Your work environment is a crucial element of overall productivity, and should be taken into consideration when assessing job performance. A constant state of feeling out of place or uncomfortable can lead to dissatisfaction and disinterest in your position – whether you’re outside in the elements or inside at a desk. Avoid or eliminate a negative work environment to maximize your potential!

Before you accept a position, think about where you’ll actually be spending your work day instead of simply focusing on the pay or job duties aspects.  Before quickly accepting a position, ask yourself: Will you feel comfortable there?  Will you be completely out of your element?  I once accepted a position within a male dominated company (so male dominated that I was, in fact, the only female on the payroll!) and while I imagined the job would be easy and fun before I started, it was too awkward to continue for long.  My co-workers were absolutely amazing, very respectful and helpful to me, but I just couldn’t get the feel for the job even after giving it significant time- it just didn’t feel right. I’d accepted the position too quickly, was too excited, and did not think about the reality of the position until too many days of feeling out of place.
When assessing your current work atmosphere, determine factors that are distractions. If you can eliminate them on your own, do so! Some may not be easily adjusted, so talk openly with co-workers and supervisors about what it is that you feel is slowing down your productivity. They may be willing to help! Don’t forget to be mindful of others as you begin making atmosphere adjustments, however – a change you make could negatively impact others’ work groove. Be honest, be open, and if necessary, discuss with others what would be best for the work environment as a whole.
If you’re thinking about an employment change, keep in mind how you like to work, in what environment you produce the best results, and where you feel most comfortable.  It’s always good to try new things, but at the same time, you should be well aware of your own likes and dislikes when it comes to an office/work location.  If you’re interviewing with a company, inquire about work environment (but don’t ask about bringing in your favorite desk lamp until you’ve secured the position!) Great questions include those about overall office personality, workflow, and team energy.  Discussions surrounding these topics will give you a great sense of whether or not you’d enjoy working in that particular environment