Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Moving back or to the UK
Reload this Page >

More Play, Less Work in Oz?

More Play, Less Work in Oz?

Old Feb 23rd 2004, 9:10 am
  #1  
BE Forum Addict
Thread Starter
 
HiddenPaw's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Nappyland
Posts: 2,886
HiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond repute
Default More Play, Less Work in Oz?

A lot is made of the 'laid-back Australian lifestyle'. Many people cite the reason for going to Oz is because they want more leisure time, and less stress at work. Someone has mentioned that Oz is a great place to lead a 9-5 existence.

I guess situations vary from person to person, position to position, and company to company, but I'm interested to find out how the rest of you find work life in Oz compared to UK. Is there a different work ethic down there or is it just a case of it depending on who you work for and what you do?

The work ethos at both mine and my husband's companies in Oz was that your first priority was work, second priority was yourself. Working overtime and weekends without reward or time off in lieu was expected and if you didn't comply your commitment to the company was called into question. Work calls came at 11pm and 6.30am to discuss the day's events. Neither of us are 'high-flying' execs - just professionals. We seemed to encounter a lot more people who were work-obsessed. And we both have commented on the amount of back-stabbing a underhand behaviour we encountered.

Any thoughts anyone?
HiddenPaw is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 9:35 am
  #2  
BE Forum Addict
 
MikeStanton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Far away from canned Oz
Posts: 1,833
MikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: More Play, Less Work in Oz?

Originally posted by HiddenPaw
A lot is made of the 'laid-back Australian lifestyle'. Many people cite the reason for going to Oz is because they want more leisure time, and less stress at work. Someone has mentioned that Oz is a great place to lead a 9-5 existence.

I guess situations vary from person to person, position to position, and company to company, but I'm interested to find out how the rest of you find work life in Oz compared to UK. Is there a different work ethic down there or is it just a case of it depending on who you work for and what you do?

The work ethos at both mine and my husband's companies in Oz was that your first priority was work, second priority was yourself. Working overtime and weekends without reward or time off in lieu was expected and if you didn't comply your commitment to the company was called into question. Work calls came at 11pm and 6.30am to discuss the day's events. Neither of us are 'high-flying' execs - just professionals. We seemed to encounter a lot more people who were work-obsessed. And we both have commented on the amount of back-stabbing a underhand behaviour we encountered.

Any thoughts anyone?
Ditto.

I worked in Sydney and I found no difference compared with working in London - except I seemed to attend more "breakfast meetings" in Sydney!!
MikeStanton is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:10 am
  #3  
Dugongidae Member
 
dugongs's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Location: Wimbledon, England
Posts: 441
dugongs has a spectacular aura aboutdugongs has a spectacular aura aboutdugongs has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: More Play, Less Work in Oz?

I have to say my experience of working in Oz was completely negative. I certainly found the long hours culture and the work comes first thing as well. The low pay, the lack of leave and the limited benefits. But the thing that really got to me was that most of the aussies were only really playing at it. It was all talk and little do.

This is a game I made up in Oz. At a company ask an aussie how busy they are and almost 100% of the time you will get the response flat out mate etc etc. You will never hear bit slow at the moment or i'm fine. Even when you know they have been sitting on their arses doing bugger all for days they are still flat out mate. The conversations I had in Oz about how hard we work and god I was in the office at 5 am this morning to catch up. But then they go and spend all day chatting with their mates on the phone or disappear to a "marketing meeting" for hours.

The other thing that got on my nerves was the mate culture. In fact that seemed to grate on aussies as well although only the ones who were not the mates. I can understand mate culture in the days of the pioneers. Sadly mate culture in corporate australia still thrives but to an outsider it appears to have mutated and now from my eyes looks remarkably like yes man culture. I think that may help to explain all the aussie corporate disasters littered across the world and the low reputation corporate australia suffers from in overseas markets.






Originally posted by HiddenPaw
A lot is made of the 'laid-back Australian lifestyle'. Many people cite the reason for going to Oz is because they want more leisure time, and less stress at work. Someone has mentioned that Oz is a great place to lead a 9-5 existence.

I guess situations vary from person to person, position to position, and company to company, but I'm interested to find out how the rest of you find work life in Oz compared to UK. Is there a different work ethic down there or is it just a case of it depending on who you work for and what you do?

The work ethos at both mine and my husband's companies in Oz was that your first priority was work, second priority was yourself. Working overtime and weekends without reward or time off in lieu was expected and if you didn't comply your commitment to the company was called into question. Work calls came at 11pm and 6.30am to discuss the day's events. Neither of us are 'high-flying' execs - just professionals. We seemed to encounter a lot more people who were work-obsessed. And we both have commented on the amount of back-stabbing a underhand behaviour we encountered.

