Guest menatwork

Busy, Busy, Busy... Or not.

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    Guest menatwork

    Has anyone noticed that most Australians tend to work quite long hours, i.e. 50hr (minimum) weeks are quite typical? It surprised me a bit when we came over 3 years ago – and when I started work everyone kept telling me about Aussie’s “great work ethic” and how people in the UK don’t have a good work ethic because they have long lunches at the pub on a Friday.

     

    Initially I thought it was true until I realised that arriving early usually means spending most of the day at the coffee machine moaning about how busy they are, that not having a lunch break means wandering around the office asking if anyone has done their footie tips or not and staying late involves more coffee, heating up their dinner in the microwave and then writing to do lists for the next day. There seems to be no drive to get things done and go home. I have worked in many countries and have never come across such unproductive workers who think they're up against it but in reality have very little to do. In the UK, people get their work done and go home. They work hard to free up the time for a deserved long lunch at the pub on a Friday. Spending lots of hours at work drinking coffee and saying how busy you are, doesn’t make you busy and doesn’t mean you have a good work ethic. Has anyone else noticed this?

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    Guest USA soon just SA

    Man, am I happy to see this thread, it has been really boring on here for a while, with nobody starting any real fights about anything. You rock!!! I just hope that you are writing this from work (from the timing of the post this is entirely possible), because that would show that you are truly integrating into the culture, and complaining on company time, "good-on-ya" is the proper term I think! I will be watching this thread with much anticipation to see who comes on to say "yeah, I'm a slacker, but put a lot of time into perfecting it", or the opposite: "no wonder I am so tired, I am carrying the whole office". Should be interesting, so I hope everyone takes a good long break on work time to throw some petrol on this fire that this thread is trying to start.

     

    Don't worry, I have a backup plan. If this thread doesn't take off enough, we might try to compare this "work ethic problem" to some poor performance by a local sports team (doesn't matter which one, because someone will get worked up about whichever one we choose), and then just sit back and watch the fireworks.

     

    P.S. don't take me too seriously, I am just joking around (but am very serious about the potential excitement in this post (and my apparent overuse of parentheses)).

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    Guest Helchops
    Has anyone noticed that most Australians tend to work quite long hours, i.e. 50hr (minimum) weeks are quite typical? It surprised me a bit when we came over 3 years ago – and when I started work everyone kept telling me about Aussie’s “great work ethic” and how people in the UK don’t have a good work ethic because they have long lunches at the pub on a Friday.

     

    Initially I thought it was true until I realised that arriving early usually means spending most of the day at the coffee machine moaning about how busy they are, that not having a lunch break means wandering around the office asking if anyone has done their footie tips or not and staying late involves more coffee, heating up their dinner in the microwave and then writing to do lists for the next day. There seems to be no drive to get things done and go home. I have worked in many countries and have never come across such unproductive workers who think they're up against it but in reality have very little to do. In the UK, people get their work done and go home. They work hard to free up the time for a deserved long lunch at the pub on a Friday. Spending lots of hours at work drinking coffee and saying how busy you are, doesn’t make you busy and doesn’t mean you have a good work ethic. Has anyone else noticed this?

     

    Here ya' are USA Soon...(!)

     

    I think firstly, as your 'second post' to type this information is either trolling; or you're just looking for misery loves company attention.

     

    The next thing is your gamut of research. I wonder how many jobs you've had from where you've collected this information on work ethic? If it's a professional position, I should just get up and leave as my experience is nothing like yours; if it's some sort of temping job then I can imagine that yes, you're probably right as everyone maybe disenchanted with temping...

     

    I think on some levels you're right though; the laid back lifestyle with fewer work hours is a fallacy (but that's not Australia's' fault but the viewer) - but it is in every first-world country. The main difference as far as I can see is that work feels 'less' like work - and more a necessary evil to go to the adult 'playground' of which there are so many things to do; many of them for free, that you could go somewhere new every weekend. That's what separates the work ethic I think.

     

    When we were in the UK, we hardly went anywhere - maybe on holiday - but weekends came, we cleaned, wondered why the weather was so rubbish, and were mainly bored.

     

    Here, we still have to clean... the weather is much better though (even in winter) and every single weekend, we've bonded as a family, gone out and done things, socialised, enjoyed very cheap wine (and gaviscon) and just got out there. Because we can.

     

    Anyway, that's my theory; more opportunities for enjoying life, whilst having to put up with life's necessary evils of capitalism and having to earn money to survive.

     

    Don't wreck it by imparting rushing around the office though - I like moving a little slower.

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    Guest billinoz

    here are some typical comments I hear from Australians in offices nearly 20 times a day:

     

    Q: How you doing?

     

    A: yeah busy.

