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Are working environment and work environment interchangeable, or is there a difference between them? If so, what is the difference?

3 Answers 3

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I'd say that people might associate work environment more with a job, the working conditions and the people you have to work with. And working environment can mean "the place where you get some work done" - which could be a job, or regular studying, or performing a task fixing something... or even something more abstract like the way you have your computer set up for your workflow. But it's a very subtle thing!

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I fully agree with the answer by @cactustictacs about the real but subtle difference between "work environment" and "working environment". I would add that "work environment"can include not only the physical circumstances, but includes the social and psychological situation in which work is to be performed. Indeed one form of on-the-job harassment is called "creating a hostile work environment", and this does not mean poor placement of furniture.

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  • Thank you! I suspect this is what @cactustictacs has in mind too, when (s)he talks about "working conditions and the people you have to work with" – still having the same answer from two people is better than one :)
    – Hannah
    Jan 1, 2021 at 12:35
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They are equivalent.

They all mean the environment in the surroundings of your workplace.

Just the "working environment" might be misunderstood, they might think that it is meant to be the "environment that works" :-)

If I were you I might say:

workplace environment

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  • Thank you so much for your answer! So both these refer only to the physical environment? Is there another expression that covers psychological aspects as well?
    – Hannah
    Dec 31, 2020 at 12:18
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    @Hannah they do not refer only to the physical surroundings. See my answer. Dec 31, 2020 at 17:57

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