You will miss out on the corporate culture at home, managers say “we’re like family” to get you back to the office. It looks nice and inviting. You want to believe it. But is it true?
Before the pandemic, you spent more time at work than with your spouse, partner, children and friends. You probably had a working husband or wife. There were a few coworkers who you considered to be good friends, but not necessarily equivalent to family members. Now that you’ve been home with your real family for almost two years, would you consider returning to the office to be with your work-family?
A business offers the worst parts of a dysfunctional family. Co-workers compete for the attention of their boss. They gossip behind your back and secretly hope you fail to make them feel better about themselves. There is tension, past grudges that don’t let go, massaging huge egos and putting up with rude behavior.
Corporate culture is a term used to bring people together. What is it really? Corporate culture is a spongy concept. It generally refers to the belief systems of an organization. How management acts towards its staff. Some basic ideals and goals. Hiring specific types of people who think and act the same way.
The harsh reality of corporate culture is symbolized by hundreds of workers sitting under bright fluorescent lights, the lack of fresh air as the skyscraper windows are tightly closed and stuck in worn beige or gray cabins with partitions high enough to obscure your view of other human beings. Meanwhile, the Executive Suites offer furnishings, accessories, and accommodations fit for a queen or king.
That’s when Google and other tech titans come up with tap kombucha, ping-pong tables, free food and snacks, and cool and fun gear. Some leaders boast of “work hard and play hard!” This results in a swanky porn-like environment that requires long, grueling hours. Celebrating work birthdays and anniversaries with a few pizzas doesn’t deserve a two-hour or more round trip between the office and the office five days a week.
Forget about family and corporate culture. The work environment is like being part of a sports team. Management hires a star player. If the person is performing well, they are highly paid. By the time the big shooter keeps hitting and dropping the ball, it’s all over. Everyone’s sniping behind their backs that they’ve been overrated and overpaid as the guy walks out the door and fired.
If another team makes an attractive financial offer, a worker will gladly jump at the chance to leave, without a second thought. There is loyalty and love when things are going well. When things go wrong, the family and cultural aspect is thrown into the wind and it’s every man for himself.
The reality is that people are working for a salary. They want stability and opportunities for growth. A little empathy, treated with respect and courtesy would be nice too. The icing on the cake is to do something that feels like accomplishing a goal and working on issues that have intrinsic meaning to you. Everything else is just facades.
There are many examples that highlight the corporate culture and the mantras “we are a family” are a joke. In previous generations, people held jobs, followed company orders, and didn’t make waves. Times have changed dramatically. Employees want their employers to share their social, political and ethical beliefs. It is not easy to balance both the wants of the employees and the needs to get the job done. Herein lies the dilemma of thinking of a business as a family and having faith in the corporate culture. There are too many conflicts. You had better work from home, be productive, and avoid all the unnecessary drama.
Basecamp is a small collegiate company that offers collaborative project management tools. In a corporate blog post, CEO Jason Fried wrote that there will be “No more societal and political discussions on our Basecamp corporate account. He explained that “today’s social and political waters are particularly turbulent. Sensitivities are at 11 and any discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy or society in general quickly becomes enjoyable. He added: “It’s a major distraction. It saps our energy and redirects our dialogue to dark places. It is not healthy, it has not served us well. And we are done with the account of our company Basecamp where the work is done. In response, a number of employees chose to leave the company in protest and in disagreement with the new company policy. So much for staying together and working on differences as a family.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Silicon Valley-based cryptocurrency exchange and broker, Coinbase, has told his employees that he will not be advocating for politics and advocating for social issues in the office. Armstrong has bluntly stated that he would gladly offer severance packages to employees who are uncomfortable with the company’s new policy of “political neutrality” in the workplace. The CEO wrote in a letter to employees: “Life is too short to work in a company that you are not passionate about. Hopefully this package helps create a win-win outcome for those who choose to opt out. A good number of people accepted his offer. Obviously, the corporate culture is something like “if you’re not happy, go!” “
Online furniture retailer Wayfair quit his job to protest the company’s decision to sell around $ 200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to a government contractor that operates immigration detention centers on the US border and Mexico. When Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah refused to comply with workers’ demand to cancel sales, workers protested by staging a walkout. The anger and frustration was captioned by employee Madeline Howard: “We don’t want our business to profit from the fact that children are in concentration camps. So much for having a nice family discussion.
An opinion piece in The Washington Post written by Cathy Merrill, CEO of The Washingtonian, an online and monthly publication focused on the DC metro area, has managed to offend its staff and create a viral whirlwind of anger on Twitter. She wrote: “While some employees might want to continue to work from home and intervene only when necessary, which presents executives a tempting budget option that employees might not like. She said worryingly “If the employee is rarely around” then the office is “a strong incentive to change one’s status to” entrepreneur. ” She warned: “Instead of receiving a fixed salary, contractors are only paid for the work they do, either by the hour or by output metrics, ”indicating a not-so-subtle threat to their livelihoods. In response to what appeared to be a threat to their jobs, staff declined to write content for the day and shared their dismay and disdain on Twitter. Once again, it is clear that the importance of the corporate culture and the “we are one big happy family” schtick does not hold up.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told its global workforce of 137,000 that they are expected to return to the office in early September. Employees are expected to spend approximately three days per week in the office and the other two at home or remotely. Not everyone was happy with this decision. In an open letter to Cook, some employees of Apple, expressed their displeasure at returning to work, saying “we believe the current policy is not sufficient to meet many of our needs”. The letter pointed out that the workers were providing “the same quality of products and services for which Apple is known, while working almost entirely remotely.” Cook may argue that it is easier to manage people if they are all grouped together in one or more central locations. Employees have a different agenda. They want to have a work-life balance. A two hour round trip gets debilitating after a while.
People have realized during the virus outbreak that it is more important to spend quality time with loved ones, take responsibility for where and when they work, and have some autonomy in their life. It cannot be replaced by a so-called corporate culture and the pretense of being a big happy family.