Culture and mentality play an essential role in determining the worldview, values, and habits of an individual, and the sphere of labor is not an exception. Attitude to work and relationships inside the company, working habits and norms are also shaped by national peculiarities. Culture defines the treatment of employees, organizational etiquette, and even the salary of the workers. People may not notice the influence of culture on work habits; however, when it comes to changing residence or working in an international team, employees may face difficulties connected with cultural differences.
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Culture may significantly influence productivity and people’s attitude to labor. For example, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that South Korea is the country with the most hardworking population. In the Korean culture, working overtime leads to promotion, and leaving the office earlier than the boss is a sign of disrespect. The US is in the middle of the list; more people there tend to work part-time, and new limitations in employment appear (OECD Reveals Countries with Longest Working Hours (SLIDESHOW), 2014). The relationship between management and employees is less formal in American culture compared to Asia. As for Europe, it is believed that Italy and Greece have the lowest employment rates among women (Atal, 2009). According to the recent statistics, people in Greece work 1949 hours a year on average, while another European country, Norway, is at the bottom of the list with 1384 average hours (OECD, n.d.). However, the real employment situation is not reflected in statistics but is defined by work opportunities, employment policies, the availability of part-time jobs, the place of labor in a certain culture, and other essential factors.
I do not have experience of working abroad, but the stories of my friends prove that cultural differences in working habits exist indeed. For example, working for almost twelve hours a day may seem impossible for an employee coming to Japan from a Mediterranean country. However, it is important to respect working habits of other cultures. Only in this case, it will be possible to establish good relationships with employees and management and contribute to the working process.
Atal, M. (2009). Hardest-Working Countries. Forbes. Web.
OECD (n.d.). Average annual hours actually worked per worker. Web.