“What is your ideal working environment?” This is one of the most common questions you can expect to hear in an interview and an essential factor in your career life.

Your answer to this question helps interviewers determine if you would be able to fit in with the corporate culture of the workplace. Not only do they want be assured of your productivity, they also want to know if you would be able to work in harmony with your new bosses and colleagues, and make positive contributions to the company.

If you are currently looking for a job, it is important that you perform an in-depth examination on what your ideal workplace is. Let us take a look at some of the factors that you should consider:

1) Your Personality

Are you an extrovert who loves interacting with people and are particularly happy in a large social circle? Or are you an introvert who prefers to work alone in a quiet office with minimal distractions? Your personality type will help you to determine which type of environment you will be most productive in.

2) The Size of the Company

Consider if your work style is suited to a particular company size. If your preference is to work closely with a select few colleagues, a smaller company might be the better choice. This also exposes you to other learning opportunities. On the other hand, if you wish to learn more about the internal processes of a company for the purpose of becoming your own boss in the future, you could consider seeking employment at a larger company.

3) Company Culture

Formal workplaces can rely primarily on structures and processes. If you are more comfortable with following set practices and routines, formal environments might be for you. However, if you prefer an environment that is more unpredictable and strongly encourages the free flow of ideas and suggestions, you could consider staying in an informal office environment.

4) Compatibility in Mission and Vision

When you apply for a job, you already possess certain values that you expect to be espoused in your choice of workplace. To ensure that your values, goals and aspirations are compatible with the company’s, make it a point to learn about their mission and vision. For example, if you are a staunch supporter of environmental causes, you might prefer to work for a company that practises recycling.

5) An Empathic Connection

You should feel some sort of empathic connection towards the company that you are planning to work for. For example, if the hiring personnel is very helpful to you during the job application process, you can already assume that the company values the people that they are hiring. On the other hand, you might want to think twice if the hiring personnel does not respond to any of your inquiries.

6) Weighing Your Work-Life Balance

For most people, the ideal workplace has fixed hours, usually from 9am to 6pm. If you have ageing parents or children to take care of, this work arrangement might be the best for you. However, if there are specific hours wherein you are most productive, you could choose a different work schedule. This is especially true for call centre agents and night shift employees who find the quiet hours of the evening and early morning to be the times they work the best.

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