Business Etiquette

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Attitudes and values ​​form the basis of any culture. They reflect the way people think and behave. Therefore, if you want to communicate effectively with your peers, understanding your attitudes and values ​​is very important. Ignorance can lead to cultural barriers that can hinder the communication process and adversely affect your success in a particular country.

How important is the balance between work and life in the UK? How do they view business fairness? Although seemingly insignificant and often overlooked during the preparation phase, understanding of such issues may be invaluable when doing business in the UK. The next section will introduce you to the basic attitudes and values ​​that can be found in the UK and highlight their impact on business practices.

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Corporate and social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming more and more important for UK companies, and the enthusiasm of UK consumers is growing rapidly due to the prevalence of social media and grassroots organizations.

The three main themes of corporate social responsibility in the UK are workplace issues (work-life balance, human rights, employment); community contributions (large social/social justice) and the environment (sustainability of resources, etc.). The UK has joined the UN Millennium Goals and many business leaders are actively working to achieve these goals. The UK government supports corporate social responsibility by reducing taxes and encouraging charitable giving.

There are currently several issues that represent sensitive topics in British society. Most notably, the 2013 media exposure of large online retailers and international chain stores for tax avoidance. In times of austerity, such profitable companies should seek legal loopholes to reduce the tax burden on ordinary people and small businesses. Strive to make a living.

  • Waste management is an important environmental theme because of the unsustainable consumption of natural resources and environmental damage caused by excess waste. The industry is currently undergoing a major transformation and has been extensively discussed to find the best way to solve it. The UK is significantly reducing the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfills, and more and more household waste is recycled or composted.

    Genetically modified foods have become a major health and environmental issue in the UK. Some authorities believe that people still lack sufficient knowledge about how genes work, and cannot determine the potential long-term effects of any improved crops.

    The United Kingdom is also concerned about global warming, as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, which continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This issue is closely related to another problematic area, which is transportation and its impact on the environment and air quality.

    Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK: http : // [en]

  • United Nations Millennium Goals: http : //


Usually, the British value the timing of business arrangements. If you are going to have a two-hour meeting, your colleagues will probably arrive on time. Because the British are very time-conscious, sometimes you may feel that their lives are in a hurry. But, in fact, they are just trying their best to avoid wasting time, which is a valuable economic resource. Being late for a business meeting is considered very rude. If your delay is unavoidable and you are late, you usually just have to apologize. However, if you are late for a few minutes instead of a few minutes, you should call in advance to apologize and indicate how long you will be staying. If the delay is long, it may affect the value of attending the meeting, and you should consider proposing to postpone the meeting to a new time and/or date. The more busy people are, the more likely they are to leave to attend another appointment, so it is important to respect their time.

Participation in social events is slightly different and is expected to arrive approximately fifteen minutes after the designated time, but this depends on the nature of the event and the number of participants. When using public transportation, you need to be extra careful, as some journeys may take longer than advertising. Public transportation, such as trains and buses, is usually reliable, although it is recommended to allow more time, especially during winter travel, the transportation network usually cannot even cope with a little bit of snow (unless you travel in Scotland) . The golden rule is that the more important an appointment, the more time you should spend on potential delays.

Give a gift

Gift giving is not a common part of British business etiquette, although mutual benefit is a good habit when receiving gifts. Some organizations are encouraged not to accept gifts of any kind, and some organizations are prohibited from doing so for legal reasons. However, where the gift is provided, it is important to ensure that the price of the gift is not sufficient to be considered bribe or cheap enough to be considered insulting.

There are many suitable gifts to choose from: corporate greeting cards, pens, books, diaries, wine, flowers, invitations to souvenirs or cultural events in the country of the visitor. If you receive a gift in public, it is recommended that you open it immediately and thank the donor.

Often, the successful conclusion of the negotiations provides an ideal opportunity to give gifts. The meaning here is the recognition of the occasion. Ideally, such gifts should be gold, silver or porcelain, and it is important to consider the suitability of the gift and the taste of the recipient. Christmas gifts are usually not exchanged for Christmas. However, sending a greeting card is a thank you, this is still a good habit.

If you receive an invitation to dinner or a party at the home of a business colleague, you usually bring a bottle of wine, possibly with small gifts such as flowers or chocolate. Red flowers (indicating romantic intent) and white lilies (representing sadness and used in funerals) should be avoided when offering flowers.

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Business dress code

In terms of business dress code, classical conservative clothing is a common habit of men and women in British culture, while dark colors such as black, dark blue and charcoal are the main features. Women usually wear long trousers or skirts in an office environment, and headscarves are considered part of religious freedom. Many senior managers like quality and express their identity by choosing clothing. Shopping in popular British designer boutiques, while custom suits, designer shirts, silk ties and handmade shoes are the hallmarks of wealth and status.

Professional business meetings usually do not accept denim, and Scots do not wear kilts to work. When you have questions about a particular business activity, it is recommended to wear too much, not to take a bad impression. It is always easier to rent suitable clothing for special events. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated and you will feel that you are fit.

Many organizations provide job-based uniforms for non-professional employees, making everyone look “corporatized” and reflect the company’s specific image. The type of uniform, whether smart or casual, will give you a good understanding of the type of organization and the culture there. Many companies are adopting “informal” smart casual wear that is comfortable to wear but still displays a professional image for the company.

Dress codes are inevitably different for the industry. In creative areas (such as digital marketing), more relaxed dress requirements are common – just shirts and pants. Many office-based organizations have introduced “leisure Fridays”, “leisure days” or “dressing Fridays”, and according to the California-inspired Dot Com business culture, people are encouraged to dress more leniently (and hope to increase creativity).

If you are not sure what to wear and wear, you can consult with the company’s representative. It is usually best to look ahead in advance so that you can make any necessary changes before introducing the company. This will give you peace of mind and make your meeting with company representatives easier.

  • Bribery and corruption

    A high degree of emphasis on fairness may be the reason why the UK is an honest country with a relatively low level of integrity. The Global Anti-Corruption Coalition, Transparency International and the United Kingdom confirmed this in a recent report (2012), which regularly ranks the international corruption perception index in the top 10%, which compares countries from around the world. .

    In the UK, bribery and corruption are often taken very seriously and the possibility of bribery is small. The risk is too high and it is highly recommended not to bribe anyone.

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