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How Much Structure Do You Need in Your Work Environment?

Work Plans - Office Folder on Background of Working Table withA recent article on CNBC touts the expansion of the Gig Economy, or contingent workers who don’t have an implicit or explicit contract for long-term employment. The article states job growth in this area is larger than payroll for traditional employment.  My intention with this post is not to advocate for one method or the other, but simply to bring attention to structure as a workplace expectation.  People tend to think of temporary or contract positions as those without much structure and a great place for people who don’t like to “take orders” or “follow direction.” Maybe so, yet we all need to be clear about the purpose and focus of our work.   Some important questions to discuss about the structure of the work environment include:

  1. How much latitude do I have in getting my job done?
  2. Are processes and procedures documented and followed?
  3. What happens if I deviate from standard operating procedures?

People with a high need for structure have a desire for clear instructions regarding what to do, how to do it and what resources are available. They want clear direction about the purpose of their work and the specific outcomes they are supposed to attain.  They also want guidance to be available when they have questions about how to get the job done.

The following checklist may help you to determine how much structure you need in your work environment. Are the following statements true for you?

  • I have the necessary resources to do my job.
  • Information I need to reach my goals is readily available.
  • Equipment and materials to get the job done well are easily accessible.
  • I value a well-organized approach to work goals; planning and accountability are important to me.

Once you’ve assessed if these statements are true for you, the next question to ask is if they are in your current job. If they aren’t, what steps can you take to get more structure in your work?

You may decide a conversation with your supervisor is necessary. If you want help creating a format for the conversation, EAC can be the help you need.  We are a phone call away.

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