Moving to a new city is one thing. Throw a new job into that situation, and suddenly you’re faced with one of the hardest and most exciting opportunities most of us will ever encounter. (If you’re still looking for a job, don’t worry – this blog might help).
London can sometimes feel particularly difficult. Especially if you’ve just moved here from New Zealand where the work culture is – on the whole – pretty relaxed. But fear not. There’s a reason thousands of people move to this city every year.
Here’s a few important things to note about living and working in London.
You’ll become good friends with your colleagues
One of the things that sets British working culture apart from others is that it tends to be pretty focused on socialising.
Maybe it’s because the Brits tend to work longer hours than their continental counterparts. Or that they’re generally just a friendly bunch. Regardless, it’s not uncommon for colleagues to organise events after-hours and genuinely enjoy spending time together.
After-work drinks are pretty standard
This leads us on to the next point.
British people have a bit of a reputation for alcohol consumption.
But while it’s worth keeping in mind that after-work drinks are common, they probably won’t be an everyday thing. Most people in London commute to work. That means it’s hard to make spontaneous plans without having to factor in train times, tube schedules, and any family commitments along the way. This is still true even if you work in a young office environment.
Our tip? If you want to get to know colleagues fast, plan something in the diary and maybe suggest going out for lunch. Then you know everyone’s probably free.
Expect lots of tea/coffee breaks
Okay, so it’s a bit of a cliche. But British people really enjoy their tea and coffee breaks.
So, if you’re working in an office environment that has access to a kitchen, except someone to be making a brew more or less every hour. Before things get too out of hand, however, here’s a few good tips:
- Bring in your own milk and put your name on it
- Offer to chip-in for coffee/tea (in case your employer doesn’t pay for it already)
- If other people are doing rounds, step up – but don’t let it take up too much of your time. You’re still learning the ropes, after all
Getting the work-life balance isn’t easy
London has the longest commuting time of any city in Europe. However, you might still be surprised to learn British people generally make an effort to get that work-life balance right.
A good example is the government’s cycle to work scheme. If your employer is signed up, then they can purchase a bike on your behalf – letting you make interest-free monthly repayments. It’s a really useful way to get the most from your commute. Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying a lump sum for your equipment up-front.
Living and working in London
No-one ever said moving to London is easy, especially if you’re changing cities to start a new job. But on the whole living and working in London is a pretty magical experience (tube delays and all) and is a fantastic way to throw yourself head-first into British culture.
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