Company culture is an integral part of the future of work as more companies place greater emphasis on the work environment and the way they do things around the office. However, the main problem with company culture is that one person’s ideal may be quite the opposite for another person, for example, your colleagues may enjoy turning every meeting into a lively catch-up session while you on the other hand prefer to keep personal and work matters separate. This work environment may not necessarily be toxic or negative but when do you know it is time to move on, despite loving the job at hand?
For job seekers, it is generally advisable to do a fair share of research on your prospective before submitting your job application. Employee reviews online such as Glassdoor or even Jobstreet enables young job seekers gain an insight into the shared values or organisational culture of a company. High-profile companies usually have a lot written about them online and it pays to take note of information about the office setting and employee interactions. During the interview stage, candidates are encouraged to ask the prospective employer or recruiter questions about the office setting and how work is rewarded and if there are any specific go-to seniors or mentors available when guidance is required or even what happens if a mistake occurs.
But, what if you have been in a company for a considerable amount of time and just feel like you don’t seem to blend in. Do you quit the job you love? The answer may not be straightforward. Before throwing in the towel, you may want to consider troubleshooting the problem. The important question to ask yourself is – “Does this issue affect my ability to do my job or is it just an inconvenience?” For example, dirty dishes in the kitchen pantry or leftovers in the fridge is an inconvenience which may not affect your ability to perform your daily tasks at work and could be overlooked.
Your work arrangements also play a vital role in coping with a cultural mismatch. For instance, working in sales which requires being out of the office for meetings with clients and networking purposes may be easier to deal with a cultural mismatch compared to a desk bound job or an administrative role in the office. In the case of a person who enjoys a desk bound job, a negative office environment may be a sufficient reason to quit. In fact, John Kotter, chairman of leadership consulting firm Kotter International and professor emeritus of Harvard Business School, says, “The more independence you have, the more [it] is possible. The less independence, the harder” it is to cope with the organisational culture. Those who choose to stay may be facing an uphill challenge because you simply can’t stay and quit! In such cases, employees need to put in the extra effort to be productive and stay motivated compared to working in another company.
Although it is impossible to change the existing work culture to align with your own personality (unless you own the business!), it would be beneficial to start developing your support network in the office or within your own team and involving people who have a direct effect on your day-to-day work routine to manage their expectations and create shared values that may align with your own personality. This way, your whole team will be able to increase creativity and productivity and even inspire other teams or departments in the office to follow suit!
Finally, you need to determine whether taking all the extra effort is worth the time. Although it is possible to love your job and not the office environment, in the long run, you may tend to get burnt out. Ultimately, whether to stay or quit a job depends on the individual but if you enjoy doing a particular job, it is advisable to find one at a place where you can thrive and give your best.