Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Canada
Reload this Page >

Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Old Jan 20th 2020, 3:54 am
  #31  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 232
Tumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond reputeTumbling_Dice has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Interesting topic this. In the two places I have worked at, the craic has pretty poor, although there have been some efforts to socialise after work.

The silence is a weird one because I usually associate that with productive, efficient, focused work. However, a lot of he time, it is clear no such thing has taken place, so one is left to ponder what the hell a lot of them do during these ostensibly hard working periods.

In my UK office we used to have long periods of silence, then seemingly all come up for air, have a laugh, a rant, an interesting conversation, or generally ***** about for a bit and then back to it. Miss that sort of environment.
Tumbling_Dice is offline  
Old Jan 20th 2020, 6:28 am
  #32  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 2,940
scilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

It's Canada, not the UK

I found the US worse

I've also worked a little bit in Australia. Similar to here ........... I had my little desk in a corner of the room, was occasionally asked to join someone for lunch, but usually at on my own in the cafeteria.

Sad to say .............. there's not much that you can do to change the culture here, so basically you have to learn to live with it, try another job to see if it's any better, or if you really can't stand it, move on or go back.


scilly is offline  
Old Jan 20th 2020, 12:41 pm
  #33  
Assimilated Pauper
 
dbd33's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 38,009
dbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
It's Canada, not the UK

I found the US worse
Naturally.
dbd33 is offline  
Old Jan 20th 2020, 6:41 pm
  #34  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2019
Location: France
Posts: 210
tumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond reputetumbleweedly has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

I liked everything about Alberta, both Calgary and Edmonton, espcially the people, warm friendly, neighbourly. I made really close friends in Alberta.

Working in Van. BC was exactly as others here have described, lonely place.

I found Vancouver overall a plastic and cold hearted selfcentered to the extreme kinda town.
tumbleweedly is offline  
Old Jan 21st 2020, 8:29 pm
  #35  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Gozit's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: SW Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,348
Gozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

This is an interesting thread to read... I've only ever worked and lived in Canada, but I find myself sympathising with everything written here.

All of my close friends are from my high school years. Haven't met any meaningful friends or s/o's through work or school. Anytime I suggest hanging out with people outside of school I get a shrug/people don't really care.

Since said high school friends live 2/3 hour drives away I feel quite isolated socially when I don't have the opportunity to visit them.

It's comforting to hear that things may be different in other places should I choose to leave.
Gozit is offline  
Old Jan 21st 2020, 10:17 pm
  #36  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 7
LondonM is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

All of your inputs have been helpful.
I just wish people of this city would stop actively avoiding a little social interaction. It’s just a bit much sometimes and I’m not a very sociable person but I’m warm and friendly and I’m alway happy to have smalltalk or longer conversations with anybody. I’m not trying to make friends at work either, just wish for some pleasant conversations and a bit of friendliness. It’s not very nice or healthy to quietly work all day.
Most of the people I work with have been with the company from 5 to 25 years and yet no one went to either the departmental or the company’s Christmas party, not 1 person ???
In the end our boss felt she had to represent the department so she went.
I know Christmas isn’t as big here and I expected it to be this way but it somehow surprised me how people just do not wish to socialise at work, some just didn’t want to miss Yoga.. seriously. I know some people have said it just the work culture here but I feel it’s also lack of social skills??
I will cope with this ok. I can accept the way things are here but I don’t want my children to grow up and become like this 😩
LondonM is offline  
Old Jan 21st 2020, 11:03 pm
  #37  
Bex in the city
 
beckiwoo's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 3,694
beckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond reputebeckiwoo has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by LondonM View Post
All of your inputs have been helpful.
I just wish people of this city would stop actively avoiding a little social interaction. It’s just a bit much sometimes and I’m not a very sociable person but I’m warm and friendly and I’m alway happy to have smalltalk or longer conversations with anybody. I’m not trying to make friends at work either, just wish for some pleasant conversations and a bit of friendliness. It’s not very nice or healthy to quietly work all day.
Most of the people I work with have been with the company from 5 to 25 years and yet no one went to either the departmental or the company’s Christmas party, not 1 person ???
In the end our boss felt she had to represent the department so she went.
I know Christmas isn’t as big here and I expected it to be this way but it somehow surprised me how people just do not wish to socialise at work, some just didn’t want to miss Yoga.. seriously. I know some people have said it just the work culture here but I feel it’s also lack of social skills??
I will cope with this ok. I can accept the way things are here but I don’t want my children to grow up and become like this 😩
I am with you on the friendliness at work, there is nothing stopping people from saying hello and asking how your weekend was IMO, unless you don't like them lol.
Socializing with work colleagues outside of work and not within a professional situation (xmas party, client event etc.), I have mixed feelings about that. For one you have to be careful what you say because you never know if they are a nark/well in with management. One person that I can now call a friend was a most recent ex-colleague - we never socialized outside of work when we worked together but after a very tragic work related incident last year and her deciding she needed to move on we have now met a bunch of times for pub quizzes and drinks.

