Understanding work culture in Glasgow

work culture
Updated 2019-08-22 11:14

Glaswegians are often laid-back and friendly. This makes working in Glasgow enjoyable. However, there is still some etiquette to follow while you're in the workplace. Professionalism, punctuality and sincerity are valued when it comes to business matters.

Workplace etiquette in Glasgow

Punctually is valued in Scotland, so you should arrive on time to work. Commuting to work can be very easy in Glasgow, depending on where you live. You should also arrive on time for meetings, which usually start out casual, with small talk and humour.

Once you are at work, greet people with a handshake when you first meet them, and when you first say goodbye. Hugs and other physical contact are uncommon in working environments.

It is also a common etiquette to speak no louder than necessary. If you are not talking to someone on the other side of the room, they may become annoyed if they can hear your conversation.

You may be able to eat in the office, but avoid eating smelly or messy foods while at your desk. Additionally, you should wait until lunch break to eat your lunch. This will make your coworkers feel you are part of their team and will give you something to do during the break, as most offices are required to give you one. In fact, if you eat at your desk during a break and continue working, this may violate their legal requirement to give you a break.

People at work (including your boss) may often suggest everyone goes out for drinks at a pub after work. It is often a good idea to say yes to these opportunities as it allows you to get to know your colleagues better, and help you feel more comfortable around them.

The professional dress code in Glasgow

To find out how people specifically dress at your future workplace in Glasgow, you can ask at a job interview, at which you should dress formally. Dress codes vary from smart to casual across different companies and roles. However, there are a couple of general guidelines that should help you dress appropriately.

Some workplaces have uniforms, or special safety-wear, which will make it obvious how you are supposed to dress. Most jobs do not have such specific guidelines, however. If you are going to work in an office, you should dress formally, with minimal colours. A standard suit should be fine for most positions. Make sure you have more than one so you can wear one while the other is being washed. It is common for women to wear suits with a skirt or trousers.

At more formal work events, you may see men wearing traditional Scottish attire, which is most recognisable by its kilt. You will not be expected to wear a kilt if you are not Scottish, especially if you are a woman, as women are rarely seen in kilts. This does not mean that you are prohibited from wearing a kilt, however. If someone encourages you to get a kilt, then go ahead and get one.

Many workplaces have "casual Fridays", when employees are encouraged to dress more casually. You will need to ask around to find out if this applies to you and your specific workplace. If your workplace does have casual Fridays, or encourage a casual dress code every day, do not dress scruffily, i.e., do not wear dirty or damaged clothing.

Workplace regulations in Glasgow

Most rules in the workplace are unwritten social conventions. But Scotland, like many other places, has laws against discrimination, harassment and abuse. It is therefore encouraged to report this kind of behaviour if you see it to the human resources department at your company, or someone higher up than you in the organisation.

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