What Is Office Culture?

What Is Office Culture?

There is a new buzzword in business leadership and language training – CULTURE. How many of you have ever held jobs that you did not feel like going to? Did you ever catch yourself looking for excuses to avoid going to the office? Some of you might even be working jobs like this right now.

However, on the other end of the spectrum are jobs that don’t feel like jobs at all. You work harder at these jobs and interact with your colleagues more. You also feel valued at the company and feel you have some equity in its growth. This is your office culture at work.

Office culture affects how people feel when they are in the office and when they are not. Office culture may seem like an elusive term. We all know what it means, have experienced it but we still cannot define it in a word or two. However, office culture is real, and it encompasses everything.

What Is Office Culture?

Accidental Culture Vs. Designed Culture

There are two kinds of office cultures – Accidental office culture and designed office culture. Accidental culture comes from the top down, and the leader’s personality drives it. So it may be good, bad, or even indifferent. When leaders are negative or authoritarians, the office culture is controlled. In such a culture, employees have little autonomy, and there is high employee turnover.

On the other hand, when the leader has a positive personality and is open to input from employees, the office culture is positive, and there will be high engagement in the office. However, there is a conundrum here.

In both these cases, the office culture will sustain, just as long as the leadership stays. As the company grows, new employees will come in, and they will also affect the office culture. However, there is also a good chance that the office culture will continue to remain positive, because of those who have been attracted to the company. The worst kind of office culture is that created by a missing leader. In such a culture, the employees are left fending for themselves. Fractured teams and cliques are common in such environments, which can be a detriment to success.

A Designed Culture Is A Deliberate Placement

Various considerations surrounding places and people and different aspects of life in the company have to be brought together to design the culture. It all begins with some simple questions like, how will our company treat its employees? How will people interact with each other? How are we going to treat our customers? What kind of work schedules are we going to implement? How do we expect the employees to feel when they are at work, and after work? What type of employees are we going to employ? What will our values be? What values are we going to look for in employees?

Both Types Of Office Culture Heavily Depend On The Office Leadership

Designed cultures also grow from leaders or the company leadership, but this culture is purposeful and enters the company’s very essence. Decisions like customer service, hiring, selling strategies, and even firing, are planned and designed.

However, even this kind of culture can be hijacked under the very nose of its leaders. So it is important that when you design the culture, you stick to your real values. The core values should be heartfelt and genuine.

One example of a great office culture is Zappos, the online shoe seller. Zappos does not pay the highest salary, but people still line up to work at the company. Zappos credo is ‘delivering happiness’. Zappos employees have no restrictions on the amount of time they spend on the phone with each customer. What management wants to know from each call is, did they help the customer get what they wanted? That is applauded, even if the eventual buy is not from Zappos. We hope it has given you an idea of what office culture is and how it should be in an office.