There are some culturally different things about working in Australia. Here are just a few:
1) Informality at work
Before a meeting begins, you should fill in time by having some small talk with your colleagues. This might continue when the meeting begins as it loosens to the mood of the office.
On Friday afternoon, it’s common to go out for “Friday night drinks”. This is when you’ll go downstairs or simply to the common area of your office and have a beer with your coworkers. You’re encouraged to join as it shows your keenness to be part of the office. If you don’t join in, you may be perceived as not a team player.
3) Working hours
The working hours are generally 9am-5pm or maybe until 6pm with more hours expected at certain times of the year. This can be shocking for those from certain countries where they’re used to much longer working days. There is a study that showed Australians do the most amount of hours of overtime in the world. I personally question the legitimacy of this study but if it is the case, it reflects the fact that Australians spend a lot of time chatting and having long lunches.
4) One hour for lunch
Bon appetit! Also Australians tend to buy their lunch outside of the workplace a lot.
5) Young coworkers
Australians may start working as young as 18 in a full-time capacity so by the time they’re 25 they’re in management positions. This is not typical but it’s not rate. They might be doing their university studies on the side. Australian workplaces can be flexible like this.
6) Any conversation topic accepted
People will freely state their opinions about politics, religion or culture. Don’t be offended as it’s probably not malicious but feel free to share your point of view or to let them know you’re not comfortable with they topic, as it should be accepted.
What other differences have you noticed at your Australian workplace? Share them with us.