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Australian Business etiquette

Expect a vibrant working environment where strong relationships are encouraged both inside and outside of work.

Laid-back in attitude towards others, if not towards the job at hand, your colleagues will likely show a keen work ethic where both hard work and modesty are welcomed.

General tips to help you fit in at work

  • Punctuality is important.
  • The usual working day is from 8.30am to 5.00pm, but that does depend on which sector you work in.
  • English is the language commonly spoken in Australia.
  • Always be modest about yourself and to the point and although colloquialisms, slang, and colourful language are commonly used, the newcomer would do well to carefully judge their environment first before doing the same.
  • By the same token, Australians can use humour to diffuse conflict and terseness and in business meetings. If you are prepared for this, you are less likely to be offended.
  • Australians are very open to new ideas, part of the prevailing have-a-go environment, but don’t oversell or use overly aggressive techniques; modesty is key.
  • Be honest and upfront and expect the same from others. You’ll build good business relationships quickly this way.
  • Get to know your environment: visit local landmarks, beaches or wildlife reserves or try a local dish. This will open up avenues of conversation with colleagues, and they will respect the fact that you're trying to get to know their country.
  • Even at the first meeting, Australians often prefer to use first names rather than titles.
  • Above all, Australians are upfront, honest, straight-talking people. Do the same thing yourself, and you will earn their respect.

How to dress for the office

  • A smart, dark business suit is acceptable for men and the same or a dress for women.
  • In hotter, tropical areas, there may be a culture where Bermuda shorts, shirts, and ties are worn in warmer months.
  • It may be normal in some areas to wear thongs (or flip flops) for the commute and change into business shoes when at work.

Moving to a new country and settling into a new job can be tough but being clued up with the right information can make all the difference — as can being well informed about the kind of health care cover you will need for your new life in Australia. Call our friendly team today to discuss your needs and what we can do to help you.

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