Working in a spreadsheet this Friday, my boss asked to have a sit-down with me as it was “already over halfway through your internship!’ I couldn’t believe it. For one thing, it makes me wonder if I can get away with only doing laundry one more time. On the other hand, it made me realize that I’m at a good point to sit back and review the company office culture at Headcase where I’m interning.
When EUSA said that the Irish had a laid back office and organizational culture, they were not kidding. The way the office is set up is that there are two rooms (it is in a converted warehouse), with four employee in one and five in the other. The owner of the company sits about four meters away from me. Other than the occasional meeting, power structures do not seem to affect the dynamics of the office. the position a worker takes on the hierarchy dictates nothing more than the roles they are responsible for. While almost every place I have been employed in previously constantly spouts a “team” rhetoric, the absence of an ever-present power dynamic really does create a desire for the entire project to succeed, as opposed to your individual step in the process before you hand it off to the person above you.
This surprisingly does not lead to a lapse in organization, but a rise in awareness. As the owner of the company is working, talking and eating alongside the intern, both parties become aware of the issues present in the other’s tasks. This leads to impromptu brainstorming sessions involving whoever decided to listen in at the moment, further spreading awareness and involvement of each persons work in the firm. This awareness of the general activities within the organization truly does foster a team mentality of the issues of one person being the struggles of the office as a whole. To use a sports metaphor, it is the difference between your mother asking you how the game went and being happy if you won, versus her having been at the game, and cheering you on every step of the way.