I was going to write this a comment on Enderland's answer but it's too big (apologies for mangling the format here!)
What types of questions commonly closed as "off topic" seem on topic? Should those questions be on topic or off topic?
An easy way to narrow this is to search via close reason in the Data Explorer and focus on a specific reason at a time
I haven't had the time to do an analysis via DE yet.. but at least anecdotally I've seen many questions closed as "Unclear" when that actually translated to "I don't understand this/I don't know the answer" This question is a prime example - it got closed and we managed to argue to get it re-opened.
Same thing happened here, yes it got re-opened but clearly the "Unclear" vote was unwarranted.
Similarly for "Company specific.." reasons - this got closed because a moderator misunderstood the question (due to it being UK specific) - yet similar questions from a US perspective don't get closed.
And again this got closed as company-specific when it's nothing of the sort.
Here's one where the "Specific choice.." was used inappropriately.
Narrow in on a bunch of questions, asking the following questions:
Is this off topic in how it's written (not in "hidden meaning" - most of us higher rep users can read a question for it's "true question" but this is not something most
If we're going to rely on "exact words" then why not replace us all with bots? I mean isn't the whole point of high-rep users that they are the community members who are "better" at reading and answering questions? If a user (high rep or not) can understand a question and write a suitable answer, making it clear what their answer addresses and this is then helpful to the OP and potentially to others then I really can't see how that is a bad thing.
Is the question as written beneficial to non-OP readers in the future?
I think it is unfair to always require an asker to carry that burden - personally I happen to think that if my answer helps just one person then it's worthwhile. But then hey, I'm a weirdo like that.
More generally there is plenty of scope for someone writing an answer to respond both to the specific situation in the OP's question and also provide a rounded answer that will help people in similar situations - very little (if anything) in the human experience is truly unique.
Is there key information missing?
Sometimes you can't even start to answer, quite often however you can at least provide an answer to most of it and thus engage the asker in the process and tease out the other information (example), or you can provide something that covers the most likely scenarios (and hope the OP is actually in one of those) and, yes, risk not 100% answering the OP's question - but in the process actually provide more useful information for future googlers - example
What do you internally feel as the scope of Workplace is? Is this shared by others? What differences exist?
Personally.. I think the scope is to help people with workplace situations. I think (hope) that's shared by others, but I know that many here do not.