The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has proven beyond a doubt that economies and workforces are global. During the past few months, unemployment has increased by an alarming rate. Those employees who still have work have had to make sacrifices as they shift to telecommuting and try to remain productive during a tumultuous time. In case there was any lingering doubt, 21st-century companies depend on global markets in order to survive. This said, it is critical for businesses to understand how different cultures shape international and cross-cultural work.
This paper will outline how differences between Italian and American cultures have led to the creation of divergent work styles, how new methods such as smart working or telecommuting have been implemented within the U.S. and Italy, and what those differences mean for life after the coronavirus pandemic.
Work Culture in Italy and the U.S.
It comes as no surprise that European and American cultures are vastly different. The cultural contrast between Europe and the U.S. are apparent even when it comes to work-life balance. A 2012 report conducted by the European Union revealed that not only did Europeans tend to work fewer hours than Americans, but their most important personal values were health, followed by love, and finally work. This deeply contradicts U.S. cultural values.