5 Different Workplace Cultures around the World

5 Different Workplace Cultures Around the World [Guest Blog]

It’s likely at some point in your life you’ve thought about packing up your things in the UK and working abroad. 

But, it’s less likely that you’ve thought about how much professional workplace cultures differ. 

Whether you’re thinking of working abroad, or just interested in learning how a workplace can differ around the world, below Maximillion describe how five different countries work very differently. 

France

French employees are protected by the Right to Disconnect Law, which means that they are not responsible for any emails that are received after working hours. 

The french disagree with overworking employees and try to enforce a healthy work-life balance.

Typically French businesses are organised and they follow a hierarchy structure. 

Due to the hierarchy structure, decision making is a slow process while those at the top negotiate. 

They also prefer to make long-term, relationships and rely on building a good network of professional contacts. 

Due to the formalities they prefer, their work and personal lives are often kept separate. 

Israel

The Israeli workweek is active from Sunday to Thursday so that people are free to observe Shabbat which is the Jewish Holy Day from sundown on Friday to Saturday evening. 

Normal weeks working hours are around 23 hours and many workers also work Friday morning too. 

However, within some industries, Israeli professionals have adopted the Western schedule to keep up with international businesses. 

The workplace cultures are diverse and usually informal as well as fast-paced. 

The management style is collaborative as hierarchies are defined but not always enforced to provide room for opinions and contributions towards decision making. 

Colleagues and partners take the time to get to know each other through socialising outside of work. 

Japan

Japan is part of very advanced sectors such as the tech industry but their infrastructure is still very traditional. 

Japanese society is strongly hierarchical focused. 

The Hierarchy is defined by age, position, company and social status and they will affect all aspects of corporate life. 

This can include how you are placed in a meeting or at a table, the order of speaking and where you’re placed within the office. 

Personal relationships are extremely important to create a profitable business, in fact, some would say it’s the most influential factor. 

Companies encourage employees to exercise together to build morale, reduce stress and create a feeling of unity among team members.

Sweden

Sweden consistently ranks as one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. 

The Swedish economy is based on a paradoxical mix of pro-business policies with all-embracing welfare.

Sweden believes in the genuine equality of individuals and this positively impact organisational structure and their management approach.

Most organisations have a flat organisational structure which means most ideas are discussed openly and across all levels before any decisions are reached. 

Very much the opposite of Japan, Swedish business owners are phased by close personal ties with business partners. 

In fact, most Swedes draw a line between their professional and private lives.

The Swedes believe in taking regular breaks or fika as they think it improves productivity.

Iceland

Iceland are strong believers in equality. 

They’ve set an impressive standard for parental leave that means when welcoming a new baby, both parents get three months of parental leave. 

The parents then get an additional three months of leave to share between them. 

Each parent will earn 80% of their salary while on leave meaning both parents have an equal chance to learn childcare skills and they have enough time to bond with the arrival.  

Summary

If you’re looking to get a job abroad, make sure you read into workplace cultures before you move. It could be a major change. 

Moving from a lenient and open management structure to one which is much more similar to that of Japan’s, you could find yourself in for a shock.

Top tip of the day: Do your research before you up and relocate.

The country may be beautiful, but you need to know if you could hack the workplace cultures.

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