Understanding work culture in Mexico City

work culture
Updated 2019-11-12 08:52

Like in many countries, work is a big part of the character and identity of Mexicans, and it is in this vein that it is taken seriously in Mexico City. Someone who is in a position of responsibility and who doesn't observe respectful customs is seen as rude and is quickly critiqued. But this should not be seen as a major challenge to overcome but rather an opportunity to interact and succeed in a work environment that holds certain values in high esteem.

The dress code in Mexico City

First and foremost, you should take pride in your appearance at every step of the way. Looking professional is a pretty big deal in Mexican office culture, perhaps because they do stand by the ideal that each team member serves a representative to the whole organisation.

Men should wear a button-down shirt with formal pants and absolutely no jeans or denim anywhere. In many jobs, a dark suit with classic tailoring lines is what's expected. Jeans are generally considered to be inappropriate, as well as tight clothing.

As for the ladies, basically the same goes. The make-up shouldn't be too flashy or distracting. This also applies to the wardrobe which should have classic colours, like navy blue, grey and white. Long skirts that give off a formal appearance are quite common as well as blouses that flow with the rest of the outfit. This isn't true for every office environment that you will come across, but it is certainly more the rule than the exception, and you should presume that presenting a formal appearance is the best way to go.

General workplace behaviour in Mexico City

Politeness is what holds office culture together more often than not, and although you may feel as though things have gotten to be fairly informal with your colleagues, you should always use your please and thank-you's whenever possible. In the morning when you come in, you should greet everyone you meet to establish a positive tone for the day, and when you leave, you should be clear in your delivery of a farewell.

What counts the most is that you take an interest in reading situations and what the general flow of things are. Mexicans like to be as independent as possible, and some workplaces are really conducive to this type of energy. It's a really good idea when you are starting out to ask around about what the work etiquette is and other such questions so that you may avoid making any cumbersome mistakes. You will get clued in to a lot and start to build a rapport, rather organically, with different kinds of people in different kinds of ways.

Afterworks in Mexico City

After-work drinks are a fairly common occurrence but usually to celebrate a certain accomplishment, for example, if the magazine launches a new issue or a job was finally completed for an important client. For the most part, people just want to head home as they are most likely a good long ways away from where they live, and they would like to unwind by themselves or with their families.

Working breakfasts, lunches and even dinner occur with a fair amount of regularity; however, when it comes to dinner, ladies shouldn't invite a male counterpart unless associates will also be attending.

 Useful links:

Acrecent - The Mexican business culture etiquette
All Business - Business etiquette in Mexico
EDC - Mexico business etiquette tips

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