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Is Your Work Environment Right For You?

Is Your Work Environment Right For You?

Many people are unhappy at work not necessarily because of the work but due to their current work environment. So how can you tell if you are working in an atmosphere that is right for you? 

The work environment can have a positive or detrimental effect on an individual’s happiness. Finding the right work environment is very much dependent on personality, and what works for some doesn’t necessarily work for others.

Here are four factors that you need to consider to work out if your current environment is right for you:

1) Are you an Extrovert or an Introvert?

An Extrovert typically gets their energy from people, activities and events.  Therefore extroverts like to work in a busy, fast-paced environment with lots of people and activity around them.  Extroverts enjoy being in a fast-paced open-plan environment where they can engage in conversation and socialise.

Introverts, on the other hand, need time during the day to be on their own and enjoy their privacy.  They typically like working in their office or even from home where they can put their head down and concentrate without regular distractions.  Obviously, not all jobs give introverts this luxury as many roles require constant interaction with people and noise such as for those in teaching careers.  If you are an introvert in a position which doesn’t allow you to hide away in your cubicle or office, it is important to plan some time during your day when you can spend time alone.   Your alone time will allow you to unwind and recharge the batteries – this might be going for a walk at lunchtime or eating lunch in a park or café outside of the school staffroom.

2) Are you a ‘Creative” or a ‘Doer’?

Creative people are imaginative and progressive with their thinking.  They are big-picture thinkers who don’t enjoy getting stuck into the detail.  Creatives like to work for organisations that are forward-thinking, encourage new ideas and are future-oriented.  If you are a creative working in an environment where your new ideas go unheard, then this can generate discontent and frustration.

Those individuals, who are more practical and focused on getting things done, generally like an environment that has processes and procedures in place to streamline work and ensure efficiency.  They like to work in environments where they can apply their practicality and work with real, tangible things as opposed to ideas and theories.

3) Facts or Feelings? 

How do you make decisions?  Do you base your decisions or facts of feelings?

Individuals who base their decisions on logic and facts, tend to operate best in an environment that is analytical, open, transparent and honest.  These people expect fairness and for employees to be kept accountable.  Typically these environments can be tougher conditions and more competitive as employers are more task focused than relationship focused.

For individuals who put feelings before facts, they require an environment that is friendly, supportive and where they feel appreciated for their work.  These people are more relationship focused, so it is essential to them that they like the people they work with and have good relationships with both their colleagues and their leaders.  These individuals can be depressed working in an environment, which is more competitive and confrontational as they are typically more sensitive to criticism and avoid conflict.

4) Structured or Unstructured?

For highly organised individuals who tend to prefer working in an environment that has more structure and sound systems in place.  These people are future focused and need to plan and know where they are heading.  Therefore they need job security, permanent jobs and ideally a career development program.  These individuals work well in public sector or large corporates where there are established systems and processes in place.

Individuals who are more flexible, adaptable and spontaneous prefer a less structured environment.  They prefer an informal environment with lots of autonomy and the flexibility to work their hours.  These individuals thrive in an atmosphere where they can dictate their schedules such as working in sales, consulting, counselling or running their businesses from home.  They don’t typically enjoy operating in controlled or confining environments.

So, what if my environment isn’t the right fit?

So, what do you do if you are in an atmosphere that doesn’t suit your personality?  Firstly, think about whether you could make some changes internally to make it work better for you.  Could you request an office move if the noise and interruptions are getting to you?  Could you work from home one day a week to get more done?  Could you put your hand up to implement some processes or procedures to make your job more ordered and structured?

Unfortunately, we can’t always make significant changes to our work environment.  If this is your situation, think about whether you could do your role in a different environment that is a better fit for your needs.  Changing the environment might mean moving to a smaller or larger organisation, working from a different location (i.e., working from shared offices instead of working alone at home), or changing to a different industry that attracts people with your personality type.

Written by Leah Lambart from Relaunch Me.

Read more of Leah's articles in the career section of Cazinc.

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