WORK CULTURE: Meaning, Example & Important Tips to Know

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Our constant exposure to the world around us shapes our culture which is one of the main factors determining the success of your firm. Your company’s work culture, which is expressed in how you treat both your customers and staff, is the collective collection of values, beliefs, and attitudes that govern your business. The types of people you recruit for available roles are influenced by your workplace culture, and a positive work environment also increases productivity, lowers turnover, and increases employee engagement. Nonetheless, the leadership, strategic organizational directions, and management in a company have a significant impact on the culture of that workplace. To cultivate a good and not toxic work culture that will motivate your team and aid the success of your firm, you must be deliberate with your core values and cultural initiatives. We also explain the 996 work culture and highlight some examples of good workplace cultures.

What Is Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture refers to the values, norms, and conduct of a group of individuals inside a work setting, such as a team, department, or entire enterprise. Every person, from the CEO to the newest hires, contributes to its creation through their actions.

In other words, it is a variety of attitudes, beliefs, and actions that collectively constitute our workplace atmosphere. Positive work cultures take employee well-being into account and integrate individual habits and corporate regulations with the organization’s overarching objectives. Work culture generally affects a person’s capacity to establish productive working connections with coworkers and how well they fit into their new setting. The workplace culture has an impact on your attitude, work-life balance, prospects for professional progress, as well as the level of job satisfaction.

What Impacts Work Culture?

Basically, people’s actions, from upper management on down, shape the culture of any given workplace. The policies, perks, as well as mission of an organization, are all indicators of the tone set by its leadership. Managers have a great deal of influence over the company’s culture because of their role in the hiring process. Many modern workplaces hence favor an open floor plan, large windows, and the provision of amenities like on-site gyms and snack bars in order to foster a positive and productive atmosphere.

How Do You Describe Your Work Culture?

It can be challenging to adequately describe something as complex as culture; every organization has a unique mission and set of guiding principles that influence the social conventions at work.

Nonetheless, there are a variety of phrases that are frequently used to characterize uplifting cultures, such as the following phrases from Quantum’s Great Place to Work Surveys:

  • Challenging
  • Friendly
  • Rewarding
  • Positive
  • Collaborative
  • Engaging
  • Flexible
  • Teamwork
  • Supportive
  • Innovative
  • Comfortable
  • Exciting
  • Family
  • Professional
  • Motivating
  • Busy
  • Fast-paced

What Is Work Culture and Why Is It Important?

Healthy surroundings are essential for people to thrive, and the workplace is no exception. Your feelings at work and at home are influenced by the attitudes and behaviors you encounter on a daily basis. A thriving work culture has an impact on every facet of a company and its employees.

Following are some reasons why it is important to have a positive workplace culture:

  • Improved hiring decisions
  • Employee retention
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Performance level
  • Reputation

What Are the 4 Types of Culture?

Despite the differences between these types of cultures, one is not necessarily superior to the other. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, an organization might combine these several cultural strands. Regardless, what matters is knowing where your particular culture belongs in. This will help you determine how your organization’s culture may change depending on the particular team or project.

  • Clan culture
  • Market culture
  • Adhocracy culture
  • Hierarchy culture.

How Can I Improve My Work Culture?

  • Develop a company’s defined ethos and values
  • Encourage interaction and collaboration
  • Set up attainable objectives and rewards for the staff
  • Construct an inclusive workplace
  • Promote regular employee appreciation
  • Cultivate a good working environment
  • Give the teams the freedom they desire.

996 Work Culture

Even though there is criticism surrounding this system, over 50% of China’s younger generation argue they will still tolerate the controversial “996 work culture” if it comes with worthy compensation. The 996 culture is a problematic work arrangement in which employees are expected to show up to work from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, six days a week

The studies showed that 51.43% of applicants would agree to the 996 work culture in exchange for an “appealing salary package.” Only 16.26% of respondents indicated they would prefer to resign since it was undesirable. While 29.89% said they would “reluctantly” do it until they found another employment.

What is the 996 Work Culture?

The 996 work culture is a system” used by some businesses in the People’s Republic of China. It gets its name from the fact that employees are expected to put in a full day’s worth of time, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, six days a week. While a number of mainland Chinese internet enterprises have adopted this arrangement as an official work schedule others have criticized it. The 996 working hour system has been criticized for being a violation of Chinese labor law while being dubbed “modern slavery” by its detractors.

An “anti-996” protest was started via GitHub in March 2019. Since then, the 996 issues have caused significant unrest in China. And despite government assurances to the contrary, the 996 working hour schedule is still extensively used. Chinese academic institutions initially acknowledged the existence of “excessive-work cultures like ‘996’” in a research published in 2021.

How Does the 996 Work Culture Start?

Generally, in Chinese IT organizations, where the emphasis is often on speed and cost reduction, overtime work has a long history. To incentivize overtime work, businesses take a variety of steps. Such steps may include paying cab fares for workers who stay late into the evening at the office.

However, Chinese employees who work long hours may develop numerous illnesses and mental issues. In major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, it is thought that over three-quarters of urban workers experience work-related weariness, musculoskeletal discomfort, sleep or food problems, and occupational stress, as well as a work-family imbalance.

According to a 2013 survey, 98.8% of Chinese IT industry employees reported having health issues, according to People’s Daily, a state-owned publication in China. The 996 work scheme and other overtime working culture in China have contributed to a significant number of overwork-related deaths and suicide over the previous few decades.