     

    Q: How you keeping nice and busy?

     

    A: yeah busy

     

    Thats all everyone says. tehy get in at 7am for some strange reason and when I rock up at 8.30am they always make a point that they have got inearly and they are are....wait for it....busy!

     

    Ive monitored the amount of work they do in any one day and I reckon I do in an hour what they do in about 2 days but there the ones who say busy busy busy.... Im not really sure whether or not they actually believe their busy who just have no personalities to have a conversation other than to say "yeah im good im busy".

     

    Australians are very dull in offices also, there is no banter.

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    My work experience is from a few years back, but I totally agree with you. I was quite shocked at the amount of time spent eating cakes for people's birthdays, and the first time the guy sitting next to me didn't return to the office after going down the pub for lunch on a Friday I was genuinely worried that something untoward had happened to him! Saying that, not everyone was a slacker by any means, but there were a lot of them who got away with minimum effort and just seemed to be living in hope of getting made redundant and getting a package, or else planning their long service leave. One co-worker made out he was working but when a critical project was about to be implemented he went sick on stress leave and we found lots of his tasks not even started. Another spent a lot of time on the phone project managing his new house build.

     

    Not surprisingly the UK beats Australia on the latest Global Competitiveness Index - UK is 8th, Australia 20th. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2012-13.pdf - this is a very interesting and comprehensive document.

     

    It says "The main area of concern for Australia is the rigidity of its labor market (42nd). Indeed, the business community cites the labor regulations as being the most problematic factor for doing business, ahead of red tape. In addition, although the situation has improved since last year, transport infrastructure continues to suffer bottlenecks owing to the boom in commodity exports."

    Also on Pay and Productivity (ie. how much pay relates to worker productivity), UK is 13th, Australia is way down in 80th.

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    Guest menatwork

    billinoz - how long have you been here? I've experienced similar things myself. The office environment is typically predictable/dull - people always seem to go on how busy they are, want to point out how long they've been in the office (good on you for getting in at 6am and being on your third coffee, yet you haven't done anything and its now 3hrs later). I've noticed that the Monday morning conversation usually involves people saying that they’ve had a quiet weekend to recover from their busy weeks at work! So they’re basically in the office for ages and then do nothing at the weekend because they’re too tired (probably should have another coffee!). Banter is sorely missing, not just from the Aussie workplace but from the culture too.

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    Guest Barney Rubble

    Will fire in my (25 years experience) :huh: worth below !

     

    here are some typical comments I hear from Australians in offices nearly 20 times a day:

     

    Q: How you doing?

    BR: Busy as usual, do you need a hand or to discuss something ?

    Q: How you keeping nice and busy?

    BR: :goofy:

    no i'm just wallowing here in my hamock, can't you see ?

    Thats all everyone says. tehy get in at 7am for some strange reason and when I rock up at 8.30am they always make a point that they have got inearly and they are are....wait for it....busy!

     

    I get in between 7.30 and 8.30 and leave when i have acheived enough for the day so that is anytime from 4.30 to 6.30 :wideeyed:

     

     

    Ive monitored the amount of work they do in any one day and I reckon I do in an hour what they do in about 2 days but there the ones who say busy busy busy.... Im not really sure whether or not they actually believe their busy who just have no personalities to have a conversation other than to say "yeah im good im busy".

     

    This is a great point, being busy or ACTUALLY acheiving the desired outcome are two different things. it is called E.F.F.I.C.I.E.N.C.Y. :notworthy:

     

    Australians are very dull in offices also, there is no banter.

     

    YOU need to change it then.

     

    Try things like sticking the button on the phone down with sticky tape so when they pick it up it keeps on ringing :biglaugh:

    What about changing the biro refills in the pens so blue is red, black is blue and red is black :idea:.

     

    Now as for the banter after the recent "Gold Rush" the poms had in the Olympics i think you have probably missed up on a HUGE opportunity to light the fire.

     

    Anyway it is past my 'home' time, i am happy i have done enough for today and part of tomorrow, have stamped out a few fires (and possibly on some toes too) but i have to log off and check my Facebook status before i go home :rolleyes:

     

     

    Just kidding (about Facebook that is)

     

     

     

    Cheers

     

     

    BR

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    "Has anyone noticed that most Australians tend to work quite long hours, i.e. 50hr (minimum) weeks are quite typical? It surprised me a bit when we came over 3 years ago – and when I started work everyone kept telling me about Aussie’s “great work ethic” and how people in the UK don’t have a good work ethic because they have long lunches at the pub on a Friday."

     

    Has anyone noticed how all 'Menatwork's' posts are so negative? Starting to make me feel a bit down:(

    Edited by Bevev's
    add something

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    Guest Helchops

    I pointed this out too. I reckon a psychologist has asked him to 'write it all down' and we're the paper!!

