I’ve worked in a fair number of places and my favorites, obviously, have been the over-communication, fairly lax environments where everyone, boss included, is a team player. They aren’t afraid to let loose and trust you to not only get your job done, but get it done without hovering over your shoulder.
I do not enjoy an environment where the attitude is, “I trusted you enough to hire you, but the trust ends there.” In these environments everything is micromanaged. Arrivals and departures are monitored more closely than air traffic control monitors airplanes. Everything is spied on and tattled on. You can’t trust anyone, let alone be trusted to do your actual job.
Unfortunately, I do not hold the secret for telling exactly what a culture is going to be like before starting a position. I tend to get a pretty good idea during the interview and try to ask a few people their opinions and sort out the corporate kool-aid speak from reality, but even if you begin working at a laid-back, lax place all that can change very quickly.