London, with its diverse and dynamic professional landscape, boasts a workplace culture like no other. For those starting office support jobs in London for the first time, understanding the intricacies of the city's work environment is essential.
So, here we share some insights from professionals working in the UK’s capital, so you can discover what you need to know.
· Valuing innovation driven by diversity
Jasmine, an Executive Assistant from Australia, appreciates the diversity that drives innovation in London. "London's workplace is a melting pot of cultures and ideas. Embracing this diversity fosters innovation, allowing us to approach tasks with fresh perspectives and creativity. Diversity and equality is a big focus in London workplaces, and the data shows that it is important precisely because of its positive impact on innovation."
· The boundaries of work and home life
Dylan, a Brit working in Marketing, acknowledges the challenge of balancing work and a personal life. "While London offers exciting opportunities, the pace can be intense. Finding the right work-life balance is crucial. It's about being productive at work while ensuring you’ve got good boundaries. Presenteeism is less prevalent than it used to be, and not as extreme as in many countries, but there’s still some sense that you can’t just log off at 5pm."
· Sarcasm seeps into office conversation
Kai, a Customer Service Representative told us, "The Brits are known for their dry sense of humour which can tip into sarcasm at times. Most people know where to draw the line professionally, but for non-Brits, our sense of humour can leave you a little bewildered and even offended. But humour is important in the office. So, if you’re unsure about the humour, chat to someone in your team. We might have dry humour, but we’re also generally very polite and happy to share so that you can learn to fit in."
· London workplaces are fast
Isabella, an Office Manager from New Zealand, notes the faster pace of London's workplace. "Coming from New Zealand, the speed of work in London initially felt rapid. Adapting to this pace is important, but it's also what makes the city's professional scene thrilling and dynamic. There’s never a dull day at work."
· The balance between assertiveness and politeness
Aisha, a Legal Secretary, navigates the balance between assertiveness and politeness. "In London, being assertive is valued, but so is politeness. It's about finding the right balance in communication, asserting your views while respecting others' opinions."
· The unwritten rules of the workplace
Diya, a Finance Analyst from India, appreciates London's commitment to workplace diversity but says there are a lot of unwritten rules to understand. "There are so many cultural nuances that are useful to understand. From how you greet everyone and contribute in meetings through to how the tea round works, it takes some getting used to. But everyone is welcoming and I’ve found Londoners really friendly."
If you’re looking at working in London for the first time, either from elsewhere in the UK, or because you’re coming from overseas, there’s a lot to learn. As your London recruitment agency, we can help you navigate the job hunt process and help you learn the important aspects of London workplace culture.