I am not surprised about the Christmas party thing although my organization doesn't do Christmas parties anyway and I don't know if I would go if they did

The needing to do yoga thing is also something I get. I am someone that if I have planned to go to the gym/fitness class that evening after work I wont deviate from it but thats not to say there wont be other nights/evenings that I would be free - Im not sure if thats what you meant or if you were saying people didn't go to your Christmas party because they wanted to go to yoga?
beckiwoo is offline  
Old Jan 21st 2020, 11:12 pm
  #38  
BE user by choice
 
MillieF's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: A Briton, married to a Canadian, now in Fredericton.
Posts: 4,491
MillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond reputeMillieF has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by Gozit View Post

All of my close friends are from my high school years. Haven't met any meaningful friends or s/o's through work or school. Anytime I suggest hanging out with people outside of school I get a shrug/people don't really care.
.
How nice to hear from you Gozit

My son, who is in 1st year of UNB said the other day how very much he misses High School. He is enjoying Uni, but misses the fact that he has to work quite hard to meet up with friends from before. Maybe it’s a result of always having lived locally, but they don’t seem to feel the need to keep in touch with each other. Can we blame online technology? Did we have to try harder to make friends before?

My son tries to convince me that it’s just Fredericton that is unfriendly, he love Moncton!...this thread makes me fear that the problem might be more widespread.
MillieF is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 12:09 am
  #39  
Oscar nominated
 
BristolUK's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Moncton, NB, CANADA
Posts: 30,111
BristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond reputeBristolUK has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
My son tries to convince me that it’s just Fredericton that is unfriendly, he love Moncton!.
Like Bedford Falls and Pottersville?
BristolUK is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 2:07 am
  #40  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 1,319
Lychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond reputeLychee has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

It completely varies, in my opinion, on your industry and even then, on company culture. I have had both experiences in Vancouver over the decades. It is not the UK, sure, but I haven’t experienced the extreme end of bleakness either as frequently described.

I currently work in marketing for a large tourism brand and everyone is very friendly, chatty, and social. Then again, many of us are natural storytellers, some of us journalists or media professionals, so banter and sharing stories comes naturally. But we genuinely enjoy each other and the work that we do for this company. I don’t think I should take this part for granted.

Most of the staff enjoy lunch together, there is banter upon morning arrival at the desk, in the kitchen around the morning coffee, in the hallway between meetings, and periodically around desks all through the day. There is also a social committee who organize pub nights and so on. It of course ebbs and flows, but the company culture is very welcoming. We even have a team charter where respect has been identified as a core value of the immediate team, and we are clear on being respectful of others, including not barging in to socialize unless the door is open, respecting a need for privacy and quiet, etc. So we’re social but also mindful.

I have also had extremely social experiences with my partner’s industry, in video game production and at the local film production studios. The video game culture, at least a decade ago, was very much rooted in post-work drinks in the office, at the bar/pub, and all-night parties. Even working on campus at the university’s IT department was strangely social. But we were all young weirdos at the time. 😂

This was not the case in other industries where I worked (software, mining startups, retail), which is why I’d argue it varies depending on your industry as well as your company’s work culture.

Last edited by Lychee; Jan 22nd 2020 at 2:27 am.
Lychee is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 3:18 am
  #41  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Gozit's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Location: SW Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,348
Gozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond reputeGozit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by MillieF View Post
How nice to hear from you Gozit

My son, who is in 1st year of UNB said the other day how very much he misses High School. He is enjoying Uni, but misses the fact that he has to work quite hard to meet up with friends from before. Maybe it’s a result of always having lived locally, but they don’t seem to feel the need to keep in touch with each other. Can we blame online technology? Did we have to try harder to make friends before?

My son tries to convince me that it’s just Fredericton that is unfriendly, he love Moncton!...this thread makes me fear that the problem might be more widespread.
Hi

I wouldn't say I have to try hard to meet up with my high school friends...I would say online media has helped us stay in touch, as we can pick up the phone and call/message/video chat anytime we need - but its not as simple as just ringing up and asking if they want to go for drinks or for a drive etc. I see them probably once every 5-6 weeks. Its just hard not having close friends that want to hang out and do things all the time living near me like I did in HS.

