Blog #2: Workplace Culture

my office has better snacks that yours does

I had never really thought about the concept of work culture or what it means to me before I did this internship.  Work culture, to me, represents the overall aura/atmosphere of your work space.  When you walk in, do you feel an immediate sense of pressure? Or do you feel relaxed, ready for a chill day? Is there a constant scent of competition in the air, or do you feel like you and your fellow interns/coworkers are more teammates than opponents?  Are the employees talking, joking, and bantering with each other or do they keep to themselves, isolated in their cubicle or at their desk? Are the rules strictly enforced or often disregarded?  Are new ideas encouraged or is it preferred for people to stick with time-tested procedures developed by experienced experts? Are there cliques or does everybody hang out with everybody?  I think all of those things contribute to what the workplace culture is – it’s basically the “vibe” of the workplace.  It’s something you feel as soon as you walk into the room and begin to observe things.

I’m not necessarily sure what workplace culture means to my employer, but I know what the workplace culture is at my office.  The people here are not just friendly, they’re friends.  Some of them get together on weekends.  There’s constant joking, bantering, debating, and discussing.  It’s a very amiable, very group-oriented atmosphere.  People even pool snacks to share! While the case loads are certainly not easy, there’s a sense of ease in the atmosphere.  This, personally, is my idea of what a great workplace culture is.  At a previous job I had, my co-workers stayed to themselves, barely speaking to each other or me, it was dead silent all of the time and all you could hear was people’s keyboards clicking as they typed.  It drove me crazy.  I didn’t feel like I was part of a team, I felt like I was working alongside people who just happened to be working on the same thing as me.  For my personal growth as a professional, I know that I need to feel like I am part of a group, because I function best in group-oriented projects, so the internship that I have now is ideal for me as far as workplace culture goes.

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