Business etiquette in Switzerland

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 Switzerland, 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 Switzerland?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


In doing business in Switzerland, consider:
- Take your time. Swiss don't decide "on the spot". A try to make a quick deal will be regarded as "superficial" or "without serious interest" by your Swiss business partner.
- Swiss are loyal to their current suppliers. You need to bring very good arguments and invest a lot of time in a good and trustworthy relation to change this.
- Swiss are keen on "buying Swiss". It cn be helpful to carefully select a Swiss business partner.
- A detailed business and company presentation is required. Better present yourself as a business that wants to invest in a long term relation instead of a business that wants to achieve quick deals and quick profits.
- Swiss are perfectionists. Offers should be detailed, serious and be presented with care. Quality and punctuality are very important. Don't expect a Swiss to decide quickly.
- It can take a lot of time to gain the trust of a Swiss business partner. Once you've got that, you'll find a loyal and trustworthy customer.