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  #41  
Old 14.01.2011, 11:34
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Re: Swiss working culture

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Out of interest, why does it bother you? They end up working the same amount of time just start later and finish later.
Because I'm providing services to them and often-times that requires their presence. The services department is mandated to be there during the official office hours (8-12 and 12:30 to 4 p.m.). However, most people don't stick to those times - but we have to. I know it's stupid but that's the way it is.

Peter
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  #42  
Old 14.01.2011, 15:03
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Re: Swiss working culture

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However, most people don't stick to those times - but we have to. I know it's stupid but that's the way it is.

Peter
OMG! You've started turning Swiss! tsk tsk tsk...
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  #43  
Old 14.01.2011, 15:04
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OMG! You've started turning Swiss! tsk tsk tsk...
I am (half) Swiss
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  #44  
Old 14.01.2011, 16:33
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Re: Swiss working culture

Working for a swiss company before with swiss bosses I would say that on the surface they do not like to be challenged or asked questions but if you do and your idea is better then they do look at it. I think they are just not used to it.

Working now for germans, they do not like to make a decision and would prefer that you sort everything out yourself so that they can avoid decisions. I am sure this is not typical though...
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  #45  
Old 15.01.2011, 11:33
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Re: Swiss working culture

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I am (half) Swiss
Thus illustrating my point to perfection!
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  #46  
Old 15.01.2011, 11:59
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Re: Swiss working culture

Best is working with Americans, do what you have to do, regardless of the way you do it as long as targets are achieved and new ideas are always welcome as long as it's within the company's policy / standards

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Working for a swiss company before with swiss bosses I would say that on the surface they do not like to be challenged or asked questions but if you do and your idea is better then they do look at it. I think they are just not used to it.

Working now for germans, they do not like to make a decision and would prefer that you sort everything out yourself so that they can avoid decisions. I am sure this is not typical though...
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  #47  
Old 15.01.2011, 12:21
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Re: Swiss working culture

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I like how in our HR documentation, they highly recommend that we take at least 2 weeks of consecutive time off for vacation. (Unheard of when I worked in the U.S.)
I'm guessing you now work within Finanace? This is standard in both US and EU banking. It is a fraud prevention mechanism that is supposed to aid in the discovery of any fraudulent or suspect activity.
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  #48  
Old 15.01.2011, 12:39
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Re: Swiss working culture

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Swiss are careful and cautious, they check everything, need confirmation, make sure everything is ok, , so checking, keep checking…..until its bullet proof and sign off.
... and yet still make mistakes at least as much as any place else - just don't expect an apology or recognition of any error.
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  #49  
Old 18.01.2011, 16:43
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Re: Swiss working culture

Thank you for your optimism....Ive been here three weeks and hoping to stay...If all goes well!
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  #50  
Old 18.01.2011, 17:09
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Re: Swiss working culture

For a country with such an awful working culture, i wonder how they manage to keep their economy going, the trains running on time, even in Autumn with all those presky leaves on the line. A health service with a service far beyond the NHS can offer, roads without sodding great pot holes in them and VAT at 8%.

I hope we can get IMF funding when we need a bail out and i'm sure we're all going to enjoy our Swiss frank salaries when we go abroad this year, back to countries with such nice working cultures.

Health and Safety, red tape, form filling etc to name but a few
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  #51  
Old 28.03.2011, 15:55
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Re: Swiss working culture

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Working for a swiss company before with swiss bosses I would say that on the surface they do not like to be challenged or asked questions but if you do and your idea is better then they do look at it. I think they are just not used to it.

Working now for germans, they do not like to make a decision and would prefer that you sort everything out yourself so that they can avoid decisions. I am sure this is not typical though...
This is precisely reflected by the "official" Swiss management line of thought. Pls read this by Christoph Blocher - Bundesrat! (from DAS BLOCHER-PRINZIP -a full load of shit-). In summary it says that questions steal boss' time and undermines his leadership, therefore questions should not be tolerated .

"Wer jemandem eine Frage stellt, veranlasst den Antwortenden zum Nachdenken, damit er die richtige Antwort geben kann. Das braucht Zeit und Kraft. Das absorbiert Gedanken. Diese Zeit und Kraft fehlen dem Antwortenden dann für anderes. Das Wertvollste für den Führenden ist die Zeit. Sie ist wichtiger als Geld. Fragen Untergebene den Chef um Rat, stehlen sie ihm Zeit, die ihm für Wichtigeres fehlt. Darum sind Fragen an den Chef nicht zulässig, denn sie schwächen die Führung."
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  #52  
Old 28.03.2011, 19:33
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Re: Swiss working culture

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Being from New England, I find the Swiss refreshingly open!

Tom

P.S. If you don't understand this, you are NOT from New England!
swiss french definitely yes..swiss german i am not sure...swiss italian-haven't met any yet so can't comment...
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  #53  
Old 28.03.2011, 20:30
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Re: Swiss working culture

I have the opposite experience. I worked in Switzerland before moving to the US. In Switzerland we formed tight bounds (both expats and Swiss) and often organized social gatherings during the weekends.
Then I moved to NY and it was absolutely miserable. People would just go back to their suburban life after work and that was it.
Also, company worship is the norm in the US. You constantly have to state how wonderful your employer is which I found fairly hollow as nobody really believes it.
In terms of work ethics I don't see much of a difference.
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  #54  
Old 28.03.2011, 21:24
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Re: Swiss working culture

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This is precisely reflected by the "official" Swiss management line of thought. Pls read this by Christoph Blocher - Bundesrat! (from DAS BLOCHER-PRINZIP -a full load of shit-). In summary it says that questions steal boss' time and undermines his leadership, therefore questions should not be tolerated .

