Understanding work culture in New York

The work culture in New York
Updated 2023-10-04 09:41

The work culture in New York can significantly vary according to the type of structure, the size of the company, and the industry. However, there is a general North American mentality and approach to work that expats are likely to encounter.

Workload and salary in New York

New York is a super competitive city, and it's known as a world leader in several sectors; therefore, it's no surprise that New Yorkers have a reputation as workaholics. Well-qualified, driven, and generally unfamiliar with the European concept of a 35-hour workweek, you might find adjusting to this mentality a little jarring at first. Lunch breaks rarely extend beyond 45 minutes and are sometimes taken right at their workstations.

The corporate culture in New York is designed to foster a desire for continuous advancement and self-investment. Salaries, which are paid weekly rather than at the beginning of the month as is common in Europe, typically remain competitive, with significant variations depending on the sector.

Morale and productivity in New York

A 2017 survey reported that more than 40% of American companies allow Summer Fridays. During summer, employees can leave work earlier on Fridays, usually between noon and 3 p.m., to enjoy a long weekend. This practice, unique to this new era of working better rather than working more, is aimed at boosting employees' morale and, consequently, their productivity. Post-pandemic, this number is largely much bigger as many companies have embraced hybrid work environments and more flexible hours.

Trust is also another element that is integral to the mentality of New York companies. It creates a positive atmosphere and increases the fulfillment of employees and, subsequently, their productivity. You are unlikely to be questioned if you say you're sick or need to leave work early for an appointment: employers believe they are being told the truth.

Human relations in New York

Generally, the employer–employee relationship is relatively relaxed and less formal in the USA than in many European countries. The same holds true for relationships between colleagues: depending on your place of work, you might find that lots of activities are organized throughout the year to enhance team building. The objective is to build cohesion within the group and foster real relationships.

However, despite the relaxed nature of work relationships, there are certain topics that should not be joked about. These encompass harassment and any kind of discrimination, whether sexual, physical, cultural, or racial, which can result in suspension. Training programs exist to prevent these types of behaviors from occurring in the workplace. Additionally, in the state of New York, every employer is legally obligated to provide this kind of training to their employees at least once a year.

Dress code in New York

Except for service jobs or sales, which require a uniform, the dress code can significantly vary from one company to another. Office employees of big companies or banks, which are usually located in Midtown or the Financial District, wear classic business attire. On the other hand, people working in smaller companies or in start-up sectors like technology, which tend to have a more youthful and relaxed work culture, may work in more casual clothes.

Useful links:

News on the corporate culture

Team building in New York

Salaries in NYC per sector

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