Are you relocating to Australia for work? Whether you work with a company or you are an entrepreneur, it is important to know a little bit of business etiquette when you are working in Australia. There are certain aspects of the culture that dictate the appropriate behaviour when it comes to doing business here on an Australian work visa.
Tips for Australian Business Etiquette
If you are emigrating to Australia, here are a few of the important points that you should keep in mind when conducting business in this country:
- Australian business culture is not too formal, so greetings will be relaxed and casual. The best way to greet someone is with a handshake and a smile.
- When it comes to dress code in professional settings, men should wear a dark coloured business suit and women should wear a blouse and a skirt or a smart dress.
- In some of the very hot tropical regions of Australia, such as Brisbane, the business attire might be more casual and your colleagues might wear short sleeved shirts and Bermuda shorts to the office.
- Don’t be too offended if an Australian tells you that your product or business proposal is not good enough. They are very honest and straightforward in business and they will always tell you what they think directly.
- Punctuality is important and it is best to arrive a few minutes early to a meeting. Although Australians are known for being laid back, they are very punctual with business appointments. If you are going to be late and there is nothing you can do about it, you should call the person you are meeting and let them know.
- If you start a meeting by getting straight to the point, you might be perceived as being abrupt and trying to rush the meeting. The interaction should start with some laid back chit chat first.
- Australians are generally very straightforward when doing business and they don’t need to build a relationship for a long time before they decide to do business with you.
- They are receptive to new ideas but they appreciate modesty, so don’t try to oversell yourself or use aggressive sales techniques. Try to be friendly and to the point, avoiding arrogance.
- When you are talking to a work colleague, make sure that you keep a few feet of distance. Australians will not feel comfortable if you invade their personal space, especially in a professional setting.
- In Australian workplaces it is not considered a faux pas to be in a romantic relationship with a colleague. As long as you remain professional during work hours, no one really minds what you do with your spare time.
- Giving gifts and receiving gifts from clients is not generally a part of Australian business culture. A gift would be seen as bribery, so it is not accepted.
- In general, Australians value authenticity and sincerity and they are opposed to pretentiousness. They value those who are humble and modest and have a sense of humour about themselves. An Australian will not usually draw attention to their own achievements and they will tend to distrust anyone who does. They might even try to downplay their own successes.
- If you are making a business proposal – focus on facts, figures and results rather than exaggerated claims, hype, emotions and dazzling visuals. Australian business people are generally focused on practicality and do not make their decisions based on emotions and feelings.
- If there is a debate over a controversial topic in the workplace, don’t worry or take things personally. Australians find debating an entertaining pastime and if you have an opposing viewpoint they will not hold it against you.
- The work culture in Australia is generally collaborative, which can make the decision making process go by quite slowly.
- Don’t embarrass yourself by trying to use Australian slang to fit in, such as saying “G’Day Mate”. Just say what you would naturally say.
- If you are out drinking in a business situation, remember that each person is supposed to take their turn buying a round of drinks. If you avoid your turn to pay this will create a bad impression.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to Australian business etiquette. When you understand the appropriate behaviour you will be able to conduct business in Australia without accidently offending anyone or making a bad impression.
Originally posted 2015-11-06 11:20:23.