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Cultural Transition Impact on Work Life

Read time: 3 minutes. (Art work by BACP )

Hi Everyone it’s Nida here, 

Nowadays, due to increase in career opportunities people are moving across cultures more regularly. Though this is exciting or adventurous to experience new places and different cultures, it does have some positive and negative impacts too. So here I am to share how this cultural transition can negatively affect our mental health at our workplaces. So maybe this can be used to help understand those who are entering your company from a different work or life culture. It’s a bigger adjustment for some than others which can lead to more stress and anxiety. It is important to bring awareness to this and extra understanding to ultimately lead to a more positive environment. Don’t worry next week I will be talking about the positive impacts as there are so many and the positives massively outweigh the negatives, but I want to mention the negatives so we aren’t being naive about this.

These are some points I would like to share about this:
·  Culture Shock and Adapting Stress: One of the foremost challenges faced by any individual who enters a new culture and workforce is culture shock. Culture shock refers to the perplexity and discomfort experienced when transitioning into an obscure environment. Cultural shock and adapting stress can have negative impact on employee’s mental health which can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. That can affect their performances and they might feel uncomfortable at their workplaces.

· Language and Communication Barriers: Language and communication plays an imperative role in the workplace. When individuals from different cultures enter a new workplace, language barriers can have a negative effect on communication and understanding, increase stress levels, and effect the mental health of immigrant workers, leading to frustration and emotional exhaustion.

· Inequity and discrimination: Entering a new culture and workforce can expose individuals to discrimination and inequity based on their race, nationality, or background. Experiencing discrimination in the workplace can have  major effects on mental health. Discrimination and prejudice can ruin relationships at workplace. When employees feel singled-out or disapproved of due to their cultural background, it can create an unfriendly or hateful work environment. This can affect teamwork, collaboration, and overall employee adherence.

· Role pressure and Identity friction: Transitioning from one culture to another can create role pressure and identity discord at the workforce. When an individual start working at a new place it is difficult to balance multiple roles and the expectations and values of the new culture. It can lead to work stress, anxiety, feelings of confusion, self-doubt, and loss of identity. 

· Work-Life Imbalance: Adapting to a new work culture and environment can lead to stress, anxiety and low self-esteem which can disrupt an individual’s work-life balance, leading to additional stress and mental health challenges. Work-life imbalance can cause higher or extreme levels of psychological distress, consumption, and lack of life happiness and sense of well-being.

Remember your mental health is as important as your physical health. These frustrations can very upsetting when you’re in the situation of a new job and culture but it is expected! It will get easier with time as you understand a new culture, and your colleagues understand your culture. It can be an emotional time but try to keep going, find positives, project understanding, and the transition will naturally occur over time. Try talking with your colleagues about this, finding local, or national, support groups, or online support forums.

Thanks for reading. You can contact me here if you want to discuss anything about this topic: 

Have a great weekend, looking forward to hearing from your all.

Take care of yourselves,
Nida Arshad

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