I don't think I've ever blogged about the differences I've observed at work between Americans & Brits-I know I've talked about the differences with my colleagues at work, but that's probably about it, so here goes!
Gennifer6 wanted me to comment on workplace differences that I've observed. I'm sure in certain industries and companies, the differences are VAST, but barring a brief stint, I've primarily worked for US-headquartered companies. So, what I've noticed may really only scratch the surface...
1. To Americans, the 'work week' (and even the 'work day') is a very fluid concept. In the US, you wouldn't think twice about leaving the office mid-day to go to the doctor/dentist/car repair shop, and you wouldn't think twice about leaving work a bit early on a Friday. Conversely, it seems like the emails don't really stop after '5pm', and I definitely recall getting emails even on weekends.
In England however, I've encountered the complete inverse: rarely, would I leave work mid-day for a personal errand (I'd instead try to schedule it for first/last thing in the day), and I can quite literally count on 2 fingers the number of times I've left work before 5pm on a Friday in 3.5 years (sigh). However, rarely do I receive an email from a British colleague outside of work hours during the week, and the same holds true on weekends. Brits seem to be more protective-and prescribed-of their 'non-work' hours, whereas for Americans, it's all just seems to flow together.
2. In England, don't even think of going to the kitchen without asking everyone (and it does feel like everyone...) if they want a cup of tea/coffee/water/biscuit...whatever the kitchen stocks. It just isn't done.
3. Employers in England (though, perhaps this is a London-only thing), are more 'generous' with the amenities they provide in women's bathroms: lotion, feminine hygine products, and the ubiquitious aerosol deoderant are in almost every corporate bathroom I've ever been in. It's a nice touch.
4. Brits aren't afraid of being open to their colleagues about what they think-about their boss, other colleagues, etc...When working in the US, I can't think of a time I ever *truly* shared with a colleague my feelings about a co-worker or boss-at least while I was working at the company. In England, it's the complete opposite. I remember the first time I heard a colleage slag off a superior at work (to me, not to the superior). My jaw almost hit the floor.
I'm really going to have to be careful about taking this trait with me whenever I go back 'across the pond.' Though I appreciate the candor of my colleagues, I don't think this one would go down to well back in the US!
Those are the big things I've noticed. I can't help but think I'm forgetting a few things, so if anyone else has any observations, do pipe up!