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In Sweden, if you complete more than three hours of exercise a week, you can take an additional week as annual leave, a scheme which their government hopes will make employees happier, healthier and, ultimately, more productive at work.

In the UK, and especially in London, the environment is arguably more pressurised and performance based.  As with everywhere, office politics can play a part in terms of a person’s experience in the workplace, and one of the more amusing aspects causing tension is bad etiquette.

Perhaps more so in the UK than mainland Europe, how people interact, and the potential offence that can be caused, is discussed with reasonable frequency.  One area of particular consternation is the tone which should be adopted, and the level of formality employed, when contacting people via e-mail.  According to surveys which have been conducted over the past few years, “Hey!” is often considered to be too informal, “Dear” is thought of as old-fashioned, and “Morning!” too cheery.  A number of participants said that “Dear Sir or Madam” made them think that they had received a complaint.  Some individuals remarked that correspondence starting “Dear friend” made them conclude that the sender could not know them, and “Greetings” made them think about Nigerian prince e-mail scams.

Interestingly, many UK participants were more sensitive to the language used compared with other nationalities.  This may be of interest to behaviouralists and sociologists, as well as those interested in studying different cultural and social norms.

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