Any thoughts anyone?

Last edited by dugongs; Feb 23rd 2004 at 10:27 am.
dugongs is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:37 am
  #4  
BE Forum Addict
 
MikeStanton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Far away from canned Oz
Posts: 1,833
MikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: More Play, Less Work in Oz?

Originally posted by dugongs
I have to say my experience of working in Oz was completely negative. I certainly found the long hours culture and the work comes first thing as well... But the thing that really got to me was after a while it sunk in that most of the aussies were only really playing at it. It was all talk and little do.
Double ditto.

I worked for some well-known Oz companies and was appalled by:

- endemic poor management. Aussies seem to be avoid conflict at all costs - is this part of the mate thing? The flip side of this is that they backstab big time

- staff are treated as pond water. One company was so concerned about its staff, that it carried out a survey - which gave very negative feedback. They repeated it a year later - still very negative. They stopped the survey after that.

- sexist behavior. I'm hardly a sensitive new-age guy, but I'm appalled how Aussie "men" treat intelligent women - or even worse, intelligent women with a view. I've seen quite a few women in tears. One guy even threw a pair of scissors at a woman. And the HR department did nothing. A female friend of mine worked for a Sydney company that fired 4 women when they were on maternity leave. Classy.

- macho, not brain-driven. I have seen executive management make decisions that were only driven by wanting to beat the other guy - even when all the analysis showed that it would fail. This has lost shreholders many tens of millions of $A

Last edited by MikeStanton; Feb 23rd 2004 at 10:39 am.
MikeStanton is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 9:33 pm
  #5  
jat
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland...
Posts: 304
jat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

- sexist behavior. I'm hardly a sensitive new-age guy, but I'm appalled how Aussie "men" treat intelligent women - or even worse, intelligent women with a view. I've seen quite a few women in tears. One guy even threw a pair of scissors at a woman. And the HR department did nothing. A female friend of mine worked for a Sydney company that fired 4 women when they were on maternity leave. Classy.

. At a company ask an aussie how busy they are and almost 100% of the time you will get the response flat out mate etc etc. You will never hear bit slow at the moment or i'm fine. Even when you know they have been sitting on their arses doing bugger all for days they are still flat out mate. The conversations I had in Oz about how hard we


totally agree with the above.... they are always sooooo busy - when i can actually see that they do nothing.

and the sexist attitude is doing my head in.....i was mentioned to a company about sexual harrasment and i was told there wasnt a policy on - first dont treat me like im stupid - its against the law - and secondly act upon it! they done like to see you as having half a brain - they like 'yes' women.... im soooo over it!
jat is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 9:59 pm
  #6  
Merlot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Well, what can I say, I have to totally agree.

My working life started as a temp (thanks to crappie restrictions on my visa). I found I was on less per hour than Australian’s, got the crappie jobs and treat like something they had trod in.

When I eventually worked permanently it got NO better. I supported some very senior level exec’s (use term loosely), which were like boys in the playground. Those in Sales & Marketing being the worst out of this bunch. The worse places I have worked in at top level management – NRMA and Vodafone – sorry to whistle blow, just awful! The grabbing of every perk they could get, all the junkets and freebies.

Yep – got the “flat out�, “too busy mate� all the time and then they did bugger all. Yes they are the world’s best actors! Then when you have done something fabulous they get the credit, not you.

As a PA I was run raggered in Sydney, long hours, after hours, on-call, going to conferences that I had killed myself to organise to find I got their to be used as the dogs body. If is coincided with a weekend; you never got time off in lieu. At conferences, the men turned in to predators and used it as a pulling session – yes I know this happens everywhere but very extreme here.

As soon as you wanted to offer constructive criticisms or solutions, you are barked down and treat as the “Whinging Pom!�.

The overall view from the Australian’s I have worked with is that companies in Sydney preferred to employ Brits as they worked harder. I heard this time and time again!

Mate culture sucks and very prevalent, sexism and the 1970’s office era well and truly running strong in Australia. This is the reason why many young Australian’s move overseas with their professions to work in a professional environment (my Australian friend’s words, not mine).

These are a couple of my observations. I have worked in the corporate worlds in Hong Kong and the UK, Australia takes the crown as being the worse place in my experience.

Oh and yes Mike – Breakfast Meetings, I will not miss those little charms!!!

Merlot


PS jat I am trying to send you an e-mail but can't get into the darn yahoo thingy!!!! I'll keep trying!
 
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:22 pm
  #7  
jat
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland...
Posts: 304
jat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

, the men turned in to predators and used it as a pulling session – yes I know this happens everywhere but very extreme here.



