Business etiquette in Belgium

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 Belgium, 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 Belgium?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!

Julien

tongue in cheek:

Don't bring smelly food on the first few months, wait till they get to know your quirky side before you microwave exotic lunches! :-D

They dress casually in the office. Make-up is at bare minimum.

On the French speaking side they tend to shake hands or kiss in the mornings before the day starts. On the Flemish side, just a grunt of "goeie morgen" will suffice.

Talking about the weather is not a perfunctory conversation, it's always a serious one!

There are no distinct heirarchies in the office, just peer level relationships, even towards senior management.

Belgian colleagues will love it when you try to speak their language, or at least master some fun expressions. If you could add some catchy dialectic expressions, even much better!

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