Global Company Culture: 10 Examples From Around the World

The term “company culture” has become a buzz phrase in today’s corporate world. However, many find it challenging to define. Discover what company culture actually is, how it shows up in businesses around the world, and why it is important for business leadership to be intentional about setting it.

What Is Company Culture?

Company culture can be defined as an organization’s shared values, behaviors, standards, and practices. In many professional circles, business executives define it as simply “the way things are done” in the workplace. Others call it a workplace’s “personality.” It drives everything employees do, from how HR interviews candidates to how discipline and accolades are doled out.

Company culture is unique to every organization and often based on the company’s mission, goals, or values. However, it isn’t always deliberately set. Sometimes, workplace culture just develops over time without anyone noticing or explicitly stating what it is or should be.

In some cases, there are different cultures among various departments, teams, or social groups. Still, it’s important to note that every workplace has a culture, whether leadership is intentional about developing it or not.

10 Company Culture Examples from Around the World

Company culture varies for every organization. However, it can sometimes be influenced by the greater corporate cultures in different parts of the world. Here’s a glimpse into what company culture looks like in several countries.


Australian culture is known for being laid back and relaxed, and the culture in Australian workplaces is no different. The dress code, for instance, leans more toward business casual.

While Australians care a lot about their work and careers, they also prioritize time with friends and loved ones. Australian workplaces also emphasize inclusivity and equality with loose structure, flat hierarchies, more casual communication, and collective decision making.


Brazilians often take a less formal approach when it comes to the corporate world. Friendliness is expected among those working together, and meetings are often more energetic. Because of Brazil’s laid-back approach to time, the working culture values patience, and frustration among colleagues is not very welcome. Still, Brazilian businesses believe in vertical hierarchies, so decisions are usually made by someone at the top. Also, despite more informal business practices, conservative attire is still expected in the office.


The culture of corporations in China is heavily influenced by Chinese culture as a whole. This means that hierarchy is paramount, and meetings aren’t usually for debate or discussion. Once a decision is made, employees begin working intensely toward the common goal. While the Western world may strive for work-life balance, employees in China are often more comfortable with the idea of working overtime to get the job done.


Workplace culture in Denmark is another focused on flexibility and work-life balance. High turnover in recent years has led to a shift toward prioritizing “arbejdsglæde,” a Danish term that refers to employee satisfaction.

This means that overtime is a thing of the past, the workweek has been shortened to 37 hours, employees leave at 4 p.m., and five weeks of vacation time are written into law.


In France, the culture in the workplace is based on the concept of work-life balance—so much so that it’s been codified into law. In 2000, labor reform policy mandated a 35-hour workweek for full-time employees, five hours less than the traditional 40 hours that US workers are bound to.

Additionally, the French government protects corporate employees’ “Right to Disconnect,” which means they’renot required to respond to emails or other work responsibilities outside of working hours.


The fact that Icelandic employees are entitled to three months of parental leave while receiving 80% of their regular wage says a lot about how the country values people and their wellbeing. Inside the business, there’s more of a focus on equality and flexible working arrangements.

However, Icelanders still take work seriously: punctuality is a must, and most employees embrace smart workwear as part of the general business dress code.


Employees in Japan emphasize a deep respect for workplace hierarchy. Collective goals are more important than individual ambition, and workers are expected to put in long hours to achieve them.

Still, employees know how to have fun. After-work socializing is common, and many companies have leaned toward employee well-being with the concept of “Kaizen,” which means “continuous improvement.” For example, corporations embrace Radio Taiso, a 15-minute collective exercise time broadcasted by Japan’s sole public media outlet.


Swedish employees don’t have to wait until work is over to enjoy happy hour. Instead, “fika” is built into the workday, allowing employees to take a break, have a snack, and talk to their colleagues.

This not only makes employees more productive but also lowers the collective emphasis on promotion and status-seeking. That attitude is further reinforced by Swedish companies’ tendencies toward flat hierarchies with few barriers between workers and executives.


Much like its society as a whole, Ugandan’s corporate culture is hierarchy-focused. For that reason, it isn’t uncommon to be meeting with the head of the organization to discuss matters.

While face-to-face meetings are preferred over electronic forms of communication and formal dress is expected, that is where the formalities end. Meetings are much more informal, for example, and very few of them have agendas. There’s a strong value placed on relationships, which means decisions are made through consensus, and people tend to work together to solve problems.


Organizational culture in the United States aims to strike the right balance between individual responsibility and teamwork. While decision making is often shared through meetings and debates, many teams divide the work and rely on each individual to do their part in working toward the greater goal. Time management, efficiency, productivity, and innovation are prized and aspired to.

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Building a Company Culture with International Branches

Differences in company culture across the globe have real implications for multinational corporations doing business in different jurisdictions. Here are a few tips international business owners and HR managers should keep in mind as they look to foster a cohesive culture.


It’s critical for international business owners to realize that not every culture prioritizes productivity, efficiency, and innovation. In some countries, workplace culture is more open and casual. In others, hierarchy and formality are much more important.

Encourage international management teams to adhere to company values, but allow them to do so in a way that honors the culture of the jurisdiction they’re in.


In an international corporation where many different languages and cultures need to coexist, transparency is paramount.

Cultural differences can mean that employees don’t understand why certain decisions are being made, but maintaining transparency will help you better communicate the goals and metrics driving those decisions. This makes it easier to garner support and buy-in from a diverse group of people.


Having a culturally diverse team is critical to making decisions that respect the cultural norms and values of each international office. The practice of inclusive hiring also contributes to a rich company culture, fosters innovation and creative thinking, and drives business performance.


When you have a diverse workforce, you must make sure employees across all cultures feel recognized and appreciated for their efforts. This requires having a deep understanding of how appreciation is typically shown in each culture.

It can also mean using company-wide methods of communication (such as emails and voice messages) to recognize local employees on a global scale, which in turn reinforces global values and an inclusive culture with all employees.

The Importance and Impact of Culture in the Workplace

Company culture isn’t just a hot topic among corporate executives. It has a serious impact on employees and on the business itself. With just 21% of employees feeling connected to the culture in their workplaces, there are many reasons why workplace culture should be a priority for every executive:

By focusing on shifting your company culture, you can improve the employee experience and your overall business performance.

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