Understanding work culture in Auckland

work culture
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Updated 2023-03-04 18:42

Aucklanders tend to take their work seriously but also enjoy a fun and supportive environment. If you're concerned about how to fit in as an expat, here is some advice for what to expect in an Auckland workplace.

The dress code in Auckland

As with any city, workplace attire can vary hugely depending on what you are doing. Retail, hospitality and other services will often have a uniform top and expect you to wear your own plain black pants. However, if you are entering into an office-based role, you might find that there is a huge variety of what you are expected to wear from company to company.

On average, the Auckland workplace is business casual. For men, that might mean a button-down shirt and a tie, while for women it could look like a blouse and skirt/trousers or a simple dress. Nicer shoes are also expected; although they don't have to be leather, try to avoid running shoes and sneakers. Most companies will not want their employees to wear jeans, although this is something that is becoming more common.

Of course, there are companies that have no problems with a t-shirt and shorts, and some that expect blazers at all times. With Auckland's diverse work sectors and the growth of technology companies, it's very hard to know for sure until you are in the office. You might find a dress code in your contract. If not, just aim for a little overdressed the first few days, and take your cue from those around you.

How to behave at your workplace in Auckland

It can be hard to know how formal or casual to be when you're interacting with others in the workplace. While Aucklanders do like to chat and have a laugh, they are also hard workers who take their jobs seriously.

You might find yourself in a conversation that starts with cricket and a funny story about a loved one that then quickly moves into a more serious discussion about something work-related. While email is a useful tool for communicating in an organization, often a quick question can be better answered over the phone or in person, which is also a good opportunity to develop relationships with your peers.

As Auckland is a city of under 1.7 million people, it is often relationships with people that will give you the biggest opportunities when it comes to career. Being friendly and communicating clearly can go a long way. However, this doesn't mean you should let people take advantage of you. If you are having issues with a coworker, keep a written record of what is happening and find time to talk to your superior or someone from human resources about the problem.

Lunch break and after work in Auckland

There is a strong food and drink culture in Auckland. One way to set yourself apart is by bringing food to share at lunch. As an expat, you might have a dish you love from your home country that you could make and share with your colleagues.

One thing that Aucklanders hate is people who don't think about their comfort in the shared lunch space. If you are bringing lunch from home to heat and eat, think about what your meal might smell like to others. Never, ever microwave fish where other people will have to sit and eat.

On a Friday, it's often the time for a couple of after-work drinks. Some companies will have these in the office, while others will head down to a local pub or bar in a group. This can be a great opportunity to make friends and contacts in the company that will bring a little joy to your everyday life in Auckland.

Working schedules in Auckland

You probably won't be expected to work beyond 45 hours a week unless that is the norm for your industry, and you are entitled to four weeks of annual leave plus any national or regional statutory holidays.

Post-pandemic, many workplaces are adopting more flexible work schedules, with some employers allowing workers to work from home part-time.

Finally, if you find yourself struggling, talk to someone. In Kiwi culture, people would prefer if you ask for help where you need it rather than let pride get in the way and make it worse.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.