feel disposable to a college student — if one stresses them out too much then they can just quit and find another because they are all the same.

So if you want your place of work to retain its workers and to stand out from the crowd of other businesses, then read on to discover the ideal work atmospheres for college students!

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Open

College is a time for many people to have the opportunity to explore themselves and get to know who they truly are. Many students finally have the chance to figure themselves out and to make discoveries about their identities. But the path to realization is often difficult and rigorous, and for some, more complicated than others. These students can feel enough judgment at school or in their daily lives for their choices — they do not need to feel any judgment or pressure while they are at work.

So help keep pressure about their personal life choices off of your student workers while they are at work. Does their life choice affect their quality of work? Then it is not really a business’s place to judge them. If a student worker feels judged at work for the discoveries they are making about themselves or, god forbid, feels unsafe because of them, then they will quit.

Work environments where people have the freedom to be who they are is where you will find the happiest and most productive workers of all.

Respectful

Another kind of work environment, or even another facet of the same work environment, is one that is respectful. As discussed, college is already hard. Treat your student employees with kindness whenever you can. Treat them with respect. College students are often hired for entry level jobs that are tedious, tough, and undesirable. But these students are still doing the job and they are doing it for you — the least you can do is treat them with a modicum of respect.

And while you may treat your student workers with respect, part of making the entire work environment respectful is to make sure that it is not just you upholding the tenet of respect. Everyone who interacts with your business needs to as well. Prejudices, either from you, your managers, fellow workers, and yes, even customers, must be left at the door. You cannot condone rude and disrespectful behavior toward your student employees just because they are at the bottom of the totem pole or the hierarchy at work.

How you treat your underlings says a lot about the kind of person you are and what you do in the face of adversity does as well. If someone is being rude to your student employee, step in. If a contractor makes an inappropriate comment to your worker, it is not your student employee’s job alone to defend themselves. As their boss, you are their champion and you need to be sure that everyone, equally, is treated with respect.

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Understanding

Another element to foster in your work environment for student workers is understanding. For students going through this transitional time, every decision can feel like a crossroads — something big and huge and earth-shattering. Every decision feels like it could change their lives, but for better or for worse? The student is not sure.

All this indecision and stress can definitely impact their work — which is why, in cases that necessitate it, an understanding work environment is absolutely crucial to a student employee. We have all had a morning where we slept through our alarm clock. We have all been stressed out about an important personal issue, forgetting the other obligations in our world until someone reminds us of them. We have all had days that we are so tired and stressed out that it has been incredibly difficult to drag ourselves to work and do our jobs at all.

So being understanding of the little things that happen can mean a lot to a student worker and go a long way in making the work environment a great one. Obviously, you cannot excuse every flub up and mistake, especially when it happens all the time and if it continuously and negatively affects your business. But when you can be understanding, you should be. It will mean a lot to those student workers who are just trying to get through school and through life.

By Danielle Wirsansky

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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