5 different types of workplaces

5 Different Types of Workplaces Now Explained (with Practical examples)

In this article, you’ll learn the 5 different types of workplaces that can be adopted in the corporate world– and by business organizations. Every worker in any organization has their preferences and would look at the 3 most important things in a workplace before joining a team. 

Before now, most companies have solely used the conventional work environment because of its strict nature. Because they feel in-person modality helps get rid of lazy workers and boost productivity. 

However, a positive and radical shift in technology, coupled with happenings such as COVID-19 around the world has made employers open to different types of workplaces. Amongst these various professional work environments, no one is considered the best. 

With that said, there are different classifications mapped out by various blog writers. But in this article, we’ll carefully look at the 5 different types of workplaces below: 

  1. Conventional workplace (work environment)
  2. Social workplace (work environment)
  3. Hybrid Workplace (work environment)
  4. Agile or activity-based workplace (work environment)
  5. Flexible workplace environment

But before we get into describing and explaining these outlined work environments that are adopted individually or together, let’s look: 

What is a Work Environment? 

Defining a work environment can be daunting for many because of the factors and elements that qualify any professional environment as a workplace. However, you can define it as the totality, in context, of where you work. It comprises the physical settings, social features, company cultures, and another framework that captures the following: 

  • Workers’ benefits and entitlements
  • Working hours
  • Customers orientation
  • Management leadership and communication styles and channel
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Employees development and career advancement
  • Amongst others

You’ll agree that all these are elements of a work environment that can either positively or negatively impact the motivation and productivity of an organization’s staff. In other words, a work environment can be hostile to an employee or good to someone else. 

For example, an employee that’s highly sociable and loves interactions may hate working in a traditional workplace with closed offices and long working hours. But an introverted worker who values their space and gets uncomfortable working with a group for a prolonged time will prefer a traditional work environment. 

5 Different Types of Workplaces Explained

#1. Conventional type of workplace environment

This type of work environment is highly structured and ordered and demands strict compliance from employees to the company’s regulations, as they relate to work ethics, dress code, and remunerations, amongst other things. 

In other words, business operations and activities in this professional work environment are systematic and tied to traditions. Also, employees in this environment are considered 9-5 workers and work in an office-like setting from Monday to Friday. 

With that said, a conventional workplace, also known as a traditional work environment, usually has an organizational structure with a tall hierarchy. And based on its inflexibility, employees are expected to have strong organizational skills and attention to detail ability. These competencies will enable them to follow clear guidelines on achieving targets for the roles and, of course, the company’s organizational goal.

Examples of business organizations where you’ll most likely find the type of work environment are banks, accounting firms, law offices, etc. 

#2. Social type of workplace environment

A social work environment supports collaborations and social interactions. That’s because the stress level of employees who work in this work environment is high. After all, it has to do with things that affect individuals’ minds and mental health. Examples of places (or industries) where this type of work environment is feasible are education, counseling, and teaching, among others.  

For example, teachers have offices in a school. But they can stay anywhere within the school premises while they execute their roles. They could be in the staff room, personal office, classroom, laboratory, or anywhere within the school premises attending to one issue or the other. 

The same applies to nurses in a hospital. Though nurses have their offices, whether open or closed, they spend most of their time moving around and attending to patients. From one ward to another. This is to tell you that a social work environment involves many social interactions with clients, colleagues, and your boss. 

So, to work at peak in this professional work environment, a worker requires excellent interpersonal relationship and verbal communication skills. Because this kind of environment is not limited to working in an office. Instead, it includes a series of fieldwork, conversing with clients, and meeting their needs. Professionals like social workers, teachers, counselors, etc., work in a social work environment. 

#3. Hybrid type of workplace environment

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, many corporate organizations embraced a hybrid approach to doing their business. It’s a blend of the traditional in-personal modality and remote option. This way, employees shuffle between home and their physical office at their workplace. 

A hybrid work environment encourages a work-life balance among employees while they enjoy the autonomy from working from home. However, some employees prefer the conventional onsite working pattern because they believe they are most productive in an onsite job arrangement. 

In any case, a hybrid workplace requires excellent coordination on the part of employers while they provide the necessary equipment and tools to execute their jobs effectively. And to achieve that, a company’s management would have an excellent monitoring system to check the efficiency and performance of staff. Which may include conducting business meetings virtually from time to time as best determined. 

With that said, a hybrid work environment is more practical with fewer physical job roles that can be done without the physical presence of the workers. 

#4. Agile or activity-based type of workplace environment

An agile workspace has a blend of traditional work environments. When you work in an agile work environment, the first thing you’ll observe is the office outlook. Usually, it has private spaces in a larger collaborative area to foster flexible working and maximum productivity. 

Unlike in a traditional workplace, where you have rows of desks with desktop computers, an agile work environment introduces comfort and ease into any professional environment. Setting up different work zones is intended to spur employees to stay motivated to perform their jobs and responsibilities while the strict corporate formality gets reduced. Without adversely affecting staff productivity. 

So the following are some of the choices that employees may enjoy in an agile work environment: communal areas, meeting rooms, quiet spaces, soundproof offices, or as the case may be. Because of the openness, an agile work environment supports transparency between workers and departments established and nurtured. 

Not only that. Its design allows effective communication among employees, even as they enjoy liveliness and belongingness. Some of these are part of the benefits of why your company or others should introduce agile working. An agile working environment is also known as an activity-based workplace environment.

#5. Competitive workplace environment

As its name implies, this is a type of workplace environment that stimulates the creativity and productivity of workers through competition. That’s to say that employers adopt competitive strategies to boost their workers’ motivation and engagement. 

Often time, this type of work environment provides loads of benefits, but you must produce commensurate results that must have been achieved or generated. In simple words, it is target-driven. However, amidst the benefits a competitive workplace offers, employees find it overwhelming in such a professional environment. 

But if you must raise your head in this type of workplace you must first understand your company’s workplace culture. This will not only help you to go about your job in the best ethical way you should, but it also equips you with the ability to manage stress at work effectively

A Final Thought on the 5 Different types of workplaces

There’s no one-fits-all work environment for any organization. Just as an individual employee has his preference for the work environment he would like to work, employers do have theirs too. But that will depend on a lot of factors. 

With that said, it is advisable to incorporate two or more of the 5 different types of workplaces, as you’ve learned in this article. This is to allow you meet your employees’ psychological, technological, social, and other needs, considering this ever-changing, fast-paced world we live. 


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