Recently, myself and about 25 other students were given an opportunity to tour McKinney Advertising Agency in Durham, NC. Dr. Tracy Tuten and Dr. Oliver led the group as we enjoyed a tour of McKinney’s amazing office, indulged in their corporate culture, and listened to the valuable information the staff had to offer. While touring the agency, it really made me think. How important is the environment in which we’re surrounded by at our job? How crucial is it that the corporate culture of our company reflects our personality and ideals? Lastly, is the lack of unity and corporate culture something that should prevent us from taking a job?
McKinney’s entire office was built on the idea that the surroundings must stimulate creativity. They chose not to design their office with large closed off offices, cubicles, and traditional meeting rooms, but instead to implement a very open feel. The offices that the agency did have were small and the doors were almost always open. Instead of cubicles, they implemented what they called “pods”, which were desk spaces with walls around that were only about as tall as the employee’s heads. They believe that these open spaces stimulate creativity and that the surrounding coworkers inspire creative thoughts and ideas. One of the coolest features of the firm in my opinion was their large meeting space called “the bleachers”. This space is literally modeled after bleachers but with nice wooden rows and hundreds of decorative pillows and cushions. I really enjoyed this space, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen. Our tour guide explained that this area serves not only for business related meetings but also for fun social gatherings where the staff can watch movies. Everything in the agency was designed to open the minds of their staff with an atmosphere that creates no boundaries. There were no closed in areas. Even the smaller meeting rooms were surrounded in four walls of glass!
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” -Arnold Toynbee
Mckinney’s agency was fun and full of color and life, but not every workspace is going to be like that. How important is it to you that the company you work for has a strong corporate culture or one that matches your ideals? Do you want your work environment to be fun and easy going or do you want your work environment to be strictly business and structured? Is it important how the office space is designed? Would you prefer that all levels of the business collaborate or that top management dictates all decisions?
There are so many different characteristics of organizational culture, and as we all near the real world of a 9 to 5 job we need to ask ourselves what environment will make us the most happy and what atmosphere will push us to our full potential. Would a poor organizational culture encourage you to turn down a job or are you willing to sacrifice a positive corporate culture just to have a job? We all share different beliefs and values in our everyday lives, but how do these translate to our work environment? I guess time will only tell the impact that the culture and norms of a company have on you, me, and our surrounding peers, but its definitely something to keep in mind.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~Confucius
At the end of the day its about having a career that doesn’t bore you, make you miserable, or box you in. We will all make sacrifices and take a job that helps pay the bills, but there is a fine line between a job and career. A job is something you agree to do for payment whether you enjoy it or not. A career is a pursuit of an interest or ambition with the goal of progression within an organization. The lines between the two can definitely be blurred, but the luckiest people are those who are able to make a career out of their job. Jobs along the way are definitely beneficial for growth, knowledge, and insight to what you’re looking for in your future, but ultimately, a career that we enjoy going to everyday is the goal, isn’t it?