The work culture in Vienna

work culture
Updated 2019-10-31 13:05

Moving to a new city for work can be a daunting task, especially if you don't know much about the local culture. To help you adjust more easily, here is an insight into the work environment in Vienna.

Working schedules in Vienna

A typical day starts between 8 and 9 in the morning in almost every Viennese office.

Some employers might offer you something called “Gleitzeit,” which means you have a specific window in which you have to show up at work but not a particular hour.

Most people working full-time (38,5 hours per week) have office hours from Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, including a one-hour lunch break.

Depending on the company you are employed at, this can vary, though. Moreover, it could possibly result in more time spent in the office.

The professional etiquette in Vienna

General business etiquette is rather conservative overall. You will soon learn that you have to address your boss in a very formal way which means using the proper form of “Sie” instead of “Du.” Even if it might be hard in the beginning as there is no such difference in English. Amongst coworkers, there is usually a quite friendly tone considered adequate.

Viennese people are known for being quite reserved and sometimes old-fashioned when it comes to their professional life. You might as well get used to it rather sooner than later.

All changes when people attend after-work-drinks or at their famous Christmas parties, that every office is celebrating with full enthusiasm!
You might be surprised by the appearance of your seemingly shy desk neighbour or even your boss after a few “Spritzer.”

Especially in traditional offices, you will always find that one elderly secretary that seems to know everything about everyone. She is probably going to try to lure you into her spiderweb of office gossip.

Expert tip: Stay away and stick to small talk if you do not want to get dragged into it. Overall, a more reserved way of talking is considered adequate instead of spilling all your dramas onto your colleagues.

Austrians are like Germans very punctual and work-focused people within office hours, maybe a tad more relaxed, but still uptight.
Despite all of that, there is always enough room for a well-deserved coffee break or even a few - the Viennese simply love their quick cup of an adrenaline fix.

Health insurance in Vienna

Along with perks like the 13th and 14th paycheck comes mandatory health insurance for every employee. You can opt-in for additional private insurance. The insurance that comes with your employment is usually enough. It covers work and non-work-related accidents, illnesses, plus you pay automatically into a pension fund starting with day one of your employment. Regular appointments at the doctor will be covered, as well as hospital stays. If you have a prescription, you will only pay the so-called “Rezeptgebühr” for your medicine which should be around 6€ by now.

So all in all, employment in Austria comes with many benefits that you will most likely not find that easily in other countries. If you are still not entirely convinced if Vienna is the place you should be relocating to check out our article “The labour market in Vienna”.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.