Organisations all have a sense of identity that is manifested in their culture. It’s the way people interact with each other, the beliefs, the norms, the values, the rituals – essentially it is ‘how we do things around here.’
We have therefore identified the 5 different types of office culture that most people work in everyday – can you identify yours?
1. The Fascist Dictatorship
Firms of this type tend to have what is known as a ‘high power distance.’ This means there is a marked distance in authority between management and subordinates. If you work in a company with this type of culture, you probably spend a lot of time following very strict rules and anyone that steps out of line is quickly put back in their place. You can forget reporting any grievances to HR as well because there is no HR at this place.
2. The Hippie Commune
In this type of firm, decision making is distributed evenly throughout the organisation. You can expect to spend most of your time in pointless meetings discussing what should be on the agenda for discussion in other pointless meetings. Group discussions get called so that everybody gets a say on the tiniest details like which brand of fair trade tea or coffee should be made available to staff for free, should the purchasing department invest in green biros as well as green energy and should the man who comes in to fix the photocopier be invited to the Christmas party because he has racked up the highest attendance rate even though he isn’t directly employed by the company?
3. The European Union
This type of organisation is shrouded in rules and regulations. There’s a rule and regulation for everything. If you work in sales at this type of company, you may only be allowed to sell to a customer if you have correctly updated their information on the Contact Management System and when we say correctly, we mean spelling, grammar, punctuation, dental records – everything! Everything you do must be compliant with procedure and there are probably directives for things like how many sheets of loo roll you are allowed to use when you go to the toilet, which brands of cigarettes can be smoked during breaks from a pre-selected company ‘preferred list’ and how many times you should stir your coffee after adding milk and sugar.
4. The Fight Club
The first rule about working in this type of office is no one is ever allowed to mention what goes on in this type of office. This is because your clients would be horrified if they knew the extent to which bad behaviour is tolerated – so long as the cash keeps rolling in. Anyone with any personal traits that can be mocked or teased is in for a rough time because ‘banter’ is the order of the day around here. The high octane short term profit driven atmosphere is not for the faint hearted. Imagine Leonardo Di Caprio’s character in The Wolf of Wall Street selling double glazing and it would sum up your workplace to a tee.
5. The little girls’ sleepover
If there’s one type of workplace that is truly difficult to work at it’s this one. The problem is deep down everybody hates each other, but everyone is oh so nice about it. For every sentence you utter to one of your colleagues, you can guarantee there will be at least 10 sentences sent via email to someone else slagging you off for it. If you don’t pull your weight – you’re lazy and if you try to take the initiative, everybody accuses you of trying to be the boss – you just can’t win can you? It’s the sense of confusion and paranoia that defines the culture in this type of workplace. If you learn to develop eyes in the back of your head and are prepared for being stabbed in the back by your closest confidante, you should fit right in working at a place like this!