Austria is a unique country in the southeastern part of central Europe, and it is a popular place for tourism and business. The business culture in Austria and attitudes are the main aspects that drive prosperity and wealth in this nation. Cultural behaviors, influences, and attitudes vary from one country to another. For any business executive to thrive in a business environment, they must learn their history, culture, and diversity. It is from this that they can make the right decision. Flexibility and adaptation to the new culture are integral in doing any business because you would like to gel with the present community to help you make the right decisions.
Business methods, mannerisms, the essence of family, and religious customs are all essential aspects of doing business in Austria. Some common cultural distinctions come from attitudes towards development, punctuality, greetings, gifts, and other local customs that must be followed when doing business. Austria is a small country with about ten million inhabitants, and it is highly influenced by German culture. However, you must understand their differences and the local traditions to help you make the right business move.
Punctuality is an integral component in any business, and this is a region that values punctuality, and if you are going to do business in this country, then you have to ensure that you are punctual. Some of the areas that you should look into include schedules, time, agendas, and anything that will pertain to time. Always keep time and follow your calendars effectively.
If you are going to run late, then you must take your time to explain your situation to your host. Never underestimate the importance of punctuality while doing business in Austria. In most cases, the meetings will happen by appointment, and this should be scheduled in advance as much as possible. Whenever you can, it is critical that you show up ten minutes before all your essential appointments, and if you will be late explain yourself to your host.
Appropriate dress code
It is imperative to understand that the Austrians take pride in dressing very well. It does not matter the position that they are holding these people will always dress nicely. Presentation and appearance play an integral role, especially in business. There is a strict protocol of dressing depending on the occasion that you are going for that day. If you are going to a concert, theatre or when visiting high-end restaurants.
Are you doing business in Switzerland? Be sure to check a business etiquette guide for Switzerland.
When it comes to business dressing, you should always understate and dress in a conservative nature. You can put on conservative suits, solid colors, and traditional ties as well. The form of dress is often observed even during the summer period. You should not remove your tie or jacket before your Austrian colleague does.
In most cases, you must observe the local way of introductions. Austrians prefer to have the introductions to be done by a third party, therefore it is imperative that you should follow the etiquette. Exchange a handshake that is quick and firm, however, it is better if you could let the higher ranking part to initiate. You must maintain eye contact throughout the greeting.
Always keep your hands out of the pockets and maintain an arm’s length between you and the other party. If you intend to exchange cards, then have all your information printed on one side of the card. Always use titles and surnames when in the meeting.
In Austria, it is not a common thing that you will find people offering gifts after a business meeting. Gifts are often associated with special occasions such as birthdays. It is imperative to note that gifts are not expected in business, and if you choose to offer a gift, you should make the right decision. Do not give personal gifts, a bottle of vintage wine is a good choice for your male host, and a box of high-quality chocolate will make a perfect give for your hostess.
Looking to get some gifts from Switzerland? Read our souvenir guide and make sure to leave a great first impression.
If you choose to give flowers, you should understand the Austrian tradition of flower giving where you should only give an odd number of flowers as an even number of flowers means bad luck. Unless they are wrapped in a transparent plastic foil, you should unwrap them before giving them to your host. You can give them electronic gadgets, candy, or anything foreign to suit their age for children.
General Austrian culture
One of the most important aspects to know about Austrian culture is that the nation is generally conservative. While foreigners such as Americans may choose a flashy display of themselves, the Austrians are known for compartmentalizing their lives and take everything with careful consideration. They love families, and they have a culture of reserved appearance and behavior.
Like the general approach of life in Austria, businesses operate on a more conservative side. Austrians enjoy living in a stable and wealthy country. It is the culture that drives people to go hard in business and generate as much wealth as they can.
While it can be challenging for a foreigner to navigate the local conventions, the country is a perfect place to do business.
Corporate social responsibility
Strict environmental regulations have ensured that the country is clean and the environment is at a top-level. The duty to protect the environment is not left alone to the individuals, but everyone has a role to play, including companies. If you are planning to do business in Austria, it is imperative that you follow the rules and regulations in the country, and when doing business in this country, you should strive to ensure that the environment is kept clean.
Austria takes a strong stance on the fight against bribery and corruption. If you are doing business in the country, it is vital that you cultivate these values and encourage an environment where transparency, accountability, and openness are essential.
If you have any tips related to business culture in Austria, please share your experiences below.