How to Choose the Best Working Environment for You

The optimal work environment can be broken down into many different physical and mental factors, which will aid and promote productivity while working. It is important to keep these aspects in mind when job hunting or when looking to upgrade from your current position, and especially so in the COVID-19 pandemic world we now live in, where homeworking has become much more commonplace and is a major factor in considerations around working environments. It goes without saying that a positive atmosphere will enhance the probability of being focused, allows you to accomplish more within your workday, reduces work-related stress, help you to thrive with challenging tasks and can assist in maintaining a strong mental wellbeing. The key for any candidate is to determine – what constitutes a positive working environment for you? Clearly the people you work with is a large part of this and sometimes that element only reveals itself fully once a candidate is ensconced in a new position. However, there are several factors that can be considered and assessed in advance of any potential move which are likely to make your new working environment as good a match as possible, these include: COMPANY CULTURE – This is probably the most significant factor in choosing a suitable work environment. Like people, every company has their own personality, values and quirks which form the company identity. Some companies have a culture which promotes tight organisation of tasks and adherence to specific deadlines, which often results in very good clarity in company goals and employee expectations. Other companies have a much more flexible culture, whereby every day can be different and without any strict plan, however staff have the bandwidth to be creative and entrepreneurial in their working practices. No responsible company culture is “right” or “wrong” and a wide range of company cultures is what enables people with different talents to thrive. The important thing for a candidate is to know themselves well enough to determine what sort of culture will be best suited to them. HOW STAFF ARE LOOKED AFTER – Employee well-being is a critical part of choosing the right company to work with, and never more so than today with the greater realisation and insight into how work can have a huge effect on physical and mental wellbeing. Clearly, all employers need to take staff care seriously these days, however different companies do this in different ways – for example, a company could favour certain sports in terms of offering health and fitness facilities to employees, or the emphasis could be to provide staff with artistic / creative outlets as wellbeing benefits. The profile of employee care initiatives afforded by a company will provide a good insight into how suitable their working environment is for you. PHYSICAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT – This is another area of with a very wide spectrum to choose from across employers. The environments created by the likes of Google, Facebook et al within the last 10-15 years – where a very comfortable working environment with lots of benefits has been created, the lines between work and home have effectively been blurred – are seen as a great benefit by a large proportion of the working population and many companies have tried to emulate this. However, this type of casual, open-space, one-stop-shop environment does not suit everybody. There are still lot of different types of physical work environments to choose from, so do consider this element carefully. And of course – today you are much more likely to be spending some if not all of your time working from home, so do find out how a prospective employer views this balance. CURRENT EMPLOYEE PROFILE – The companies that you are considering for your next move – what is the current profile of their team? Is it diverse, with lots of different people from a variety of backgrounds / skills levels / ages etc., or is it quite narrow with a certain profile of person seemingly much more common through the workforce? Some organisation do tend to attract specific profiles of employees in a completely non-biased way – it’s just that certain jobs suit certain people better. Likewise, other companies by their very nature will attract a very wide range of people, perhaps because there is a much greater variety of skills required. Either way, the employee profile of a company is a good guide to whether any given working environment is likely to suit your personality. To learn more on the different types of work environments and to determine which one appeals to you, you can look at some of the other articles below: Types of Work Environments Positive Work Environments The 5 Most Successful Work Environments  What is Remote Working? 5 Characteristics of A Positive Work Environment