Find Jobs

Life At Work

How do you feel throughout the day at work? Now more than ever, workplace demands are exceeding our capacity to fulfill them, and it's having a significant effect on all areas of our lives.

This short survey will help you determine how your workplace experience compares with that of others across five categories: health and well-being; trust and safety; enjoyment and satisfaction; focus and prioritization; and meaning and significance. The visualization you'll see at the end of the survey is based on your own behaviors, your relationship with your manager, and the organization in which you work.

My colleague Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, and I will be offering analysis of the survey's trends and results on We will be making recommendations about how to improve the quality of your life at work. We'll also explore what sorts of changes organizations must make to generate higher levels of employee engagement and sustainable productivity.

Internal communication at the workplace

Usually information about forthcoming events and changes at a workplace is given at meetings. Attending meetings gives you a chance to influence matters, suggest changes and develop your work. Democracy at workplaces is realised at meetings.

Every workplace also has other appointed channels of internal communication, such as notice boards, e-mail or mail boxes assigned for employees. Every employee is expected to keep track of communications in the way that has been agreed upon.


Often a contract of employment gives information about when breaks occur during a working day and how long they are. Often there is a short coffee break in the morning, a lunch break in the middle of the day and another coffee break in the afternoon. The length of a lunch break varies according to workplace. It is a good idea to check the length of the breaks with your supervisor.

Eating during breaks is arranged in different ways at different workplaces: some have their own canteen, while at others employees bring their own food from home. At some workplaces, employees can buy affordable lunch vouchers that can be used at restaurants close to the workplace.

Taking care of personal business during a working day

It is not permitted to take care of personal affairs during working hours; instead, they have to be dealt with outside working hours. The number of working hours agreed upon in the contract of employment is binding and the agreed-upon hours have to be performed.

If for some reason you cannot, for example, get a doctor's appointment outside working hours, negotiate with your supervisor about your absence and make an agreement about a way to compensate for the time you will be at the doctor's. During a break, you can make, for example, important personal calls. You can also apply for unpaid time off, if the situation requires a longer absence from work.

Work-related training

Even if an employee already has the required training for the occupation when they start work, many employers encourage their employees to acquire additional training. Often it is possible to attend training programmes during working hours, and an employer may pay for costs caused by training. Most employers appreciate their employee's desire to advance in their occupation and to learn new skills.


Usually presents are not given at the workplace. However, on special days (birthdays, marriage, retirement) workmates and the employer usually give a small present or bouquet of flowers to the person whose special day it is.


In Finland, the holiday season begins at the beginning of May. The number of holidays an employee is entitled to depends on the number of years the employee has worked and when the contract of employment has started.

Language at work

At most jobs, you need to know Finnish. This is the case almost everywhere in Finland. At some regions, however, Swedish is more common. There are also some workplaces where the working language is English. However, if you speak Finnish, you have a lot more jobs to choose from.

Well-being at work and work-related recreation

Many workplaces want to support their employees' well-being and happiness at work by arranging different kinds of recreational days and workplace celebrations. On recreational days, the staff usually leave the workplace, for example, to engage in some form of physical exercise, fish, swim or go to sauna together.

An employer may also offer employees various opportunities for leisure activities. For example, many workplaces have clubs for physical exercise where you can go to keep fit. Some workplaces may have a choir or orchestra, art club or some other hobby club.

An agreement on workplace conditions was signed in March 2015 with the trade unions. It defined a structured general framework designed to rethink the approach to work and encourage the general application of best practices while promoting the development of initiatives in the field, sharing these initiatives and, where applicable, testing them out. Its aim is to improve the quality of life of the workforce, schedule times to allow employees to express their views on their work, and seek a balance reconciling work and home life. This agreement underscored the objective shared by Management and the trade unions to carry out initiatives promoting the improvement of working conditions and preventing risks in the workplace.

The goal of the Life at Work programme launched in April 2015 is to continue and share the initiatives undertaken throughout the Group while fostering the creation of new initiatives. It is founded on several pillars:

Individual and collective efficiency

In addition to signing the "15 commitments for a balanced work/home life," Societe Generale joined the OPE. For example, the Group implemented an e-mail management optimisation system.

Working from home and new methods to organise working hours

The digital transformation of the working environment has generated new opportunities to reconcile work and home life. In France, Societe Generale SA has been testing a work from home programme since October 2013. With the success of Phase 1 (98% satisfaction rate), an agreement for a second pilot programme was signed in July 2014: this programme was expanded to include new departments and positions, and is expected to have nearly 2,000 employee volunteers after its gradual roll-out by the end of 2015.

Working environment

The workplace environment is evolving to accommodate new methods of work and collaboration: for example, the Group created a workspace just for itinerant employees briefly on site at La Defense.

Key life events and benefits

Various services are provided to employees to help them better manage their work and home life, such as employee and family benefits for a better work-life balance (personal care services, help finding childcare, nurseries, etc.) or access to conferences on parenting for example.

Health and safety

The Group is committed to promoting health in the workplace, with the support of medical and social professionals (healthcare service at work, social service at work) and the Group supplementary health insurance plan. The bank also has a programme aimed at preventing and managing psychosocial risks and stress in the workplace, as well as awareness-raising initiatives on the benefits of physical activity and nutrition.


In order to be the relationship bank of reference, Societe Generale applies the principle of symmetry: the care and focus it gives to its customers must reflect those it gives to its employees. Management plays a critical daily role in this regard. Each manager and each team must develop best practices and interpersonal skills in order to forge lasting ties with each other.