Ep. 2: The Dos & Don’ts of Working with Colleagues from all Four Corners of the Globe

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World map Stylight diversity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace can be as challenging as exciting and that’s why at Stylight, where most of the colleagues sitting around us are coming from different countries, we decided to share some (hidden) secrets which might be useful to face issues and take more advantage of this international work environment.

Spain, Iran, Canada, Italy…: we started our trip around the world some weeks ago, giving you some tips about how to behave with your colleagues coming from these different parts of the world. The journey continues and brings us to 6 new fascinating countries with their sometimes bizarre habits and working behaviours. Enjoy the trip!

Backend Developer Ugur comes from Turkey, where work and personal relationships can easily become a unique thing: “It is common to have some of your colleagues as really good friends. You hang out with them during the weekends and invite them for a dinner”. Talking about dinner: be ready to “fight” for the bill! It’s really common among Turkish people to offer a dinner to their colleagues.

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In case you don’t know it, Stylight was born in the very Bavarian Munich, where the Headquarter of the company is still based, and expanded to 14 new markets in less than 8 years. Unsurprisingly, it’s therefore quite easy to walk around the office and meet a German colleague who, well…will almost never be late. “Pünktlichkeit” (AKA punctuality) is for sure included in the top 10 favorite words of your “Kolleginnen”, and that’s for sure one of the reasons of their well-known efficiency. Lead Content Marketing Manager DACH Sophie gives us some additional tips: “It can take a lot of time until a friendship results out of a working relationship. But, hey: a lot of Germans have a few really close colleagues with whom they like talking about private things as well”. Be patient, ok?

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Let’s just fly from Munich to Rio de Janeiro, where something (read: a lot) might be different. “Punctuality is really not our strongest quality, I have to admit. Your Brazilian colleague will tend to stay longer at the office in the evening, but will always (really, always) make a break for lunch” confesses Stylight’s PR Manager Brazil, Thalita, who found quite some Brazilian colleagues on the other side of the Ocean (and hey, this is what makes them the happiest!).

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We then drive north to the stars and stripes country, whose vastity includes many differences but also many common traits when it comes to working habits. Working hours, for example, can be really different, but one thing is certain if you deal with American colleagues: it’s very likely that they are 100% ‘online’ and reachable while they are at home too. Is this the reason why some people are working more than 100 hours per week?!

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What did we say about your German colleague? “No bear hugs or kisses on the cheek” is the rule. What happens, though, if you happen to have French buddies in the office? Formality VS informality seems to be a big deal and the famous ‘la bise’ greeting can cause quite some issues. Our Content Marketing Manager Pauline gives us a hint: “You would definitely do ‘la bise’ with some of your coworkers as it is still today the most common way to greet in France, but be careful: you’d then have to kiss everyone else in the open space, everyday!”. It’s up to you to choose if you’re in a kissy mood.  

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Last stop? The cold and fascinating Russia. If you’re looking for a good way to make your relationship with your Russian colleague a bit more friendly, there is one choice: karaoke! “Supervisors are respected and body contact is never initiated. Surely that can change during passionate after work karaoke session” tells us our Business Development Manager Olga.

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|By Ilenia Sarman – Senior PR & Communications Manager Italy|

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