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60 Examples of a Work Environment

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A work environment is the set of conditions under which employees at an organization work including structure, culture, physical environment, processes and policies. The following are common examples of a work environment.

Ambiance

The ambiance of physical workplaces.
Busy & Stimulating
Central / Prime Work Locations
Frugal / Minimal / Harsh Locations
Hazardous Environment
Luxury Office with Amenities
Mobile Environment / Multiple Worksites
Quiet & Peaceful
Remote Work Locations
Service Environment
Work from Home

Decisions

How decisions are made. This greatly influences how you spend your time. For example, firms with consensus decision making are likely to view work as a series of meetings without as much time for individual productivity.
Command & Control
Consensus Decisions
Role-based Decisions
Secrecy & Political Intrigue
Stakeholders Are Consulted
Stakeholders Are Sidelined
Talent-based Decisions -- best idea wins

Working Style

The way that work is done. For example, a design team where all work is a social effort versus a team that produces designs with individual productivity. The later would tend to produce more creative work as social processes involve social compromise that can produce mediocre work.
Big Long Projects
Customer-facing Work
Group Productivity
Individual Productivity
Multidisciplinary Teams
Small Short Projects

Strategy

Where strategy originates within an organization. Top-down originates from management without consultation. Bottom-up involves management but accepts good ideas from anywhere.
Bottom-up Strategy
Copy the Competition
No Strategy
Top-down Strategy
Trend-following

Politics

Politics is the way that a group decides what to do. This can be candid, direct and turbulent such that it generates creative tension. Alternatively, it can be conflict avoiding whereby group harmony is prioritized over creativity and rational decisions.
Candid & Direct
Creative Tension
Group Harmony
Indirect & Polite
Internal Competition
Mediocrity & Fear of Criticism
Negative Politics
Noncooperation
Saving Face

Power Structures

How power and influence are distributed in an organization.
Bureaucracy (promotions based on rules over results)
Cronyism (promotions based on who you know)
Meritocracy (promotions based on talent and results)
Nepotism (promotions of family and friends)
Seniority (promotions based on experience over results)

Change

How the organization approaches change. Some firms lead aggressive change while others fight to preserve the status quo. In some cases, a firm is based on traditions and legacy such that it is rational to preserve the old ways.
Blindly Emulates Competition
Defends Status Quo
Leads Change
Traditional

Work Culture

Work culture emerges with the shared experience of teams and is beyond the direct control of management.
Accountability
Expectations
Norms
Tone at the Top
A more exhaustive list of work culture can be found here.

Working Conditions

Working conditions are basic elements of a work environment that influence the health and happiness of employees.
Benefits
Compliance to Law
Empathy & Support
Employment Terms
Flexibility
Privacy
Safety
Security
Work Hours
Work-life Balance
A more exhaustive list of working conditions can be found here.

Work Environment

This is the complete list of articles we have written about work environment.
Accountability
Creative Tension
Employee Needs
Expectations
Group Harmony
Growth Opportunities
Leave
Norms
Offices
Privacy
Safety
Saving Face
Tone At The Top
Work Culture
Work Environment
Work Principles
Work-Life Balance
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A vocabulary for describing work culture.

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Work Values

A list of common work values.

Offices

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Office Things

A list of things in an office.

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A list of social processes, absurdities and strategies related to office politics.

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An overview of employee experience with examples.

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