A formidable factor when choosing the life of an international contractor and working abroad is how to impress the boss. People from different cultures often value different traits in employees and what is acceptable in one culture is often not tolerated in another.
A recent survey conducted by the National Union of the Self-Employed revealed the pet hates of Belgium employers. In particular Belgium employers hate the use of smartphones at work for personal matters, they regard employees paying too much attention to personal matters whilst at work a theft of both time and money. Another big factor for Belgium employers was where employees were taking too much time off sick and were suspected of dishonesty as to the extent of their illnesses.
Germany, a country famed for its disciplined work ethics do not tolerate either lateness or rudeness to other employees.
France is a very different culture altogether often putting personal enjoyment above professional duty which can give them a more laid back image, which is not always the case. The French are very uncompromising in every aspect of their life including work seeing compromise as losing an argument. They also are more prone to pay attention to fixing negative aspects rather than praise achievements.
When working abroad in a different country for the first time it is worth finding out about the general attitude when it comes to both employers and colleagues being careful not to overly stereotype and risk insulting. This small measure of understanding can help identify pet hates that might not have been a consideration in other working environments and make for a much smoother working experience.