"Wer jemandem eine Frage stellt, veranlasst den Antwortenden zum Nachdenken, damit er die richtige Antwort geben kann. Das braucht Zeit und Kraft. Das absorbiert Gedanken. Diese Zeit und Kraft fehlen dem Antwortenden dann für anderes. Das Wertvollste für den Führenden ist die Zeit. Sie ist wichtiger als Geld. Fragen Untergebene den Chef um Rat, stehlen sie ihm Zeit, die ihm für Wichtigeres fehlt. Darum sind Fragen an den Chef nicht zulässig, denn sie schwächen die Führung."
Is Christoph Blocher the Swiss Scott Adams?
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  #55  
Old 28.03.2011, 21:27
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Re: Swiss working culture

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This is precisely reflected by the "official" Swiss management line of thought. Pls read this by Christoph Blocher - Bundesrat!
Christoph Blocher hardly represents the official management line of thought (or anything else that could be called "official"). He's an extremist in everything he does.
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  #56  
Old 28.03.2011, 21:30
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Re: Swiss working culture

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I have the opposite experience. I worked in Switzerland before moving to the US. In Switzerland we formed tight bounds (both expats and Swiss) and often organized social gatherings during the weekends.
Then I moved to NY and it was absolutely miserable. People would just go back to their suburban life after work and that was it.
Also, company worship is the norm in the US. You constantly have to state how wonderful your employer is which I found fairly hollow as nobody really believes it.
In terms of work ethics I don't see much of a difference.
Depends somewhat on the age of your co-workforce, mid 20ish people tend to live in NYC, mid 30 ish with two.5 children tend to live in the burbs. Though, not sure this is mid 30's wth children are out carrousing in any country. NYC does not lend itself to weekend get togethers with co-workers, I would agree.
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Old 28.03.2011, 22:45
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Re: Swiss working culture

Interesting view. When I moved to California from Switzerland 15 years ago I felt exactly the opposite way - Americans live to work not the other way round. Getting to know your coworker would only go so far and they you'd hit a wall - rarely becoming friends. NEVER EVER share political views at work - totally contrary to my work experience in Switzerland. Most of that experience changed over the years to some degree at least. Being back in Switzerland now I am undergoing another shock again - the Swiss go to work when the chickens get up! And it seems hardly anyone has flex hours or takes advantage of them - everybody commutes at the same time. Very few seem to work from home at least some of the time. Quite different from California.


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I could rant for days about this - it is my daily life now. To shift gears, I appreciate, greatly, their fanatical, relentless tendency to document everything that happens that they ever did. We have a library in our building of binders that is absolutely staggering, but we can go back retrace our steps any time we want.

Culturally, I feel like I am running in quicksand. When the Swiss work, they work hard, and are diligent and thorough. However, they clearly work to live, not live to work. Coffee breaks are relaxed, and last until the conversation is finished, not until the clocks says so. Flextime is used happily, and often in the employee's favor. On the other side, the union takes a remarkably fair attitude towards the business, and itself. They are amazingly reasonable on small matters, and extremely inflexible on large ones. As an American, it often feels like the antithesis of my own working culture. It's absolutely mind-boggling to walk into a meeting room, show them their set of miniscule earnings, staggering costs, and bare sales channel, and be told it's quite fine. I literally expect one day, upon commenting the sky is blue, to be politely corrected and told it's red here in Switzerland.

On the other hand - if I want to rearrange the building to empty out a floor, the will cock their head, work quite industriously and provide a very detailed plan of to make it work.

I'm learning a lot here, that I will say.
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  #58  
Old 28.03.2011, 22:58
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Re: Swiss working culture

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Depends somewhat on the age of your co-workforce, mid 20ish people tend to live in NYC, mid 30 ish with two.5 children tend to live in the burbs. Though, not sure this is mid 30's wth children are out carrousing in any country. NYC does not lend itself to weekend get togethers with co-workers, I would agree.
Certainly. I was in Rockland county. Pretty much the same line of business and same age as my company in Switzerland.
The only thing that my colleagues would do was to gather at a bar on Friday night and get plastered. It was depressing.
I had a better experience in California but it was largely offset by a very high pressure work environment (including working on weekends and the norm was 11-12 hrs/day).
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  #59  
Old 28.03.2011, 23:11
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Re: Swiss working culture

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The only thing that my colleagues would do was to gather at a bar on Friday night and get plastered.
That is pretty much we call a social life in America What do you want dinner parties? Then you have to eat American food prepared by people who don't know how to cook (kidding.)

Funny, discussing politics is frowned upon in America, but someone will tell me their personal probhlems within minutes of meeting them. That is different than Switzerland, for sure. We have trouble discussing politics in a civil manner over here.
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Old 28.03.2011, 23:19
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Re: Swiss working culture

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That is pretty much we call a social life in America What do you want dinner parties? Then you have to eat American food prepared by people who don't know how to cook (kidding.)

Funny, discussing politics is frowned upon in America, but someone will tell me their personal problems within minutes of meeting them.
Wow, my American wife would be offended! Honestly, the food in the US is amazing.
Yes, I agree. The country is so polarized, it is virtually impossible to have a civil political discussion.
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