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A French girl’s guide to the Australian working culture

When Barbara first arrived in Australia 2.5 years ago, she had left behind her role as a logistics coordinator in a large, established Industrial company in France. What she found in sunny Sydney was quite the opposite. Here, she shares a European perspective on what it’s like to work at a quintessentially Australian office like Lux Group…

I remember very well my first day here at Lux Group. My team leader was doing a presentation and showing me around the office and I was thinking to myself ’Who is that rude person playing music very loud!’ Eventually, I realized that the music was everywhere in the office! What a shock! In my previous office in France it was considered highly inappropriate to listen music while working. I guess people think that we can’t be as productive while listening the music, which I’ve since learned is not the case.

I was completely amazed to see how people were friendly and chill, whilst still getting sh*t done! Something that people do seem to understand well in Australia is that you can work very hard, take 10 minutes to play table tennis, and go back 100% on your previous tasks. Here, you can even work hard wearing shorts and thongs! Something you can’t do in most European companies.

Another aspect of Australian work life I find  very interesting is the multicultural environment. In my first Australian team of 8 people,  we had people from Brazil, India, Germany, France and of course Australia. Everyone having a varying background and each bringing to the team their own best practice methods and different work ethics, showed us all just  how complex and beautiful our cultural differences are.

Of course the yoga, the Friday drinks and massages were an amazing surprise too! I can tell you that my friends back home were jealous when I told them all the benefits of my Australian job! I really think that being in a company where you have great benefits helps creativity and overall well-being. It’s something very important for me, enjoying coming every day to work makes a huge difference – we spend so much time at work, why wouldn’t it be in the greatest condition?

The concept of ‘working from home’ is much more developed here than in France as well. It’s a great chance for people who have a long commute, or any other reason, to be able to work from home few days a week. I’ve found companies have a real trust in people here. When work needs to be done, it will be done whether it’s from home or from the office… ‘no worries’!

I’ve found Australians have a great balance between work and personal life too. People are very open minded when it comes to leave a bit early one day because you have an important appointment. And when the work is done, people are not afraid to leave on time! A few times back in France I heard people saying to others : “Are you leaving? It’s 5.30pm, did you take your afternoon off ? Ha ha!” It was a joke of course, but it pretty much reflects what people are thinking when you leave on time…

The marketplace is very dynamic here, particularly when it comes to tech. When I started 2 years ago we were told almost every month that the business was growing and having new brands on board. It’s very exciting working for a company in a period expansion, I’ve had the opportunity to change roles three times over the last 2 years. I first started as a Supply Chain Escalation Coordinator for few months, before jumping into a Supply Chain Coordinator position for over a year and a half, and now I am the Inventory Coordinator.

Companies here tend to be smaller than in Europe and there is no boundaries to your work and creativity. There is room for improvement everywhere, you can come with ideas, they are listened and you are encouraged to develop and experiment them. If you work hard and are good at what you do, you will shine even brighter than you could have done in other countries, which is one of the many reasons I’m proud to call Australia home.

Is there an aspect of Australian working culture that surprised you? Comment and let us know on Facebook.