Each week at my internship I’m exposed to more cultural differences between Ireland and the U.S. At first I thought that the countries were pretty similar culturally, but I have gotten to experience first hand some of the differences. One thing that really has stuck out to me is the amount of time off that companies give their employees. My company gives each employee 20-25 vacation days a year, while in the United States the average amount is 10 per year. I can’t imagine having almost a full month of vacation days every year. I think this is a reflection of a different business environment in Europe. Employers have a different attitude towards their employees and want to give them enough time off to recharge and be productive when they are working.
What amazed me even more is that my boss, who is the founder of the company, has been on vacation for 5 weeks, which is the longest vacation I’ve ever heard of. Surprisingly, things have been running just as smoothly with her gone. In our company ( and most accounting practices) the tax work requires a lot of review by other employees to double check calculations. With Kilbride being such a small company, it’s amazing that our boss can be gone for such a long period of time and the operations can still run smoothly. One reason for this could be their lack of stress about deadlines. Deadlines that have been given to me often change, and I’m told not to stress about them. I love the company atmosphere of working hard, but also prioritizing your life outside of work.