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No Turning Back The dotcoms may be dying off, but their corporate culture is here to stay.

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We just can't stop talking about how those damned dotcomsfailed. But were they failures at everything? Wag a finger atquestionable start-up ideas and business practices all you want,but the mind-set at those same companies changed the workplace inways that will matter for years to come.

Affecting everything from how chatty the CEO is to whatemployees wear to work, the easy-going, free-thinking mentality ofthe dotcom workplace has crept into even the stodgiest offices. Andeven though the Foosball tables and Friday-afternoon keggers may bedisappearing as businesses tighten their budgets, the relaxedcorporate culture those trappings reflected isn't goinganywhere.

In the mid-'90s, employees-especially those with techsavvy-could pick and choose jobs, using the bargaining power of atight labor market to get anything they wanted from their workenvironment. "For many employees, the criteria [were] basicstuff like, 'Am I treated with respect?' 'Do I have theopportunity to exercise my creativity?' and 'If the firmdoes well, do I benefit from that success?'" says PhilipRomero, dean of Lundquist College of Business at the University ofOregon in Eugene and overseer of the Lundquist Center forEntrepreneurship. Though the boom is over, job seekers still feelentitled to a stimulating, rewarding atmosphere.

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