Punching in and punching out for your pay is a concept that isn’t inherently unique to the U.S. But, it looks a little different in other parts of the world.
Doing business has its own little quirks in every corner of the globe, and some of those quirks lead to a much happier and productive workday.
Keep reading to see what habits foreigners have adopted that change the game when it comes to working.
Napping on the Job
Taking a snooze on the job might seem like a dream for many overworked Americans. But in Japan, it’s simply an expectation.
The custom is known as “inemuri” — or “sleeping on duty” — and it’s extremely common among senior white-collar employees, according to The New York Times.
It’s not a new trend, either. Having been practiced for nearly 1,000 years, a power nap can actually power up an employee’s performance.
“Naps [have] the same magnitude of benefits as full nights of sleep,” said Sara Mednick, a psychology professor, in an interview with the New York Times.
Imagine if you traded that arduous trek to your office for some cold hard cash.
Apparently, that pipe dream is a reality in some parts of Europe — so much so that the European Union Court of Justice ruled in 2016 that commuting does indeed count as work and employers must pay for the time spent, according to Fast Company.
Long Paternity Leave
When you have a baby, it’s an entire shift for the entire family — and that also includes Dad. In America, it’s common for fathers to return to their nine-to-five after just a week — sometimes less. But Sweden decided to turn that American ideal on its head.
With 480 days of leave at 80 percent of their pay, workers in Sweden enjoy some of the best paternity coverage on the planet, reports Business Insider. That’s a far cry from their American counterpart, which is often considered to have some of the worst paternity-leave policies in the civilized world.
Meetings in the Sauna
Don’t sweat your next meeting with your supervisor — unless it’s in the sauna, of course.
Finnish professionals have been known to conduct business in saunas in much the same way Americans conduct business on the golf course. They cite it as “the secret weapon behind much of their diplomatic and business successes.”
6-Hour Work Days
Instead of an eight-hour workday, the Swedes are experimenting with the idea of doing more with less.
In a rigorous two-year trial, 70 assistant nurses in Gothenburg tried swapping out their usual eight hours for a six-hour shift. The results so far haven’t lied. Overall, they reported being happier and more energetic when they worked six hours a day instead of eight, according to the BBC.
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