7 Things We Can Learn From U.S. Work Culture

Flickr: David Guerra Terol

If you’ve ever touched base in a thought shower to workshop a few issues and drill down to some bottom line ideas that have been run up the flagpole following some blue sky thinking outside the box – or you’ve ever watched an episode of 'The Apprentice' – you’ll have a good idea of the impact US business jargon has had on Britain’s corporate culture.

But while us Brits are just as guilty of incentivising, leveraging, giving each other the heads-up and taking things offline, it would seem we have a slightly more subversive and tongue-in-cheek approach to corporate lingo.

A recent poll by TV channel, Dave, which rounded up the nation’s most hated office jargon phrases, revealed our ‘business’ speak is less about getting down to business and more about avoiding it altogether.

From the playful ‘blue-sky drinking’ (an unlimited free bar at a work party) and ‘déjà brew’ (offering to make someone a cup of tea when you know for a fact they’ve just had one, in the hope they will decline) to the all too familiar scenarios of ‘jambivalence’ (ignoring a printer blockage in the hope that someone else will fix it) and ‘social notworking’ (messing around on Facebook and Twitter to avoid doing work), anyone would think we were a nation of lazy procrastinators.

But while office banter, sneaking on Facebook when your boss isn’t looking and counting down the minutes to that post-work pint in the pub are all perfectly valid past-times of course, one might argue that we are at work to, well, work.

And if we feel motivated to work, we’re more likely to find ourselves in line for new opportunities, promotions and payrises. And if we all feel motivated to work that means a more successful company, a happier atmosphere and more perks and bonuses (think blue-sky drinking!).

Feeling less than motivated right now? Then take some inspiration from across the pond, not least from the spiritual home of corporate lingo – Silicon Valley. The ‘happy work culture’ epicentre of the world can teach us a thing or two about work fulfilment.

Here are 10 of the ways in which the US knows how to rock workplace culture. But if cheesy, corporate clichés make you shudder, you’d better check your cynicism at the door first.

What have you done to make work wonderful? Share your stories on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #makeworkwonderful