Where I go to school is mostly commuters like myself, and I find most are just focused on getting their work/classes done and going home, they don't want to socialise too much outside of school.

Glad to hear your son is enjoying Moncton!!
Gozit is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 4:48 am
  #42  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 2,940
scilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond reputescilly has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Re Christmas ...........

I would not say that Christmas is not a big deal here. I think it still is among Christians and those born into what one might call the Anglo-Saxon or European tradition. But there are now so many cultures and religions mixing here that have celebrations around Christmas, and the Canadian culture is to give as much attention to those as to Christmas.

I know as one who grew up in the UK, that I felt some unhappiness when schools were told not to have Christmas concerts, they had to be Winter Concerts, or some other non-religious name so that children of other faiths would not feel left out. The first faith to be recognised for its religious observations was the Jewish faith, others followed more slowly as the schools caught up with how to explain different religious observances in their teachings.

Then I remember I had grown up in England which does have a "State Religion", the Church of England. We do not have that in Canada, and I think that multiculturalism is considered more necessary maybe than in England.

We went to plenty of Christmas parties when we were younger ........ but I did discover that work Christmas parties were always much better attended when the "workers" did the arranging than when it was the employer responsible. Christmas Day for us was always a day to spend with family and friends ........... as the immigrants here, we always had many more "friends" than the 3 of us! Parties of 10 to 15 were not uncommon for us on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
scilly is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 1:06 pm
  #43  
Assimilated Pauper
 
dbd33's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 38,009
dbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
We even have a team charter
This, to my mind, is one of the ways in which Canadian companies destroy staff morale.

From time to time a wave of managerial fervor sweeps across corporations, usually in conjunction with the methodology-du-jour, JAD, Agile, AgileSpank, Kanban, Lean, SixSigma, whatever, and all teams are required to produce charters. The bounds of the charter are pretty strict; a Team Governance Model of coin tossing would not be deemed acceptable. There must be lots of stuff about non-discrimination "This Team does not discriminate against Milk Float Operators" even though, prior to research, no one on the team even knew that milk float operators were the target of discrimination; the team just has to find someone new because every team has Blacks and Jews and the alphabet soup of orientation.

Each team has to have a name, usually a weak pun on a feature of the methodology and something gushingly youthful, a motto, and a gesture. For the latter the intent is something like a team clap though only the teams consisting entirely of local people do not consider the finger option. So, a team might be the Function Delivery Kings with a motto of "Humility in Success" and they might hug daily. The more machismo the better, sporting references are appreciated.

Last time I was on a team that had chartering imposed on it we produced the attached title page.
Attached Files

Last edited by dbd33; Jan 22nd 2020 at 1:09 pm.
dbd33 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 5:25 pm
  #44  
BE Forum Addict
 
CanadaJimmy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 1,624
CanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond reputeCanadaJimmy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

My wife is born and raised Canadian and always tries to be really nice and social to everyone at her work, and she hates offices where people are cold and distant. At her last job she socialized well with everyone and the head of the company was very social, that was until he sold it off, and the new owner was very cold and impossible to really openly talk to and it actually was one of the reasons she ended up quitting the job.

At my tech job everyone is fairly social, though the majority of people in my office originate from mainland china. It's all cubicles though which sometimes hinders socializing but it's nice to have access to privacy when you want to concentrate.

So I don't think there is an absolute rule on this. Same goes with some of the comments on neighbourhood life - a realtor friend of mine described people who are unfriendly and unsocial like this as being very "white picket fence" - they just want to lead an isolated life in the suburbs. I noticed this when I lived in my townhouse in Walnut Grove, Langley - it could have been a nice friendly community but people just didn't want to participate. Conversely my boss lives in Kitsilano, Vancouver, and even though it's NIMBY central he and a bunch of neighbours just show up at each others houses at Christmas to go carol singing, so there are some areas with a good neighbourhood spirit.

Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
This is so true it hurts to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e1TyRP3swQ
😂

Last edited by CanadaJimmy; Jan 22nd 2020 at 5:29 pm.
CanadaJimmy is offline  
Old Jan 22nd 2020, 5:38 pm
  #45  
Assimilated Pauper
 
dbd33's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario
Posts: 38,009
dbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond reputedbd33 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Office etiquette in Canada particularly Vancouver

Lots of ashen faces in the office today. I overheard:

"How long did you stay?"

"Came straight here"

so the poker players are sociable even if no one else is.
dbd33 is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.