Cultural competence all around

This past weekend, I’ve come back from adventuring around more of Ireland. Although I’ve been here for nearly two months, the country’s landscape and even Dublin city is still just as amazing as on the first day. One thing I can’t get over is the greenery. There is an insane amount of greenery basically everywhere and it makes for some very beautiful views. I also recently wen to a museum and there was a quote on the wall that said if the world was a book, no one studies that book as much as the traveler. And so, the person that wants to know more about the world, must travel around in order to learn. This resonated with me and is the exact reason I enjoy traveling so much. Spending time in Ireland thus far and looking forward to the remaining weeks, I strive to make the most out of this chapter in the book.

The work culture in Ireland is completely different. Their definitions of work/life balance and what it means to be successful is all based off of the idea of having a separate life outside of work. Different than America, work/life balance is not an integration of the two together so that more work and productivity can be done. Rather, having a separate life and sometimes leaving work early or doing work from home is encouraged so that employees can make sure that work is not taking over. Aside from this, when people are at work, the environment is different in that it is more relaxed. It’s not fast paced and there’s no particular rush to do anything. I also noticed from the presentations I attended and the meetings my supervisor discussed with me that deadlines and times are also very relax. If a meeting is at 12, about half or more of the attendees will most likely be about 10 minutes late. My supervisor would assign me a task and when I asked when it needed to be done by, he’d give me three days when I would only need half the allotted time. From these interactions, I learned just how different work cultures in different countries can be. I believe that the work culture is an extension of everyday way of living. Having seen Ireland’s everyday way of living and work culture opposed to that of the US, that belief is confirmed. 

Although I don’t think it’s possible to bring back the relax work culture that is present in Ireland. There is much to be learned from this concept. I believe one of the biggest takeaways that can be applied is their idea of work/life balance. It is truly a balance rather than an integration of work and family life. Having something outside of work and being able to put work aside for more important things is something that should be easier to do in America. I have heard of places offering day care services so that parents can be at work without worrying about their child, but I feel that striving to strike a balance so that isn’t necessary is important. For me this is a valuable change and integration in my own life that I will strive for. Stay tuned for more on work culture and Ireland adventures next week!