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Unique workplace cultures around the world

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Every place has its own unique quirks and differences when it comes to workplace culture, not just when it comes to companies but countries as well. The folks at Glassdoor composed a list of the different customs when it comes to working in countries all across the world.

1. The Israeli workweek

Weeks run from Sunday to Thursday so that citizens and workers are able to observe Shabbat, the Jewish Holy Day, from sundown on Friday to Saturday. The standard work week in Israel is 43 hours although some people sneak in extra hours before sunrise on a Friday morning.

2. Logging Off in France

In the age of the internet, we have the ability to reach anyone at any time. The people in France however, are protected by a right to disconnect law. This law states that French workers are not required to respond to emails that are out of office hours. The law was set in place to protect employees from being overworked.

3. Leave for parents in Iceland

Iceland is often viewed as a pioneer for equality and this is no different when it comes to taking care of children. When a family welcomes a newborn each parent gets three months of parental leave. Afterwards, the couple gets an additional three months of leave to share. Moreover, each parent earns 80% of their pay while on leave. This allows both parents the chance to bond with their newborn.

4. Collective fitness in Japan

Japan is notorious for its work culture and there even exists a word in the Japanese lexicon to describe death from overwork, “karoshi”. While the hours are extreme, there are other ways people try to maintain well being. Radio taiso is a 15-minute exercise regimen that is commonly enacted in Japan. It got its name because the music that goes with the workout and broadcast on Japan’s National Radio (NHK).

Students engage the warm-up before classes, just as staff at many companies perform Radio taiso together each morning. Companies invite employees to exercise together to build morale, reduce stress and create a feeling of unity among team members.

5. Swedish coffee breaks

Taking coffee breaks or “fika” is serious business in Sweden as they believe it helps productivity.  Fika allows Swedish workers to relax, enjoy a beverage and a sweet with their colleagues. In fact, some places even have formal fika hours at 9 am and 3 pm to invite conversation and foster friendship between staff. Other places are less regimented but the practice of fika is still taken very seriously.

ALSO READ: HongKongers’ nightmare workplaces

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