Why Are Australians Ao Laid Back?

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Are you looking for a life containing of long hours and short sleep? How about more working days than could fit in a week? If you’re looking for a job that has micro-managing bosses, reports due twice a day, and a yearly appraisal that basically spells out “you’re doing a terrible job”, I wouldn’t advise you move to Australia. A better place for you would be the corporate world of the United States. That is said with much grimace and confusion as to how in the world we got it so wrong? It may be time to take a look at what the Australians are doing to keep their workers happy and productive; as well as, their society friendly and smiling. 

That’s not to say we don’t smile here in the US, we just don’t smile that much at work. It begs the question, why are Australians so laid back? An entire office will go and quit work early to go and play games of barefoot bowls during the summer time. While their boss is forced to go and by everyone a round of pints, they tease and make fun, just for him to return and join in on the friendly banter. There are no write-ups for being insubordinate. Everyone’s a mate, and this is not uncommon amongst the Australians. Senior Anthropologist Dr. Tanya King of Victoria’s Deakin University, sites the Australians “egalitarianism”, informal speak and sense of humor as a major character trait of Australians. 

These character traits come out in their attitudes. This is nothing new, nor is it some sort of phenomenon. This attitude is described as Australians being Australians. Some attribute it to the convict class of settlers that arrived in 1700’s. The convict class was not given the same opportunities as non-convicts and was treated horribly. The people in power at the time did not want to reward the convicts by giving them equal rights. They felt it would inspire more people to do bad things, since there was no difference between the people who’ve done no wrong, and the convicts. 

The convicts shared a strong since of equality because they were not treated as such. That tends to be the trend in our worlds history. The people, who fight for equality and rights the hardest, are the people who are denied equality and rights. The life of leisure is traced back to the 1850’s, where migrants came from less egalitarian societies like China, Britain and Ireland and get a fresh start in Australia. Regardless of perspective of origins, it’s an amazing place to recharge, have a pint with your mates, and let go of stresses from the day. 

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Liz Chang

Staff Writer

Liz is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She studied English at Scripps College. She's written plays and novels.