Understanding work culture in Prague

Prague work culture
Updated 2019-10-28 12:51

As everywhere else, the workplace etiquette differs from company to company. In Prague, there is a wide range of employers, and each of them has different expectations and requirements for employees. Work culture in a start-up company is completely different from that one in a law firm. However, the work culture in the Czech Republic can be considered less formal than in other European countries.

Interview etiquette in Prague

Finding a job in Prague should not be too complicated, but still, it is normal to be nervous and uncertain before your first interview. Each recruiter should give as much information as possible in advance. If there is some test or exercise, for example, Excel test, or business case, it is the recruiter's responsibility to inform the candidate. In case you have not received enough information, feel free to contact the recruiter by email or phone. It is their job to reply to all your questions!

When going for an interview, pay attention to the dress code and overall appearance – the first impression is important. Business casual dress code will be fine for most of the companies. It is always better to overdress than to be too casual. Avoid wearing jeans and too provocative outfits. Women should avoid aggressive make-up. It depends on the company, which is recruiting you, a law firm will be probably more strict regarding the appearance of potential new hires than a digital agency.

Do Czech companies have dress codes?

As already mentioned above, it really depends on the company which hires you. Corporates, banks, law firms, and similar usually have a dress code policy as a guideline for their employees. Even if you do not meet with clients, some firms in Prague still insist on business casual work dress code. When going for an interview, have a look at employees and observe how they dress. You can also ask about the dress code during the interview.

Most of the companies do not have policies regarding dress code but have unwritten rules which dictate smart casual. Some companies like start-ups, coworking space or IT companies do not care at all, and you can meet people with flip-flops and shorts.

Formal & informal workplace in Prague

Each company has a different workplace, some of them are totally informal and the others very formal. You can get some hints during the interview. When waiting at the reception, watch people in the company. How they behave, dress, talk. It can help to get a basic overview of the workplace.

The Czech language has the formal YOU, using the polite form of address – same as German, or French. In small Czech companies, it can still be common to call CEO and senior colleagues with formal YOU. Again, feel free to ask during the interview or during your first day at work. If English is the official company's language, you do not need to care about this. Anyway, it is always better to greet the CEO or top managers with DOBRÝ DEN rather than AHOJ.

Nowadays, companies are aware that people prefer informal workplaces. The unemployment rate in Prague is very low, and companies try to attract potential employees as much as they can. As part of the benefits, many of them offer offices with relax zones, libraries, game parks with table soccer or video games, and others. Also, dog-friendly offices start to be popular – especially in the start-ups.

Work culture in Czech companies

If you pay attention and observe properly, you can absorb the work culture during the first few days in a new job. Usually, a recruiter presents the work culture during the interview. If not, do not be shy and ask about it. It is important to feel comfortable at work and like the environment.

Especially in international companies and start-ups, teams organise different events and hang out from time to time. Except for official teambuilding events organised by the HR department, people like sports activities or after-work beer. It is a great way how to know each other better and learn something new about your colleagues.

Usually, Fridays are less formal in all companies. Even those ones with a dress code can have free Fridays when employees dress less formally. During Fridays, people often go for lunch together and discuss their plans for the following days. In general, at the end of the working week, employees are more relaxed and less in a hurry.

 Useful links:

Grafton - Interview tips
Grafton - How to write a cover letter

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