Working as an Engineer in Nova Scotia

Workplace Culture in Canada

What is the workplace culture in Canada?


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Workplace Culture

Culture is the personality and character of an organization; it is the sum of its values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, customs and interactions.

Canadian workplace culture may be very different from the workplace culture in your country of origin.

It might take some time to become familiar with the expectations of a Canadian workplace, such as being a good communicator; socializing with others; the etiquette of working cooperatively with colleagues and supervisors; and practicing cultural competency.


Visit here to compare Canadian workplace values with other cultures. (Read More 1)

Here are some Canadian work values:

  • Direct, but polite communication
  • Open and honest communication
  • Positive attitude/enthusiastic
  • Accountable
  • Works hard
  • Cooperative/collaborative
  • Productive
  • Self-directed
  • Flexible/adaptable
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Organized
  • Punctual
  • Goal-oriented
  • Self-improvement

Not all organizations have the same culture, but there are some attitudes, behaviours and customs that are similar to many.

Here are a few cultural points to remember as you enter the Canadian workplace:

  • Smile and greet others warmly
  • Be courteous
  • Respect the personal space of others
  • Turn your phone off at meetings
  • Be sociable, but remember some topics are uncomfortable to talk about such as age, religion and income
  • Dress appropriately for work
  • Be respectful of other cultures
  • Understand your job expectations and work tasks
  • Know who to talk to for what in the organization
  • Maintain a balance of life and work
  • Maintain eye contact when in conversation
  • Ask questions if you do not know or understand something
  • Offer your opinions and suggestions
  • Listen to the opinions and ideas of others
  • Do not interrupt others when they are speaking
  • Be careful of body language and tone of voice
  • Inform your manager if you will be absent
  • Be productive with your time
  • Be on time for work
  • Be early for meetings
  • Meet work deadlines
  • Participate in team meetings
  • Offer to help colleagues
  • Ask for suggestions & feedback
  • Take part in company events
  • Volunteer for committees

Visit here to read more tips on adapting to Canadian workplace culture. (Read More 2)




What do you think about Canadian work values?


Are they similar or different from your country of origin?


Are there some behaviors in the Canadian workplace that might make you feel uncomfortable?


If yes, why?


See if you are eligible to enrol in the Mentor Program at ISANS. 


Mentors can help you navigate the Canadian workplace and help you feel more comfortable and confident there. 

  • office-material-2-150x150

    Source 1: The Working Centre Website

    Canadian Workplace Values (.pdf)

  • office-material-2-150x150

    Source 2: Life Strategies Ltd. Website

    10 Tips for Adapting to a Canadian Workplace Culture. (.pdf)

  • book-2-150x150

    Read More 1: The Working Centre Website

    Canadian Workplace Values (.pdf)

  • book-2-150x150

    Read More 2: Life Strategies Ltd. Website

    10 Tips for Adapting to a Canadian Workplace Culture. (.pdf)