Work culture differences: England, France and Spain
In my essay, I write about some experiences of working with people from different cultures.
In 2014, I worked in Benalmadena, Spain for five weeks in a bar. The Spanish colleagues were really friendly and quick in their actions compared to us Finns. In Spanish people have long days at work and in the middle of the day they have a siesta. We did not spend siesta at the hotel but still our work days were pretty long. We went to our workplace for a visit after two years, and it was a pleasure to see how friendly old colleagues still interviewed us about our new jobs and also about Finnish culture.
Last summer I worked in three different countries in Europe. Working in England was the most fun because the locals spoke good English and wanted to help us speak it as well. The English work culture did not stand out much from Finland, but some practical things could have been improved. The big difference in culture was that I noticed the quality of the food. I did not like English breakfast, and the quality of the restaurant food was below average.
We switched to France during the European Tour in the summer. In France, culture did not include English language, and they were unwilling to even try to speak English. There was really much to improve in the work culture when comparing the motivation with Finnish employees. French people were really comfortable and could quit their jobs if it was too hot or if they wanted to take a break. I also noticed how important it was to them that the jobs were told in their own language. I tried to guide them in English, but they did not want to be helpful. My colleague instructed them in French to help me, and after that the job was done in a whole new way and motivation.
When you work with people from different cultures, you will clearly notice the differences in communication and motivation.