Do you suffer from:
- Getting emails from your supervisor on weekends?
- Having to stay late at work?
- Forgetting to take a lunch break?
- Receiving last minute requests right before you leave?
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, you are suffering from the New York work culture. The phrase "go hard or go home" sums up the work ethic here in New York City. The city moves rather fast and you may realize that speed when you visit another state or country. In other countries, the pace will be slower and it reflects their working culture. Like many other nations around the world, we share the need to succeed, but have different approaches to reach that goal. There are two unique traditions that come into mind when thinking of different workstyles.
The tradition of the Siesta goes back thousands of years. When translated in Latin, it means "hora sexta". This is because noon (12pm) is the 6th hour after dawn. Back then, during the hottest time of the day, naps were encouraged to avoid working during these hours and help people recharge. This tradition has made its way into workplaces in countries such as Greece, Italy, Philippines, Costa Rica and many more. During the middle of the day, employees take long breaks to either take naps, long lunches, or spend time with their families. This type of break is something I envy working in New York. Companies today have adopted elements of the Siesta by adding napping rooms for employees and other flexible working options.
In Japan, suicides, heart attacks, strokes and pill overdoses can be attributed to a term known as Karōshi which translates to "death by overworking". An article by BBC news titled "The young Japanese working themselves to death" speaks about two deaths that are considered to be Karōshi. In Japan, there is an overtime culture across the country that is considered the norm. Employees work long hours and can reach up to 80 hours in overtime a month. According to the article, this epidemic has caused Japanese officials to find solutions to ease this issue. Something known as Premium Fridays has been introduced by the Japanese government which allows employees to leave work early on the last Friday of each month. In Tokyo, government offices have begun to turn off their offices lights by a certain time to force staff to go home.
Work culture is something that is always considered when either staying or finding a new job. You will always hear "culture fit" thrown around when considering bringing on a new employee or when companies are marketing themselves to differentiate themselves from the competition. Businesses have realized the benefit it has on an employee's productivity and retention rates when thinking of perks to improve the working environment. We are in a job seeker's market which means job seekers have a huge influence on the way the world of work evolves.
What's your ideal work environment?