In my work as a Career Coach I see many individuals who are unhappy at work and believe that they need to make a career change.  In the course of our discussions including a review of their personality type,  it often becomes clear that it is not the work that is the problem, but actually the work environment that is largely contributing to their unfortunate situation.

Creating the perfect work environment is very much dependent on personality with consideration of the following key factors:

Open plan or your own office? 

Extroverts tend to prefer to work in an open-plan office where there is activity, energy and noise. They find it difficult to work in a quiet environment without the background noise and stimulation. Whilst introverts don’t often work well in a fast-paced, noisy environment and often prefer to work in their own office or at home where they are free from disruptions.

Structured or unstructured environment?

Individuals who are very scheduled and organised tend to prefer a work environment that has good structure. That means a neat and tidy work environment, good systems in place and advanced notice of deadlines. On the other hand, individuals who are more flexible and spontaneous prefer to work in a less structured environment where they have autonomy and can create their own systems and processes as they go.

Friendly/supportive or a task-focused environment?

For individuals who are more compassionate and empathetic in nature, their work environment needs to be very supportive and friendly in nature. To be happy at work they need to have good relationships with their colleagues and managers and to be doing work that is meaningful to them. For others who are more analytical and task-focused, their happiness at work depends on working in an environment with competent and reliable colleagues where there is concrete evidence for decision-making. They want fair policies and procedures, transparency and for people to be held accountable.

Efficient or creative environment?

Creative types need to work with like-minded people and for organisations that are progressive and forward-thinking.   For individuals that are more practical than innovative, they are often more satisfied working in an efficient work environment. They want clear instructions, steps and procedures to follow.

Finding the right work environment is very important to ensure longevity in a role. In many cases people are unhappy at work, not because of the role, but rather that the work environment does not suit their personality.  Click here for some more ideas about creating the perfect work space for you.