Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Corporate Culture

During our academic years at university the most important aspects of working for corporate companies is never taught. Individuals are not informed about the reality of working within a corporate environment and how to manage themselves socially. It is one thing practicing what you studied and another thing trying to accept the cultural characteristics of a corporate environment.

It always fascinates me when I see young graduates entering the corporate world with aspirations, geared up to excel in organisations. Having that winning attitude is very important, but my concern is whether or not they know what to expect. I have seen from my personal experience that over time that new employees lose that initial work buzz and they become discouraged from continuing their occupation. Over time a lot of people accept and become part of the system, and money becomes the remedy to forget and continue.

Even though I do not agree with current corporate culture it is what it is, but this doesn’t mean that we have to follow it and be a part of it. There are always exceptions to the case, and I am sure that certain organisations have developed new cultures that people would like to be a part of.

Below are some common issues that I have highlighted with regards to corporate cultures as well as some recommendations:

Working Hours 

The corporate world is very demanding due to the time constraints associated with different projects, however working efficiently and many hours is what generates money. As the saying goes, “Time is Money”, which is very true, but I would put it differently, “More Time More Money”. Initially everybody more or less works the normal standard hours of around 8 hours. What you will notice is that over time your hours tend to increase because of additional responsibilities, demonstrating commitment to the employer or meeting the odd deadline here and there. Eventually your normal 8 hour day becomes an abnormal 10 hour day. Eventually this will soon be the new norm as you have set yourself new working hours and put yourself in that position through habit. However it doesn’t stop there, people end up working during their weekends and even at home. So we drag ourselves into working more hours which is hard to break later.


Stick to your working hours you are expected to work and perform your job to the best of your abilities within the time frame you have been given. If you believe that more time is needed negotiate diplomatically with your superiors. Be strict with yourself and don’t fall into the trap. Let others work as much as they want, it’s their choice. You can call it voluntary slavery. End of the day even if you do get the extra bonus here and there, it will never buy you the hours you lost.

Knowing Key Employees

Even though everybody is an employee, some have more influential roles in the company. To begin with it is difficult to understand and identify who are the key employees. Perhaps certain employees have a more informative role with management, others just have big mouths and can’t keep it shut. Being naive in the beginning can have adverse effects upon you, especially when you think than everybody thinks as you do. Nobody is the same as you, nobody thinks the same as you. News and information travels fast in companies, so you need to watch what you say and what you do in front of certain “colleagues”


It is always best to be reserved in your working environment, especially in the beginning. Try and understand people’s roles in the organization. Cleaners for example have a very important role which should not be underestimated. If you ever want others to know something just tell the cleaners. The last thing you want is saying the wrong thing to the wrong person and others finding it out, especially management, which could affect your career.


Everybody likes to gossip about others. Without wanting you can get dragged into it. More than likely you will be gossiped about. You can’t prevent others but that doesn’t mean you have to be part of it. If you are part of it, people can easily accuse you for speaking about someone. There is no specific moment when it occurs, it happens whenever and wherever.



If you are exposed to gossip you can either leave the room, or simply shut off and don’t say nothing. It’s best to leave them to it. Sometimes at work parties a little social lubricant could loosen your tongue and you end up saying one or two things. Watch your drink. If you are ever asked by somebody to comment about someone just reply with a positive comment about them, no response can be interpreted as negative.

These are not common just in corporate environments but in other organisations. Unfortunately, because certain number of individuals are competitive by nature this affects the whole working culture adversely.

Having the right attitude at work helps with your job. Your attitude is what lets people know who you are. Your attitude should be to get your job done to the best of your abilities within the time frame you are required to work. Avoid getting swayed into alternative working patterns as this will change you.


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