Business etiquette in Malta

Hello everybody,

As you know, professional habits may differ from one country to another. In order to help newly arrived expats better understand their new professional environment in Malta, we warmly encourage you to share information and insights about the do’s and don’ts in the workplace.

For instance, are there office manners? How do you greet your co-workers? Do you greet your management differently? Is there a dress code? Particular rules to observe? Maybe a professional body language?

On another level, what is key for a successful professional meeting? Are there any steps to follow? How do you a start a negotiation?

In other words, what are the most important things to know for a successful professional integration in Malta?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


Take your phone into meetings, leave it switched on, put it on the table in front of you and answer it when it rings even if it means disturbing the meeting. Everyone else will do the same and you don't want to be the odd one out.

from my experience everything will be very 1950ies mad men, when it comes to office etiquette. The boss receives Whiskey and cigars as a gift for Xmas.
I work with Maltese and expats alike and the Maltese will make inappropriate comments about the female coworkers, their figure or their implied sexual encounters on weekends, even to their face that border harassment and be very hierarchical and prank the younger employees.
At noon everyone is sitting together on a giant table eating lunch together like in a TV ad for authentic Italian spaghetti sauce.
The volume is always very high and if you can't take strong aftershave and perfume you're in trouble.
That makes it sound like I'd be working on a construction site. but I'm not. It's an international company with branches all over the world.

scareglow :

from my experience everything will be very 1950ies mad men, when it comes to office etiquette. The boss receives Whiskey and cigars as a gift for Xmas.

remind me to demand this from all my employees this year:)

Sadly none of the above comments are inaccurate.  I have worked for 3 companies in Malta over the past several years.  Company 1 designing camera security networks for the largest re-seller in the country....    the day I chose as my last day when when I was working 1.5 hours later than expected, I was still in that probationary period and decided to go home....   my "manager" came and stood behind me as I was packing up literally tapping his watch on his wrist asking where I was going, then explained to me how I was in my trial period and I needed to prove myself...   after a briefe rebuttle from my side of mainly 4 letter words I resigned on the spot...   this is not abnormal.

company 2: Infrastructure Software company where I worked in both support as well as in R&D, great company, VERY loud environment open plan surrounded by locals with no respect for anyone around them needing to concentrate, women in high heels stomping around like cattle all day on the solid cement floors.  after 5 years I was made redundant which worked out well.

Current company: there are more foreigners than locals, some of the nicest most polite people I have met in country.  All highly educated and pleasant.

The Maltese on an average seem to need to feel like they are special and will go out of their way to make that happen, if you feed their ego's you'll get along better than if you don't.  They are loud culturally, and demeaning on an average, and inconsiderate in general.  All you have to do is drive here for 45 minutes to confirm that.  It is a beautiful country though.

It's funny how you foreigners think of us Maltese. This is not totally true, we are very friendly and relaxed, but true, for the mobile ringing during meetings, unfortunately it is very true as I am one of those. But usually simply being polite works. If you visit a person that you made business with, offering a small small gifts which you bring from the airport of your local country would be very much appreciated. We try to buy a small present when we visit our customers abroad.

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