20 Words that Describe the Best Work Environments

In this article, dive into the 20 key descriptors that embody the essence of top-performing work environments. Want the latest research on how to build an effective organizational culture?

20 Words that Describe the Best Work Environments

Want to create a work environment that employees love? Of course you do! But where do you start?

We've got some interesting insights—straight from the mouths of employees—to help you build a thriving workplace culture that your employees are passionate about.

We surveyed more than half a million employees from companies in our Best Places to Work program. Here are the top 20 words they used to describe their cultures.

Download the ebook: 20 Words that Describe the Best Workplaces

Best Words to Describe Company Culture

The following words are ranked by how frequently they were mentioned by employees, from most frequent to least frequent.

1. Fun

2. Challenging 

3. Friendly

4. Engaging

5. Rewarding

6. Collaborative

7. Flexible

8. Supportive

9. Exciting


11. Family

12. Professional

13. Busy

14. Fast-paced

15. Innovative


17. Motivating

18. Positive

19. Comfortable

20. Integrity

Here are some tips on how to implement a few of these elements into your own culture!

1. Fun

  • Provide in-office games, like a ping pong table or board game station.
  • Host themed office parties for common holidays.
  • Surprise employees by bringing in coffee, catering lunch, or hosting a happy hour.
    20 Words that Describe the Best Work Environments-01


2. Challenging

  • Encourage employees to take on different responsibilities outside their daily tasks.
  • Push employees to create challenging stretch goals.
  • Use GOOD one-on-one meetings for thought-provoking career discussions.
    20 Words that Describe the Best Work Environments-02


3. Friendly

  • Create a welcoming onboarding experience.
  • Hold quarterly, cross-departmental gatherings so employees get to know other teams.
  • Assign a culture coach to new hires to teach them how the organization functions and answer any questions.
    20 Words that Describe the Best Work Environments-03



Get ideas for all 20 elements of the best workplaces by downloading our ebook, 20 Words That Describe The Best Workplaces.

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Published March 13, 2018 | Written By Dan Harris, Ph.D.