Team Nice Gets Political

Dave Haste
By Dave Haste Last edited 130 months ago
Team Nice Gets Political
Misery Ain't Working

This weekend column is brought to you by the founders of Niceties Tokens, Liz and Pete of Team Nice.

32. Office Boy Band

So recently I have been looking at office culture and anti-social issues within the workplace. Purely because over the years I have found that some offices are really friendly and some are not. Whilst every workplace will have peculiar individuals, an office culture sits in the air of the building, and as you breathe it in, you become part of it.

Perhaps your office is really sociable, with lots of office banter and where making a cup of tea can take so long because you have to gossip and chat, or perhaps it’s the type of place where you don’t know the name of the person who comes and fixes your computer, no one has eye contact with each other let alone says good morning or good night. Either way, you become part of that, and it can change your personality.

I spoke to a friend who does corporate HR for one of the big supermarket leaders, who said, “Our place used to be a firmly entrenched old boys’ network. The hierarchy was making everyone, except the very top, miserable. But in recent years we have tried very hard to get rid of it, working to flatten out the structure and make everyone feel as valued as everyone else.” She then outlined different measures that had been introduced to get people interacting a bit more. I asked a few other mates who work for other big corporates, who all said similar things.

So creating the right company culture is ever more important and apparent nowadays. Companies realise that a good office culture makes for happy workers, who will be more productive. Lovely.

The corporation will pick and choose us from a fish tank of personalities for the perfect team, and then give us breakfast and flexitime and sit us next to the CEO. We love it – we have manufactured boy bands and manufactured work teams and now... the manufactured office culture... why does that make me feel a bit uncomfortable?

By Liz Akers

Last Updated 27 January 2008