An employee who is traveling for business not only represents himself but is also a delegate of his department, company, and country. Hence, business etiquette is of top priority.
Business travel is hectic, but by following proper travel etiquette, one can make the experience better for himself and those around him. Every country has a different culture; therefore, understanding business travel etiquette not only helps to improve the first impression that the business traveler makes but also makes the trip a more enjoyable and successful experience overall.
Table of Contents
The Do’s and Don’ts of Business Travel
Different employers have different rules on business travel, and there are some unsaid expectations on what is acceptable behavior when traveling. Here are some dos and don’ts when on a business trip that point in the direction of proper business travel etiquette.
The Do’s of Business Travel
- Use local languages
Business travelers may not be fluent in the native language of the destination, but knowing some of the basic phrases will help. An individual should try to familiarize themselves with common terms like “hello,” “good morning,” “good night,” “thank you,” “see you soon,” etc. in their native tongue.
- Wear appropriate attire
It is important to know how to dress for success during international business travel. Appropriately presenting yourself is a reflection of respect toward the other party. Travelers should familiarize themselves with foreign countries that have strict standards for attire.
- Good Communication
Travelers should focus on how people communicate and become familiar with prefixes, titles, and hierarchies. Indians, for example, greet each other with Namaste or a handshake, whereas the French frequently kiss on the cheek.
- Proper dining & drinking manners
Travelers should be aware of basic table manners and focus on the conversation at the table. It is best to avoid alcohol unless a friendly business relationship has already been established with the host.
The Don’ts of Business Travel
- Don’t be late
Since the business traveler is a representative of the company. His acts are a display of company ethics. Hence, it is important to be on time, as being late for business meetings is not appreciated. For business meetings, it is always better to be early than late.
- Behavior with colleagues
During business travel, an employee may be required to work with business clients as well as his team. Hence, it is important to be careful with the words that a business traveler speaks. He should try not to bad-mouth colleagues, or bosses or indulge in office politics
- Follow rules or regulations
It is important to respect local traditions and follow the rules. Hence, the traveler should refrain from over-drinking and driving, obey traffic laws, dress appropriately, and pay close attention to other rules followed by the locals.
- Don’t interrupt others
To maintain good business relations, it is important to be an attentive listener. One should not be tempted to be loud about a great idea.
Business Travel Etiquette Tips: Country-By-Country
If a company’s business is global, then it is important to understand how international business etiquette varies from place to place. Here is some information about international business etiquette.
Hindi and English are both recognized as official languages in India. Hands are shaken with the right hand. While at business meetings, international guests should also avoid ordering beef, as cows are considered sacred by India’s Hindu majority. Usually, the negotiations take a while, as they will be viewed by senior management officials.
Japanese bow to greet each other. For handshakes, the business traveler should let the Japanese person initiate them. During business meetings, one should abstain from speaking a lot. The senior member of the group who often leads the business meeting
It’s important to make prior appointments for both personal and business meetings in France. Appearance is a matter of concern in France more than in most other countries in the world. And during the first meeting usually, gifts are not exchanged
In Germany, business meetings or conferences are well-structured and straight to the point. Punctuality is appreciated. While entering business meetings, the oldest person is allowed to enter the room first.
The United Kingdom (UK)
Britishers very commonly use the magical words “please,” “thank you,” and “sorry.” And they often don’t retain eye contact during a conversation.
The United States Of America (USA)
If an individual has a long business conversation in America, he tends to lose respect. Time flexibility is the key to collaborating with Americans. It is important to have an understanding of Brazilian sports, culture, and politics if you are traveling to the country.
With business spreading across borders, following business travel etiquette is not only good manners but it’s good business. Learning the art of successful business travel can be intimidating, but with some modifications in protocols, the business traveler can demonstrate effective business skills while on the go. It is important to support travel management platforms that provide real-time information on threats, and political and social uncertainties. Facilitating employees’ focus on business productivity.