If you are moving to Australia and planning to work there, it is important to understand the local business etiquette. If you want to be successful in the workplace you will need to know how to interact with Australians without unintentionally causing offense or doing something inappropriate.
Here are some important aspects of Australian business etiquette that you should know.
Work Isn’t Too Formal
Australians are generally regarded as approachable and friendly and this carries over into the workplace as well. Colleagues are on a first name basis and there isn’t much of a hierarchy when it comes to job titles. However, it’s always a good idea to wait to see how you are introduced before you start calling the boss by their first name as this can differ between workplaces. Generally the atmosphere in the workplace is laid back and casual and humour is appreciated.
But You Should Still Dress Nicely
Although Australian business culture is quite casual, the dress code still remains pretty formal in most areas. Men will typically wear a suit and tie and women will wear a pantsuit or a dress. However, it can be very hot in Australia so it’s difficult to strike a balance between comfort and appearance. Sometimes businesses in very hot areas will allow more casual attire.
Make sure that you speak to your colleagues and find out what is acceptable so that you know what to wear to the office. Every company is different and some might be more casual than others.
Don’t Brag About Your Business Title
Australians appreciate modesty and they don’t like it when people are boastful or arrogant. Even if you are very high up in the company and you have a very respectable job title, it will come across as rude if you bring it up. Australians will not draw attention to their workplace achievements and it will make them uncomfortable when others do.
Australians are very down to earth and they are mindful of not giving the impression that they think they are better than anyone else. Sincerity and authenticity is important to them and they really don’t like pretentiousness. You will be much better received if you are humble and friendly and avoid being self-important. If you can make some self-deprecating jokes about yourself they will really appreciate it.
Be on Time
In some cultures punctuality is not that important and it doesn’t matter too much if business meetings start late. However, punctuality is important in Australia as Aussies like to get on with business and not waste time. If you are running late you should call the people whom you are meeting with so that they can use their time in a productive way until you arrive. It is better to arrive a few minutes early than to be late.
When you arrive at a meeting there might be a little bit of small talk but then after that negotiations will proceed quickly. Presentations should be short and efficient and you don’t need to give a lot of detail, as people will ask about the area that they are interested in.
When it comes to business negotiations Australians will get down to business efficiently and they will be quite direct. Bargaining is not that common and they will expect that your initial proposal only has a small margin for negotiation. When it comes to deal-making most Australians will not respond well to high pressure sales techniques. It is better to be straightforward and honest, stating what you have to offer for them. Decision making might happen slowly, as the work environment is very collaborative and everyone from top management to subordinates will be consulted before a decision is made. Have patience and don’t try to rush anyone into the decision.
These are just a few of the important business etiquette tips that you should know before working in Australia. With the right knowledge of the corporate atmosphere you will be able to make a good impression in the workplace and go far in your new Australian job. When it comes to finding jobs in Australia when you are emigrating to Australia, a company such as the Emigration Group can help you to get the correct visa and complete all of the official paperwork.