The US model: coworking and daily meetings
The way of working in the United States is different from that of the French. With open spaces, and coworking spaces, Americans have the possibility to communicate more easily with each other.
The open space is an open work place with a more or less calming atmosphere. We’ll explain.
It makes it easy to talk with colleagues and to be transparent with them. It can also give life to flexible meetings or opportunities for mobility between departments (brainstorming).
However, this space arrangement can have some significant drawbacks.
There is little privacy and intimacy in these spaces. Your line manager works in the same environment as you. This can impact on your productivity.
In addition, these office layouts do not allow for a quiet environment: the noise of telephones and conversations can generate additional stress.
Their work mentality: competitiveness and positivity
From our experience and analysis, we have found that Americans have a certain competitive spirit. First of all, they want to move forward regardless of the difficulties they encounter. They have the ability to deal with the obstacles they encounter by not letting their emotions interfere. Thus, their choices are not influenced. This quote, which we sometimes remind our clients, is a very good example: « Failure is only an opportunity to start again in a more intelligent way » – Henri FORD.
Punctuality, a watchword for Americans.
Indeed, time management in the USA is very different from our model in France. For them, being late is out of the question, and they are very vigilant about the punctuality of their employees. Moreover, meetings that never end and leaving work on time do not exist in the USA. Indeed, procrastinating and not being on time are signs of counter-productivity.
So we recognise a very different model from the French, don’t we?
The French way of working: professional hierarchy
The French working model differs mainly in terms of working hours. The established 35 hours give a certain weekly rhythm to work. By supervising the employees, this working style gives the opportunity to organise the tasks of each individual in an efficient way. Performance and organisation are at the centre of this method.
Managers and n+2s coordinate and supervise decisions. In this sense, responsibilities are hierarchical but this allows for controlled and efficient actions. This French system is double-edged and succeeds because of its rigour and the efficiency of the offices. The workspace is arranged so that each manager has his or her own office. This can make it easier for employees to concentrate and relax.
The French mentality at work
As we have already mentioned, the French mindset is very different from that of the Americans from an organisational point of view. Indeed, in France, we have a certain tolerance for punctuality depending on the job and the work done. But we also have a reputation for endless meetings and no time control. We are not afraid of finishing late, on the contrary, the majority of French people say they are prepared to finish late. To do this, they prefer to take several breaks during the day or a much longer lunch break so that they can enjoy their meal more.
Trends may change
The American model and the French model, which method to choose?
However, the American model is of interest to us.
More and more French start-ups want to promote their new working conditions by taking their example from this open and friendly model: the American way of working.
Thus, we have seen a growth in the creation of coworking spaces, open-space offices and the establishment of small start-ups where hierarchy does not exist. Ideas, advice and initiatives are welcome and give all employees the chance to showcase their skills and team spirit.
Between the American open space and the French hierarchical division of departments, the two working methods differ in many ways.
Elements must be adapted according to your activities: managerial flexibility, employee mobility, autonomy of your employees… To each his own method to be the most efficient within a company.
And you, which method will suit you best?
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