Skip to main content directly

Working Across Distances

A Study of Cultures and Workplace Factors Around the Globe


The workplace is changing its focus. Technological advances have shrunken the distance between markets, making it easier than ever to have a global workspace. Client relationships span across borders, and companies are becoming increasingly blended with respect to locations. While this global perspective is advantageous in many ways, an understanding of how different cultures work is essential for global partnerships to be effective.

About the Study

To better understand the cultural nuances from a global standpoint, we surveyed more than 1,400 full-time knowledge workers from 14 different countries about their work, with specific questions about workplace design and satisfaction, collaboration, productivity, innovation and well-being.

The survey included questions about workstyles, expectations and culture. Respondents completed the survey on their own time, and submitted it through an online survey system. We examined the responses overall and then compared each country/region with the others. We included the following countries/regions in our analysis: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Middle East (responses from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Additionally, we analyzed secondary research from Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede on individual cultures and how cultural values can be evaluated across six different dimensions.