- see it all the time......... its unbelievable ! i know it happens everytwhere inc UK but its sooooo transparent here - do you know how many times ive seen a guy take his wedding ring off and put it in his pocket and then chat women up!

a friend of mine was over in dec and she couldnt believe what is was like when you walked into a bar! total leches!
jat is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:26 pm
  #8  
Merlot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Originally posted by jat
, the men turned in to predators and used it as a pulling session – yes I know this happens everywhere but very extreme here.



- see it all the time......... its unbelievable ! i know it happens everytwhere inc UK but its sooooo transparent here - do you know how many times ive seen a guy take his wedding ring off and put it in his pocket and then chat women up!

a friend of mine was over in dec and she couldnt believe what is was like when you walked into a bar! total leches!
They all think they are "God's Gift", you know hung like Arab breeding horse and full of charm!

Sorry to be course, one of the few pleasures in life!!!
M
 
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:31 pm
  #9  
jat
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Scotland...
Posts: 304
jat is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

yep agree - they think they are gods gift to women - i have to say ive never met so many aresholes in my life...

i have girlfriends here that put up with shit that just amazes me!
jat is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:34 pm
  #10  
Merlot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Originally posted by jat
yep agree - they think they are gods gift to women - i have to say ive never met so many aresholes in my life...

i have girlfriends here that put up with shit that just amazes me!
Here, here!

Stick to the lovely boys from Blighty!

M
 
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:36 pm
  #11  
BE Forum Addict
 
MikeStanton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Far away from canned Oz
Posts: 1,833
MikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond reputeMikeStanton has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by Merlot
They all think they are "God's Gift", you know hung like Arab breeding horse and full of charm!

Sorry to be course, one of the few pleasures in life!!!
M
No doubt Barry Humphries' Sir Les Paterson character has more than an element of truth to it...

Mike "hung like a hamster" Stanton
MikeStanton is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2004, 10:39 pm
  #12  
Merlot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Originally posted by MikeStanton
No doubt Barry Humphries' Sir Les Paterson character has more than an element of truth to it...

Mike "hung like a hamster" Stanton
Oh Mike, nail and head with Les.

Listen, I had heard the rumours but didn't want to say . . . now we are all getting saucy! Pass us the HP (sauce not HiddenPaw!!!)

Have a good one hammy.

M
 
Old Feb 24th 2004, 6:50 am
  #13  
BE Forum Addict
Thread Starter
 
HiddenPaw's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Nappyland
Posts: 2,886
HiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond reputeHiddenPaw has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Breakfast meetings used to do my head in. I used to have an 8-8.30 meeting every Tuesday with the Director and his senior management team. If there was something long to go on the agenda, they'd change the start time to 7.30 or god forbid, 7am. This was just great for them in the middle of Melbourne winter, with their exec parking spaces in the basement - door to door with minimum effort for them. Not so for me who'd either cycle or have to get a tram, which meant leaving home in the pitch black, freezing cold at 6am or 6.30am. Something I DON'T miss.

What used to annoy me was that everyone assumed that it was OK to start work at 7am. But no-one ever had the courtesy to ask. Not that I'm work shy or anything!!

Sexism - yes - I feel I came up against that.
And 'jobs for the boys' - difficult to seize opportunities fairly as they would be handed out 'within' rather than on who was best equipped to do the role. (Even job agencies admitted this to me).

I might miss a lot about Oz but I don't miss the long hours and short holidays. Leisure time IS important to me and I had more in the UK (and hubby started new job yesterday - 30 days annual leave and 35 hr week...and only 9 miles from home so he can cycle to work. Bliss!)
HiddenPaw is offline  
Old Feb 28th 2004, 4:20 am
  #14  
Goodpubmisser
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

When I was a Professional Engineer in Britain I had to clock in and out and got paid overtime if I stayed late. Thus I only ever did 9 -5pm.

When I first got a professional job in Melbourne I got rostered days off and did very little overtime.

The time in Melborne was 10 years ago. Now I do not get rostered days off and I am expected to start by 8.30am and finish after 5.30pm. Australia has gone downhill over the last 12 years as they have dropped their import tarrifs and now compete in a world market.

In small companies everywhere people work hard. Australia has a small population and thus most of it's companies are small.

If you can join a Union as they really do give you some protection. Try and join the same Union as the majority in your company as it will hold more power. A tip from me is don't bother with such associations as "The Association of Professional Engineers, Managers....". They are a waste of time and money.

Australia is also a bit like the US where if your boss/company pushes you around too much, you do your job as badly as you can without getting the sack. That is why things go wrong so much and a lot of Australian goods are so crappy.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.