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Interesting and Contrasting Work Cultures: India vs Europe

January 21, 2022

There has been a consistent increase in the number of Indians wishing to relocate to Europe, with UK, France and Germany being the most popular destinations. According to a 2021 survey report, 59 percent of Indians working overseas relocated for a better job, which is significantly higher than the global average (47%). Nearly one-quarter (23%) got a job on their own, 19% were recruited internationally, and 14% were sent by their Company. Only 3% travelled abroad to establish their own business, which is still slightly more than the global average of 2%.

Europe is becoming more diverse in terms of culture and foreign-born inhabitants. Made up of 44 countries in total, each county in Europe has its own work culture. Let us look at the European work culture, which is more or less universal across the continent, and how it differs from the Indian work culture.

Frank and direct:

The European corporate culture is well-known for its straightforward communication. They don't like to mince words and are rather direct in their communication, even if it comes across as impolite. Indians, on the other hand, enjoy extended and indirect conversations in order to appear nice.

Avoid being a haggler:

Negotiating for a deal is respected in Europe, but if you are haggling for an extended amount of time, it might be regarded as unpleasant and offensive. Holding up the deals unduly can be interpreted as a criticism of the company's reliability. Indians, on the other hand, like to haggle and acquire the greatest price for their purchases.

Creative freedom:

In the economic world, Europeans prefer a certain amount of creative flexibility and autonomy. They value input and are open to criticism. This is not the situation in India, where the firm structure is top-down, with a delegated chain of command and little opportunities for impartial critique.

Punctuality is called for:

The Europeans place a high value on timeliness and want to stick to rigid deadlines. If they are unable to accomplish the assignment by the deadline, they are expected to notify the supervisors ahead of time because they dislike surprises. In India, on the other hand, punctuality is considered a luxury. The cumbersome bureaucracy stymies productivity, whereas Europe's streamlined bureaucracy makes it faster and easier to complete tasks, conduct business operations and tax payments.

The Courteous Formalities:

In comparison to Indian business culture, European business culture has less formality. In Europe, you can address your co-workers by their first names, clothing requirements are less stringent, handshakes are expected, and they are less picky about their meals. On the other hand, Indians have a lot of formalities that you are supposed to observe at the office.

The Invaluable Benefits:

Many regulations have been implemented in Europe to protect its employees and increase their productivity and lifestyle. Some of these benefits include the ability to join a trade union, the right to paid maternity leave, access to national health care, and so on. These benefits are fiercely guarded by countries such as France. Employee benefits are available in India as well, but it lags behind these MNCs in many ways. When first starting out in Europe, it is critical that you understand their work culture in order to boost your prospects of long-term success and preserve long-term partnerships. There are certain similarities, such as the fact that both countries like long and planned-out meetings, but the differences exceed the similarities by a large margin, and one should be conscious of these.