According to a study published in 2020, Chinese enterprises are more likely than American ones to adhere to long work hours. The mix of “unrestricted global capitalism and a Confucian culture of authority and obedience” basically created the 996 work culture. And this has been compared to “modern slavery” in another study. For the first time in 2021, a Chinese study acknowledged the presence of “excessive-work cultures like 996.” This rise to such a level that, if remedied, it could erode the benefits of China’s dual circulation policy.

Toxic Work Culture

Bickering, unhealthy behaviors, poor communication, power dynamics, and demotivation are all signs of a toxic work culture. A toxic work culture doesn’t give employee well-being a priority in its decisions and practices.

Simply put, a toxic work culture is one where negative behaviors, such as manipulation, bullying, screaming, and other similar ones, become so ingrained in an organization’s culture, that low productivity, a lack of confidence in one another, high-stress levels, internal strife, and prejudice become the general norm.

Toxicity can manifest in a company in a variety of ways. And each workplace with a toxic culture faces a different set of work-related challenges. However, there are certain common problems that workplaces with a toxic work culture may encounter:

#1. Low Work Spirit

This is a persistent lack of enthusiasm throughout the entire firm, not just the Monday morning doldrums. According to studies, negativity spreads easily, and a toxic workplace can lead to high-performing players quitting at a rate that is 13 times higher than that of ordinary workers.

#2. Not Enough Clarity

Uncertainty over duties, obligations, the chain of command, and hierarchies can be seen in toxic work environments. This could be the result of inefficient management, inadequate communication, or power disputes.

The ultimate consequence meanwhile is a workforce that is clueless about their roles, how to perform them, and who to ask for assistance.

#3. Interpersonal Conflict

Drama includes things like gossip, cliques, passive aggressiveness, as well as workplace harassment. In addition, power disputes between senior executives and their loyalists may lead to interdepartmental turmoil in many toxic firms. Thus, this isn’t just a problem for the non-leadership staff.

#4. Fear of Failure

Employees who are afraid experience inferior health outcomes and also perform poorly at work, When a worker feel or knows that they will be punished for making mistakes, the work environment is poisonous.

#5. High Employee Turnover Rates

And who could possibly blame anyone in this situation? An unhealthy workplace is detrimental to an employee’s health. So, when someone is exposed to a toxic workplace, it might have negative effects on their health.

A survey on toxic workplaces that SHRM commissioned in 2019 revealed that 1 in 5 workers had quit their jobs in the previous five years as a result of a poisonous work culture.

Work Culture Examples

Simply put, a good work culture is one that generally places a high priority on employee well-being. It is one that provides support at all organizational levels and has rules in place to promote respect, trust, empathy, and support.

Here are a few examples of work culture;

#1. Google

The finest business or corporate culture honors have always gone to Google. They support workers’ autonomy by letting them set their own schedules and also work from anywhere they chose.

As an innovative business, they push their staff to try new things and always put the customer first. They promote open communication at all levels of the organization and also have distinct fundamental beliefs.

However, claims of a lack of diversity at Google have caused the company to struggle, underscoring the need for DEI programs.

#2. Amazon

Employees are constantly challenged by Amazon’s “Purposeful Darwinism” culture to exceed expectations. They favor breaking up large groups into smaller teams and promoting group decision-making with an emphasis on creativity.

Amazon continues to this day to put the customer first across all of its departments and offerings in an effort to preserve the culture of innovation that made them so successful in the first place.

However, not everyone thrives in high-stress workplaces. Hence, some workers claim that perhaps the lack of a work-life balance is the reason why they leave.

Particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak, Amazon warehouse employees have complained about long hours, low pay, unfair working conditions, and fatigue.

#3. Tesla

In spite of the intense strain, Tesla’s culture encourages and rewards creativity and new ideas. They always push their staff to do new things and are not hesitant to have them work in unfamiliar environments.

Its small teams and emphasis on taking ownership of one’s work are hallmarks of its individualistic culture, which places a premium on success.

Nonetheless, Tesla has been in the spotlight regularly due to claims made by former employees about long hours, hazardous working conditions, and racism.


Over the course of the previous six years, Microsoft has been actively attempting to shift the company’s culture from a fixed to a growth mindset, making learning from mistakes and trying new things central to every role inside the company.

Microsoft encourages its workers to be customer-focused and offers many training and advancement opportunities.

The organization places a premium on fostering an inclusive environment where people from all walks of life can contribute to its success.

In addition to empathizing with others and working together, they also place a premium on having a balanced personal and professional life.

What Is Your Work Culture Answer?

It’s critical that you are prepared to provide a compelling response when asked about the ideal working culture during an interview. The interviewer wants to know if the culture of their firm and your dream workplace are compatible. Questions about your ideal workplace are frequently made during job interviews.

The easiest method to respond to questions about corporate culture is to provide examples from your professional life that show which work settings you thrive in. This also makes your response more credible.

What 3 Words Describe the Culture of a Company?

  • Collaborative
  • Passionate
  • Fast-paced
  • Inclusive
  • Agile
  • Flexible


The morale of individuals and groups, as well as levels of employee engagement and happiness with their jobs, can all be significantly affected by the company’s culture.

A company might take a turn for the worst if its management practices have a deleterious effect on the work culture and foster toxic team behavior.

Hence, making the workspace a pleasant place to be is essential to the success of any business venture. The current economic climate makes it especially important for businesses to invest in their employees and make them feel appreciated for their efforts. And a positive culture at work can help make that a reality.


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