This month marks the two year anniversary of the official COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the United States and Canada, and work has never been the same since. In someways, workers have gained so much in terms of working conditions and weekly hours. In others, they have been struggling to “return to normal,” namely in finding new ways to work that feels more productive or comfortable, or ways to come back to the office for the first time in years. A recent study has shown that 59% of Americans would prefer to work from home (entirely or in a hybrid model) when given the choice. But time has shown working from home, even within a hybrid model, is not for everyone. So, how do you find out what is your ideal work environment, and what are the steps to finding it?
What Does Your Ideal Work Environment Look Like?
Work environments can be drastically different, even if they aesthetically look similar. For example, the writer’s office of a newspaper or magazine might look similar to other desk jobs with their furniture and work stations. The differences, however, are within the environment inherent in the organization or position itself.
Think of what kind of pace you prefer in a regular work day: fast, slow, different every day? What kinds of interactions would you like? Those with customers, those with co-workers only, those with one or two others—maybe a boss or employee? Within those situations, what would make you most engaged? Do you prefer no conflict at all, or do you prefer to take those challenges head-on? Answering these questions can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure about where you want your career to take you. Luckily for you, we have just the solution.
Our Ultimate Guide to Your Ideal Workplace Environment
“Assess Yourself!” – Madonna, maybe
Step 1. Examine Your Current Workplace
After months, maybe even years of working from home, you may have grown comfortable working from home. But this doesn’t mean you’re thriving in your current work environment. In fact, Forbes shows that remote work requires certain specific skills that are crucial for employees and employers alike.
Start by examining your current work station. Assess what kind of work-life separation it offers you. Think about how your working conditions have either allowed you to flourish or have restricted your growth. Consider what offers you motivation, what inspires you, and what work you look forward to doing every day, and what conditions those happen in. Even if you’re not sure about all the fine details, take these questions into consideration in step two.
Step 2. Discover Your Strengths and Needs in the Workplace
Step two: take Packfinder. Packfinder is our number one resource for job seekers looking for career advice. Whether you are looking for a job in a new field or are looking to work your way up into another position, Packfinder is able to get you there. The assessment uses your own responses to measure how suitable you would be in various job functions based on your soft skills, as well as your confidence and consistency in offering your responses. In addition to ranking your position in 60 different job functions, Packfinder also informs you of your strengths in the workplace.
Once you’ve sifted through your full report, examine what stands out to you. Examine your best suited job positions, and find which address your needs in a workplace. For example, if you have social anxiety, look for positions that are limited in their interaction with others. If you require a position that keeps you continuously engaged with face-to-face (even virtually) engagement, consider jobs that regularly work with customers or clients. These may seem like wants in a position, but if these impact your motivation and work enjoyment, they are actually needs.
Step 3. Prioritize Your Long-Term and Short-Term Goals
Even if you are comfortable or content in your current work environment, what you may want to think about is your long-term goal in your career. Are you achieving all you want to in your field? Are you making great strides, or are you okay with the rate at which you’re moving in your every day? Do you have long-term goals as well as short-term goals that you can look back on and be proud of? Is there a goal that would make you feel fulfilled in all the energy you put into your job every day? These goals can be big or small. But they need to mean something to you and make your work feel worth-while and exciting even once in a while.
With that said, make sure your priorities match your personal goals, long- and short-term as well. If you need to, put your career on pause, or look at options with family or lifestyle planning and management. If your career comes first, make sure all other aspects of your life will fit the requirements needed to succeed in it.
Step 4. Test Your Boundaries to Learn and Grow
As Indeed lays out in this article, your career development relies on not only an environment that caters to your strengths and work style as an individual. It also requires a focus on growth and development from you, your coworkers, and even your supervisor(s). Quality leadership, effective communication, rewards and benefits, a workspace that caters to various individuals and their specific needs, and a sense of community are all important factors to work on. That is to say, you can improve the environment you’re currently in without having to leave.
Sometimes, training and development modules can help you learn new skills that allow you to better function in a workplace. Other times, managers and supervisors can make environments more cohesive and community-oriented through a motivational yet considerate and empathetic attitude. So, the truth of the matter is, an employee’s success relative to their work environment is both your and your boss’s responsibility.
Let Packfinder Guide You to Your Ideal Work Environments
In your full report, you will find what to seek out and what to avoid in a career, how you get along with coworkers, and whether you work best with others or on your own. You’ll also discover your self-management type, how you analyze data, and what steps to take in further developing the skills you already have. The assessment is comprehensive, so we recommend taking your time and answering as honestly as you can. With that said, there are aspects of the assessment that are built in to ensure your responses are reliable. These include tools that measure for your answer consistency and confidence.
Not only is this information beneficial to your career, it’s also important information for your next employer or recruiter to know before hiring you. The more likely you are to suit your work environment, the more likely you are to be successful in that position. So, try it out for yourself, and share your results on your LinkedIn page. You never know whose attention it’ll grab!