Polarwest Germany
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Travel Planner
Business & Corporate Travel
If your company does business in Germany and is sending employees on business trips to Berlin or Frankfurt, they should be aware of the cultural and business practices common here to make their trip run smoothly.
In German business culture and elsewhere, being late is unforgivable – even just five minutes late – unless you have a really good reason. To avoid a terrible first impression during your business and corporate travel, make sure to be prompt. A few minutes early is good, but if you arrive too early, that can also be seen as not having respect for another person’s time.
Upon greeting someone and during all subsequent meetings, make sure to use the person’s title and surname, unless they invite you to do otherwise. Brief but firm handshakes are the norm, but it’s important to wait your turn to greet everyone, rather than reaching over others’ hands. Additionally, office hierarchies are pretty strict, so there’s a level of formality expected in most business settings. If you are hosting a meeting or dinner, make sure to introduce guests to each other in their order of hierarchy.
If you’re hosting dinner at a restaurant, you should know that a service charge – not only in restaurants but also in hotels, cafes and bars – is already included in the bill. However, a small extra tip is ok, with five percent being an average tip and 10 percent showing that service was phenomenal. You should typically tip cab drivers around five percent and give one Euro per item to people who help you with baggage.
During business and corporate travel in Germany, you’ll likely take part in a meeting or two, so it’s important to know how meetings are conducted here. Generally, German culture dictates a separation between public and private spheres, which means that meetings often begin immediately with little small talk, and they follow the agenda pretty closely with adherence to start and finish times. Direct and explicit communication is pretty important in Germany – there’s no need to dress up what you’re saying and you should generally avoid creating situations where people need to read between the lines. Instead, just be direct.
At Polar West Germany, our job is to guide you through the fast-paced world of business and corporate travel, ensuring that your program runs smoothly, minimizing the impact on your bottom line, and assuring that your travellers receive exceptional customer service and security.
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