Work culture to me is the type of interactions and behaviors that occur in the work place. How workers dress, talk to each other, and how they work (or don’t work). In Italy, work culture is much different than work culture in America. Generally, Italians are much more relaxed and laid back. Perception of time is also different. There is not as much as a emphasis on being early or on time to everything. It is okay to be late, as long as it was unintentional or you have a decent excuse. In Italy, there are a lot of breaks during work. Workers can get up from their desk often to get coffee with other workers, go smoke with coworkers, or go to the bathroom. Coffee breaks are the most common, because we have an espresso machine right outside our office door that only costs 0.50 euros. These breaks can be anywhere from 5-15 minutes. But the most important break of the day is lunch break from 1pm-2pm everyday. Everyone in the office will leave and go get lunch for an hour. The first 2 days I was working, my whole office went to the same place and ate the same food for lunch, which I thought was pretty cool. It was a great opportunity to get to know my coworkers more and eat some good Italian food. Although it may sound like there are a lot of breaks, when it is time to work everyone is focused and working diligently.
Since I work in a building with many tech start up companies, the office space is very modern and casual. There are colorful lounges with couches and coffee tables, ping pong and Foosball tables, and people ride up and down the hallway on scooters. This may sound unprofessional for business, but to me it seems very cool and quite relaxing. It is not a distraction to the work, and simply allows you to get rid of some stress during lunch or coffee breaks throughout the day.
As a professional, I believe that some of the most important aspects of work culture are being able to have a relaxed environment where workers can be creative. I believe my work office in Italy has this type of culture and that it is very beneficial to me. It allows me to be able to think outside the box and come up with new ideas for marketing campaigns or social media posts.