The efficiency of a settlement depends on several resourcing choices.
How one wants to run their settlement is entirely up to them. However, settlers do have certain expectations of comfort and safety. The condition of a settlement is determined by the following factors:
Settlers assigned to a scavenging station will passively generate junk while you are on your travels. Likewise, unassigned settlers will also gather junk/scrap, but at a slower rate. There appears to be a cap after the first few scavenging stations, so building a ton of them will not be beneficial.
- One can view theit settlement's rating by going to the Workshop menu. Anytime the display is shown in red, that resource is failing to meet the settler's expectations. The Pip-Boy also displays all allied settlements, and any settlement with a substandard rating which appear with an alert.