Why A Relaxed Workplace Works

Written by: Jillian Miles

Relaxed and informal workplaces are trendy for good reason. Younger generations like to work smarter, and part of that means getting rid of red tape and bureaucracy. With the current COVID-19 outbreak, more companies are transitioning to remote work, which by nature requires a flex into the relaxed and informal dimension. With this on my mind, I reached out to some friends who I know highly value relaxed and informal organizational cultures, and here’s what they had to say. 

McKenzie is a senior financial analyst for a mid-sized company that’s part of a conglomerate in a niche healthcare-related industry. Their operation is unique in many ways, and what stands out to me the most is that they remain relaxed and informal even as the organization grows. In her own words:

I love being in a collaborative environment that isn’t divided by rank. One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to be in meetings with our president and other directors, and they ask for my thoughts and let me weigh in. I also appreciate being able to come and go as I need, and no one is checking a clock or timing me, because they know I will get my work done. I appreciate not having to wear business professional. If I have a good idea, my boss identifies it as mine if he shares it. He doesn’t feel like he has to take credit for it.

Not surprisingly, based on her occupation, McKenzie also highly values an exacting and procedural workplace culture – an organization that has processes and procedures in place to eliminate errors, encourages precision and accuracy, values organizational habits, and tends to stress the importance of high quality. This combined with a relaxed and informal culture gives McKenzie room to focus on producing high quality work without bureaucratic limitations.

Marissa is a visitor services coordinator for a tourism bureau, and a relaxed and informal workplace is her top preference. Knowing this, she has found great fit with her team, and here’s what she had to say about it: 

I value relationships the most. It’s important for me to work with people I get along with, at a place where you can be yourself, and you can joke. That camaraderie is very important to me. I like where everyone’s doing their own thing, and no one’s checking over your shoulder. I like being able to wear what I want, and bring a blanket if I want. I have to have a couple things going on, that’s how I function, so I like being able to listen to or watch something while I’m working. It helps me be creative. Where I work now, we all work well with each other, and we can go to anyone and ask for help if we need it. I can work independently but they can come to me if they need me.

Healthcare and tourism are two very different industries, and finance and visitor services equally dissimilar roles, but these two professionals both thrive in a relaxed and informal work environment. How about you?

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