office cultures and tribes behaviour psychology

Office tribes

office tribes behaviour

Office tribes and behaviour fascinate me. A recent company survey on sponsorship preferences gave the most formidable insight into how different groups of people can interact in a corporate ecosystem. It got me thinking. What are the different tribes in my office?

In an open space environment, it is easy to spot and observe different behaviour styles or communication patterns. If I think about the last fifteen years of my career, I can’t help but smile at the unlikely diversity of the people I’ve worked with.

Offices are places where tribes co-exist and mix, constantly evolving and always human.

Sport-Obsessed Alphas

You know who you are. Superhuman aspirations and competitive nature. 100% adrenaline. Those boys and girls love to negotiate a deal, rule a business or run for Iron-Man or Triathlons at the weekend. For fun. Outside the office they are sometimes labelled as M.A.M.I.L.S or M.A.W.I.L.S . A very exclusive club that is all about winning, winning and winning.

The Creative Brand Crew

All of them see the world through the psychology of brand influencing and creative genius. That tribe is the only one that wears colours around the office, usually accessorised with funky glasses and asymmetric fashion. Find them at the local cocktail bar on a Friday evening discussing politics. current affairs or the latest Netflix Originals release.

The Martyrs

That tribe seems to work all the time. There is always a deadline, always something pending. Most of them survive on 15 cups of arabica coffee a day, and tend to display a greyish complexion due to lack of sunshine or fresh air in general.

The Jet-Set

Those guys are always on a plane, business class, to the next meeting. They are members of at least 10 steering committees and all own a gold air-miles rewards cards. Navigating timezones becomes a second nature. As is flying: the jet set have mastered the art of travelling in and out of airports with optimum speed and efficiency. Life is a succession of flights and global conference calls. None of them even use a landline anymore, it’s a Skype, whatsapp and iPhones only.

The Old teenagers

I am always amazed to see a number of people around the office who seem to think that it is ok to surf the web for a pair of shoes, or to order their groceries shopping, during office hours. Er, hello, we can all see what you are up to! Some of these people also think it is acceptable to listen to music in an open space work environment. Are they really so blissfully unaware of the fact that they have music playing so loud, it might as well be  a 200W sound system instead of headphones? Interestingly, that tribe seems to recruit its members from different age groups – Not a GenY exclusivity!

office cultures and tribes behaviour psychology office cultures and tribes behaviour psychology office cultures and tribes behaviour psychology


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