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What Expats Need To Know About Australia’s Work Culture

Australia is highly favoured as a migration destination for its opportunities to climb up the corporate ladder while maintaining some semblance of work-life balance.

This rapidly growing economic hub is home to so many flourishing industries and promising opportunities – it is no wonder that so many people are flocking to work in Australia. Still, there are quite a few notable differences between working life in Australia and Singapore – so, you’ve got to keep them in mind before packing your bags and leaving the country!

So, as if you’re moving to Australia from Singapore, here are some changes you will start having to adapt to. Let’s understand a day in the life of a typical Australian worker to catch a glimpse of their work culture.

Commute to work differently

Most Singaporeans are used to squeezing in tightly packed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains and public buses or tolerating long traffic jams to get to work. In general, public transport is reliable and efficient, but the commute can still get pretty tiring in the long run.

In Australia, there is a greater variation in commuting time compared to Singapore. On average, most Australians commute for up to an hour to and from work. Commuting times vary, but workers from cities such as Sydney and Brisbane average higher commuting times.

While public transport may not be as efficient in Australia, traffic is a lot better, and it is cheaper to drive a car. Furthermore, walking and biking are also popular options.

In other words, if you are working in Melbourne, do consider biking to work! It is one of Australia’s most bike-friendly cities with dedicated on-road bike lanes and dedicated bike tracks.

Working overtime is less likely in Australia.

In Australia, employees are legally allowed to work a maximum of 38 hours per week.

This is a sharp contrast compared to Singapore, where employees are allowed to work an additional 6 hours per week, making the maximum a whopping 44 hours per week.

Work-life balance varies from industry to industry, but in general, Australian workers spend fewer hours in the workplace. With more time away from work, it is common to see Australians socialising over drinks at night and pursuing their hobbies during the weekends.

Socialising after work and coffee are common social practices.

Many Singaporeans report feeling surprised by the differences in coffee and drinking culture after moving to Australia from Singapore; mainly because coffee and drinks play huge roles in maintaining business relationships in Australia.

After all, in Australia, people take their coffee really seriously; it is not surprising to see a younger colleague grab a cup of coffee with their superiors. You may also be surprised to see that coffee is a way of life and coffee joints are the perfect place to socialise, meet new people, and secure business deals. On the contrary, business in Singapore is often done in the office or a fancy restaurant.

Similarly, socialising after work over drinks in a pub is a common practice in Australia. It is common to see a boss invite his fellow employees out for drinks on a Friday after work or even a regular weekday night.

And the best part? You’ll see local pubs often holding special deals that are eagerly snapped up by hungry office workers looking to unwind with their colleagues!

The hierarchy in the workplace is less important than you think

One key difference you may notice after moving to Australia from Singapore is the lack of power differentials between employees in Australia.

In the workplace, hierarchies are pretty much absent aside from mere titles. Regardless of position, employees are encouraged to share their opinions and provide input and insight whenever they deem fit.

Bureaucracy is less common in Australia than in Singapore. In Singapore, traditional Asian values take precedence over more liberal mindsets. Authority figures are respected, and distance is maintained between bosses and subordinates. Strict rules regulate and standardise operations in businesses.

So, ready to work in a laxer environment? Australia’s your best bet!

Life in Australia promises many exciting possibilities for your career and plenty of new connections. With greater awareness of the work culture in Australia, you will be able to find fulfilment and joy as you begin a new stage of your working life.

Culture aside, it is important to have the necessary documents ready as you prepare to immigrate to Australia from Singapore. Consult us at NTRUST, where our Registered Migration Specialists will be able to assist you. With our help, navigating the complicated processes of obtaining a successful visa or Australia PR application has never been easier. Simply call us at +65 6299 0245 or book an appointment with us to better understand what the application process entails!