So I am extremely confused as to what is a proper question on workplace. As far as I can tell, every question I've seen, closed or open, is either opinion based, seeking advice, or (somehow) considered company specific, can anyone give me a good example of an appropriate question for this stackexchange?
Here are some of the criteria I use for determining whether a question is suited to this site. Most of this is based on the help center guidelines and the close reasons specified on meta.
While this should go without saying, this is my interpretation of the guidelines. Whether a question is "proper" is decided by the community as a whole so you may not agree with all or even any of my criteria.
StackExchange is meant to be a Q&A repository for future use. Anything that is too specific to a particular situation or set of circumstances risks being useless to others facing a similar situation or problem.
But every question is specific to a personal situation, isn't it? Of course it is, but the point is that the question should be answerable when the particulars vary. We should be able to generalise the question so that the minute details don't matter.
In this vein, anything related to company policies or use of a company tool, procedure or resource is almost certainly not useful. Those are things to ask of your colleagues or support staff.
Complaints and rants aren't questions so by definitions can have no answers which means that they don't fit our format. There should be a core question or goal in the post that can have practical answers.
- Don't ask: "My boss constantly berates me and is making my life miserable."
- Ask: "How can I get my boss to treat me with respect when we have no HR department?"
Note that in the first example the lack of a question mark is a typical give-away for rant questions.
Not Personal Advice
This is sort of a combination of the first two criteria. When you ask us to make up your mind for you, that's not something that will be useful to others and we can't really answer it with any authority: we don't know all the details. Unless you write us a ten thousand word essay chronicling your entire life there will be important details missing that only you can know.
What we can do, is guide people towards making their own decisions.
- Don't ask: Should I get a doctorate if I want to go into videogame development?
- Do ask: Is a doctorate useful for a career in videogame development?
- Better ask: Can a Ph.D. have a negative impact on your career in the software industry?
Note that the second example is borderline and can likely be generalised to the third example. It's a potential duplicate of that real question.
Not a duplicate
Variations on a theme are not allowed and closed as duplicates. For a question to stand on its own, there should be critical differences that would invalidate good answers on potential originals. A lack of good answers is not an excuse for recreating a question!
This is a tricky one and the one that's most up for interpretation. Variations on "Will this improve my chances?" and "What do X think about Y?" are likely all opinion-based. The main criteria is whether there's a "standard opinion" for a particular culture/industry/area.
For instance "Will coming in late affect my career?" could be seen as being opinion-based as some managers will care and some won't. However, in the US and many European countries being late to work (without flexible hours) will negatively affect your reputation in virtually every company. In other countries that's much less of a problem. When properly defined a question like this can be answerable and useful.
Of interest to the site
The question should relate directly to the concept of "navigating the workplace" to use the wording of the help center. Our site's userbase cannot be expected to answer legal questions where interpretation of the law is required. The intricacies of Kanban and Scrum are better suited to the Project Management site. User access control is something for the Security site.
We may wear many hats across the StackExchange network but you should imagine that everyone answering questions here is an HR manager and restrict yourself to topics they would be able to answer.