     

    Seriously though, the nice thing about his posts is that they're all things that any individual can change. Don't want to do long hours at the office? Don't! Change career!

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    Guest Barney Rubble
    I pointed this out too. I reckon a psychologist has asked him to 'write it all down' and we're the paper!!

     

    Seriously though, the nice thing about his posts is that they're all things that any individual can change. Don't want to do long hours at the office? Don't! Change career!

     

    The alternate option is to control the hours you put in. there are not many jobs out there & what if you change & feel the same after a few months/years.

     

    That'll mean the problem is you not your job.

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    Guest Helchops

    The way I view work is that it is a necessary evil, based around the idea of capitalism; and that vouchers or credits (i.e dollars) provide me and my family with food and shelter.

     

    Personally, I'm not a fan of capitalism and would prefer to build my own hut and chase chickens for food - but then I'm not fond of getting sick, being cold and starving to death in the winter so I guess i've got to put up with it.

     

    If you don't want to work long hours, work part time; adjust your standard of living. Every developed country has offices with the same issues! I just personally prefer to get in early, be productive and get home to spend my 'actual life' with the people I love.

     

    And I enjoy my job by the way, but that's irrelevant to this discussion.

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    Surely this isn't just an Australian thing? This thread must describe offices and work places the world over. Wherever you are you're always going to get hard workers and slackers and I suppose it depends on the company as well. Regarding the banter, it definitely isn't any different here to what it was in the UK for me. There's plenty to be had with the right people, it's been great winding my Aussie mates up recently with the cricket and the olympics going so well for the poms.

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    Guest menatwork

    That's a very negative thing to say and if you do feel that way, I don't understand why you continue to log-on and read them - I sense another post coming along! Clearly you are an admirer of my work as you've gone to the effort of looking up all of my posts - it is appreciated. I can honestly say, I haven't the foggiest idea what is in your respective posts other than those above!

     

    All I've ever done is pointed out a few things from my own perspective, surely that's not a crime! I get the impression that a lot of people on here are looking to stir things up unnecessarily and over-react to observations people make.

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    Guest menatwork

    Also, I wasn't necessarily saying that I do long hours, merely pointing out the chronic lack of productivity amongst Aussie workers, their tendancies to work needless long hours (presumably to be seen by the boss or because they don't have any incentive to go home to) and the fact that they claim to be busy, but in-fact are far from busy!

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    All I've ever done is pointed out a few things from my own perspective, surely that's not a crime!

     

    From my mod POV what you posted in the OP is fine :) You appear to have jumped into posting on the forum and gotten stuck in to starting topics straight away, others tend to lurk on the sidelines or post about migration. As you live in Aus then you are past all that so chatting and starting topics about your experiences and views on living in Aus is something I'd expect.

     

     

     

    Re the topic itself - Its been a long while since I worked in an office but some of the things you said made me smile as I remember working in one place in the Netherlands where some of those things were commonplace.

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    Guest Helchops

    Yes, Snifter, but each topic from the OP is negative. Surely that would constitute, 'stir[ing] things up unnecessarily and over-react[ing] to observations people make' as said by the OP.

     

    I just don't get how anyone can say, 'Australian office workers are unproductive'. I think it's seriously rude. Imagine me saying the same about any other country...UK, India? Imagine me saying, 'Aboriginal people are unproductive' here...Isn't that an unfair generalisation? I really cringe as I know a few aussies that read these forums - and whilst we're all allowed our opinions, repeatedly starting posts which aim to inspire controversy are just...meh...

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    Yes, Snifter, but each topic from the OP is negative. Surely that would constitute, 'stir[ing] things up unnecessarily and over-react[ing] to observations people make' as said by the OP.

     

    I just don't get how anyone can say, 'Australian office workers are unproductive'. I think it's seriously rude. Imagine me saying the same about any other country...UK, India? Imagine me saying, 'Aboriginal people are unproductive' here...Isn't that an unfair generalisation? I really cringe as I know a few aussies that read these forums - and whilst we're all allowed our opinions, repeatedly starting posts which aim to inspire controversy are just...meh...

     

    The OP is a recently joined member who has 8 posts to their name :) I for one am going to give things a chance and see how it goes. I don't see jumping on someone the second they sign up and post something negative helps much. Sure we like positives (and the OP has stated in another thread they are loving living in Aus and are happy so I don't see it all as doom and gloom so far). Sometimes people just need to have a whinge or a moan and get it out of their system. Sometimes they just need a while to settle in to a forum, get the hang of it.

    Edited by snifter

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    Guest Guest5035

    just home from nightshift of 12 hours, i wasn't busy really, but the night b4 i was if that helps..

     

    stevo

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