In 2018, for the first time in history, Paris became the most attractive European city, ahead of London, for businesses to invest in, according to a report of Ernst & Young. Each year, more and more workers leave the United Kingdom to work in France. For most of them, it is an opportunity to know more about French Culture, the business in France and especially in enterprises. Indeed, French Business Culture is really special and different from the UK one. How do jobs in Paris work for non-french people?
Work atmosphere in France
French executives need to relax out of their company in order to release all the tensions accumulated during their day. Indeed, in France, the more you are in a high level of a hierarchy, the more you work in a tense atmosphere. In the UK, it is the complete opposite, as the high levels of hierarchy are known as being relaxed at work. Sometimes English Humor is not appreciated as its own value by French people during negotiation, and now we understand why !
On average, French people spend less time at work when compared to British workers. When you work in France, you work around 35 hours/week maximum, whereas in the UK it is 37 hours minimum per week.
Don’t worry, if you work longer in France, you will be appreciated for your motivation!
In France, when a company has a lot of employees (more than 50), it needs to have a committee which represents the needs of these employees. The main goal of this committee is to be the link between workers and the direction of the company. It defends the interest and the needs of the employees and it ensures a good working atmosphere.
The Enterprise Committee (EC) really has to make the working environment more appreciable and enjoyable for workers. Contrary to the culture in France, the United Kingdom doesn’t have this kind of employees committee, it works most of the time with a trade-union.
How could we talk about business culture in France, without talking about strikes? In France, strike is almost a national sport. There is no week without that kind of event in France.
In the UK, there are only a few strikes each year. It can be surprising when you know that English people generally belong more to trade unions than French people.
Be ready for being surprised with this, just as all the non-french people working in Paris, or France generally.
Relationship with CEO
Relationships between a chief executive officer and his employees in the French Business are really different in both countries. In the United Kingdom, employees are more seen as colleagues. Indeed, they can easily approach their CEO and talk with them.
In the UK, it is something common that the CEO and their employees enjoy time together for a golf or a tennis game for example. In the French business culture, the situation is completely different, employees are seen more as subordinates and they have to keep distance according to their position in the company.
Find out more about Business Culture in France or UK :