6 Working Environment Examples (How to Identify Suitability)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Different working environments can affect how employees work and how satisfied they are with their jobs. Candidates may benefit from finding a working environment that is most compatible with their working pattern, productivity rates and desired atmosphere. Understanding the types of working environments can help you make more informed decisions and identify the most productive environment for you. In this article, we discuss six working environment examples, explore their elements and outline steps for how to find a suitable working environment.

What are the types of working environments?

Your working environment refers to the setting, conditions and social elements of your workspace. This can include places like home offices, manufacturing facilities or office settings. Some people may thrive working from home and benefit from feeling comfortable in their own space. Conversely, others may be unable to concentrate effectively at home and benefit mentally from having a separation between home and work. Some roles may require working in a particular location, for example a factory. Others require moving between locations, for example sales work, real estate and landscaping.

6 working environment examples

There are many different working environment examples that each have varying benefits. Different working environments may also suit different roles or individual candidates' personalities. how teamwork-focused an environment is, whether the office frequently welcomes client interaction or whether a role might require you to work alone are factors you may want to consider. Here are six different types of working environments:

Related: How To Stay Focused When You Work From Home

1. Investigative

Investigative working environments focus on learning new things, answering questions and solving puzzles, and critical thinking. Professionals who work in an investigative setting may spend their day drawing assumptions from data to inform their next task. Examples of careers in an investigative environment include marketing executives who take data from their social media and campaigns to inform their next product or service launch. Also, journalists who use interviews and press releases to create engaging and informative stories.

2. Practical

Practical working environments often have labour-intensive roles that require employees to work primarily with their hands or perform physical activities. Many of those roles exist in the construction and manufacturing industries where employees spend most of their day building or repairing. Practical working settings may be ideal for people who learn effectively on the job or have high physical stamina. Practical working environments can have a mixture of collaborative or independent work, depending on the type of job.

Related: 7 Ways to Improve Working Independently and Productively

3. Artistic

Artistic work settings promote creative thinking, self-expression and flexibility. These roles may have less structure and more creative freedom, like companies in the design or theatre industries. Artistic working environments tend to be creative and can be intensely collaborative workspaces. This can allow candidates to innovate and produce engaging creations.

4. Social

Social workspaces promote collaboration and thrive on teamwork. This means that many of these workplaces approach goals as a collective, considering everyone's input and opinions. Those who work well with others and thrive on exemplary communication may prefer this working environment. Careers that take place in a social setting include teaching, counselling, mentoring, project management or health and social care.

5. Enterprising

Those who thrive on reaching major business development milestones and seek to exceed their latest achievement may benefit from an enterprising working environment. This environment promotes innovation and strategic business models that aim to beat the competition and expand the customer base. Professionals who work in enterprising environments tend to be communicative, demonstrating their skills when pitching and selling a product or communicating with customers. Sectors like business and sales may benefit from candidates suited to an enterprising environment.

6. Conventional

A conventional work environment can describe a traditional office setting. This environment is most suited to those who thrive on order and predictability and enjoy having a structure to their day. Administrative or traditional desk jobs often benefit the most from a conventional working environment, where work is on a strict schedule and everyone's designated responsibilities are clear.

Environmental elements

Environmental elements can have a sizeable impact on how productive individuals are in a working environment. Everything from the desk layout to the location of the office within a building can affect a candidate's work ethic or productivity levels. Identifying how the different elements interact with each other can help you design your working space to accommodate high productivity and incorporate your colleagues if necessary. Here are some ways that physical, cultural and conditional elements impact the working environment:

Physical

  • Layout: Layout refers to the organisation of desks, chairs and other office furniture. For example, businesses that rely on collaboration and completing tasks as a collective may design their office to be open plan to promote social behaviour, whereas conventional environments that are predictable and relatively independent may provide their staff with individual cubicles.

  • Equipment: The availability of equipment can have a big impact on your working day. For example, companies provide computers and internet access when the job involves digital tasks.

  • Facilities: Freely available facilities like break rooms or bathrooms are an integral part of job satisfaction. A business with good accessibility to necessary facilities may benefit from more productive employees and high job satisfaction rates.

  • Location: Location can refer to how far away an office is from your home. This can be an important element to consider, as a long commute may be stressful.

  • Indoor/outdoor: Some work environments may require spending the working day entirely in an indoor environment. Others may involve spending part or all of the day working in outdoor settings or in vehicles.

Related: 14 Reasons Why Team Work is Important in the Workplace

Culture

  • Development opportunities: Development opportunities are often crucial to keeping staff motivated. A company culture that nurtures career progression and offers employees ample opportunity to achieve their career goals may benefit from higher engagement rates and more motivated employees.

  • Values: A values system that prioritises staff benefits companies substantially. If staff feel as if their business resonates with their values and ethical code, then they may feel more included and satisfied in their career.

  • Code of conduct: A solid code of conduct provides employees with guidelines that clearly outline how employees can work, improving transparency and ensuring that management addresses any instances of non-compliance. A good code of conduct assures employees by making them feel supported and providing them with a guide in challenging situations.

Working conditions

  • Terms of employment: The benefits or statutory working rights can also impact a working environment. For example, paid time off is a statutory right in Australia for most jobs. It may help employees feel less burnt out or overtired, offering them vital time away from their work.

  • Work-life balance: A positive work-life balance can enhance mental and physical well-being. Those with a good work-life balance often also have the time to develop healthy working and personal relationships.

  • Safety: A stringent health and safety code, particularly in construction or manufacturing settings, is an important part of making employees feel supported and looked after. With a strong policy in place, employees may feel less stressed during workplace injuries or feel safer when tackling a more challenging task.

How to find a suitable working environment

Here's a step-by-step guide to finding a suitable working environment when considering accepting a job offer:

1. Research the company

Researching a company can be a great opportunity to understand the type of culture and code of conduct they have. You may look for images of offices or buildings that belong to the company, as this can be a good way to identify the type of physical working environment and what it suggests about teamwork. You can also read about the type of people who work in the business and what kind of culture they promote. Understanding this can help you decide whether the environment and the company values align with your beliefs and working expectations.

Related: How To Balance a Fast-Paced Workplace

2. Review the job description

Reviewing a job description can typically provide insight into the expectations for the roles you might be interested in and whether they expect you to work independently or as part of a team. The job description may also describe what kind of development opportunities or company benefits you may receive when working. Considering these elements can tell you a lot about how the company values its employees.

3. Ask questions

Asking questions is an effective way of gauging how current employees feel about a business. After your interview, consider contacting the business and asking how current employees feel about the working environment. This can be a great opportunity to see whether employees speak positively about their jobs.

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