4 Workplace Culture That Startups Have

We spend most of our adult lives working. The working hours and management style have been pretty much the same and we have all grown accustomed to it. There is really nothing wrong with the fixed hours or even the working environment, but would it be better if you were given more control over your working hours or perhaps even where you work?

In recent years, startups have changed the way their employees work. Gone were the days of working 8 hours at your desk, some startups allow their employees to work from home or even giving them full control over how many hours they are working every day. Here are some workplace culture that founders and early members of startups told us they have.

No Hierarchy

Eunogo: “In Korea, most companies are very hierarchical and it is very different for us, we do not call people by their titles in our company, we address each other with our English names which is very uncommon in Korea.”
YogaTrial: “we are very close and connected to the CEO and we can communicate and discuss the ideas based on his vision and the ideas can be developed and implemented very quickly.”

Most startups have a very lean structure and work very closely with each other. The flat hierarchy makes communication easier among the members of the startups. With the improvement of communication, decision making became much faster and ideas or solution to a problem gets implemented very quickly, as such, saving money and time.

Encourage Opinions

Cygen: “I will always tell them, it does not matter if you are the web developer or a human resource personnel, if you are able to suggest something that is good and you can present your reasoning well then we will implement it.”
Staydilly: “At Staydilly, we foster an open culture with a flat hierarchy. We value and encourage input from every member of the team, regardless of seniority.”
Gibbon: “We believe that our company should be very lean and open.  The industry that we are looking at is very new, anybody that is coming in can provide a better idea than ourselves.”

To make your employees feel like they are part of the team, you will need to encourage them to voice out their opinions. There is no harm in hearing them out, they might just have the solution to the problem you are working on. However, when it comes to deciding which suggestions would be most beneficial to the startup, the pros and cons still have to be weigh carefully by the founders.

Autonomy With Discipline

Swememo: “There isn’t a lot of control exerted over our employees, they have huge amount of freedom, they can decide on their working hours and even go on long breaks, just as long as the work is done.”

Sitting at a desk from 8AM to 5PM might not be the most productive setting for some. If an employee is able to produce quality work on time, does it matter if he or she does not work during office hours? Well, some companies believe in focusing on the end product instead of the production process.

Closely Knit

Swememo: “We are also very close with our employees.”
YogaTrail: “All the opinions matter in our company, we can have meetings and everybody have a chance to voice out their opinions. This makes us feel like we are really a family.”

As most startups have a very lean structure, it is easier to know and interact with everybody. Also, with a flat hierarchy, it is easier to have a casual conversation with superiors and even founders of the startup. These will result in a very well bonded team of people within a startup.


These are just some of the cultures that startups have. Every startup or companies will have different management style and hence will have a different culture within the company. There are no right or wrong culture, but it is important to keep the culture alive and consistent within the organization.

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