This website uses cookies so that we can improve your user experience and collect information about traffic for statistical purposes. By using this website, you agree we may store and access cookies on your device.


Finally you have found a company who is able to pay your salary and needs your competencies. Now you are on the way to work, but how do you behave at work? It is very important not to give a bad impression and therefore you need to learn the cultural codecs.

Morten Thygesen

Recruiter and business analyst

I love to research business concepts and develop marketing related recruitment services and find the best people for companies.
Full Profile

Business Culture and Behavior

Updated 26.1.2020

There are differences on which customs, habits and norms are accepted and found common in all countries worldwide. And each company has their specifics as well, which you need to learn and adapt to - in order to become part of the work place and enter their culture which is relevant and not to underestimated. According to "The Most Important Reason People Fail in a New Job" by the Forbes writer, Erika Andersen, 89% of hiring failures are connected to a cultural misfit. In other words, there is no reason not to consider the cultural differences, when you are going abroad.


Many companies think about how their company should be to enter for new colleagues, and they could typically have an employee guidebook or handbook to make it easier for you to enter the company. Some companies have information on housing, transport, places to go out. Many companies provide settings and prioritize social clubs, playing badminton or drink red wine etc. These are worthwhile to consider, because you will be entertained, understand your colleagues and build your network.

Prepare yourself

Before you start the work do some background research on the company history, the product line, its philosphy if you have not done allready. You could also investigate if you actually somebody working there, who could introduce you to new colleagues and make it easier for you to enter the place.

Cultural benefits

Getting a clearer understanding of how your colleagues attitude, thinking and behavior also gives you a better background for communicating with them, knowing what to do in a certain situation and find the right solution during a meeting, during a small talk, after work. Do not over think all sort of social activities, but its good to have some guideline in mind.

Engage with colleagues

You need to find out how you engage with colleagues - no matter where you are in the world. If you are able to consider and find the answer to some of these questions and adapt your behavior, there is a good chance you will thrive together with your new colleagues.

Pay attention to

● How much do people in general small talk in the company?
● How many breaks do they have?
● Where do your colleagues go - and what do they do?
● Which behavior is there around eating and how long time?
● Which kind of humor is accepted in the work place?
● How is the etiquette on laughter, smiling, making small jokes with colleagues?
● How informal is the language and tone while working?
● How close do you stand to people, when you talk to them?
● Which kind of clothes are not expected for your job-position?
● Is there any common theme that are tabooed and not discussed during (lunch) break?
● Is the company you work for having many social meetings, which you need to attend?
● Is it normal and seen as something positive to invite your colleagues out for a coffee?
● Is it normal and seen as something positive to invite your boss out for a coffee?
● Is it common that meetings are delayed and takes longer time than announced?

 The most important reason people fail in a new job' by Erika Andersen in Forbes Leadership