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Thread: Work place experience in Auckland/NZ from US/UK/Other

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Parnell, Auckland
    Posts
    104

    Default Work place experience in Auckland/NZ from US/UK/Other

    As evident in my signature, I'm soon going to be in Auckland and starting work shortly thereafter. I was hoping that I could hear from others what the professional workplace is like in Auckland. Did you find the work load/pressures to be greater or lessor than in your parent country? Did you find that people take 2 hour lunches or gossiped? What was your impression of email & phone etiquette? Did you notice insubordination or employees that generally challenge their managers? Did you notice a sense of company pride or the opposite ie it's just a job?

    I'm coming from a very large global insurance company where our projects move at a very fast pace (sometimes I think they operate as if under a dare) where the leadership roles are clearly defined and politeness in communication is a very high priority. I manage a team of 9 developers as part of the Sr. Mgmt group reporting to our Director of IT (Engineering) and 60 hour work weeks for me are the norm, especially now since I'm in the process of documenting everything my team does, what our processes are and what my responsibilities are as well as doing all of my existing workloads.

    One of the reasons for my move is that the emphasis on work-life balance is becoming increasingly out of whack here in the US and that is including my time as a VP for Barclays (that company is one screwy company btw)

    In Auckland, I'm going to be managing 5 direct reports and overseeing an additional 9 others. My role has been identified as a program/project manager, delegator, process owner and mentor and less on engineering/development. I'm a direct, hands-on leader with a very strong assertive personality, sometimes veering on the dominant side to the extent, jokingly I have the nickname Mr. Grey. Historically my teams have been very efficient, meet deadlines and are high producing. I like to think I've been well liked as I've always rewarded hard work by fighting for the highest per annum salary increases and bonuses I could.

    I'm interested in hearing more about people's thoughts and what I can potentially expect in Auckland.
    Last edited by DMS; 29th April 2014 at 01:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,547

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    Congratulations on getting to this point! Every company is different. Lunch breaks are unpaid in NZ and usually only last 30 mins where I worked. However, employers provide free tea and coffee on demand (as it were) and they are flexible in that many will allow you to work a little longer for a couple of days and take some time out if you need to. I found the tea room ethics much the same as in the UK. I think there is a greater importance placed on work-life balance in NZ, but, it does depend on your company and your direct boss. I guess if you set a good example with your team of working hard and efficiently, but not expecting ridiculous hours etc., you can ensure that you move in the right direction. Personally, my experience as a team leader in more than one country is that being supportive of your team, listening to them, telling them clearly what you expect but then giving them the resource and space to meet the agreed deadlines without breathing down their necks works better than being over-assertive. I found you get a lot more out of people that way - and it's less stressful for you and team turnover is reduced. That's just my thoughts though!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Parnell, Auckland
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Thank you for your response Karen. I'm definitely going to be doing more listening than talking during my first 30 days or so. In the past week since my PR approval has come in, my new employer has given me access to company email with my new group so I am somewhat in the loop in regards to what is going on. While so far it seems like it is just like any other place I have worked, the difference so far seems that it is a lot more relaxed and personal than in the US. That could also be that my new team isn't given timelines and projects where everything isn't a rush to get it done now. Overall from the little exposure I have had (2 days), I'm getting a very good vibe so far.

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