If you have guests flying over from a different country for business, and your keen to make them feel welcome, then why not prepare your office space with their nationality in mind?
Imagine if you traveled to a different country for work, and after a long flight, they’ve clearly prepared for your visit in a thoughtful way?
Here are some inspiring ideas for transforming your office for international business guests:
- Have two clocks – One for the time of your country and the other with the time of the country they’re from. Could be nice to mention that you thought they may be eager to see what time it is in their country for making calls, etc.
- Serve their national dish, as well as your country’s national dish – Although not everyone will particularly like their national dish, it could be a wonderful way to show you’ve thought of them by including their national dish in your menu.
- Discover how their offices are usually decorated – Of course, you don’t need to redecorate your whole office space, but a thoughtful idea is to research traditional décor looks for your guest’s country. This is also useful advice in terms of what their company culture is like.
If they’re a formal company, it may be a wise idea to hide the owl clock and pop down the draft photos from the notice board. If they have a more relaxed culture then they would probably enjoy this. Although this won’t be obvious to the client, it will subtly make them feel more at ease.
- Business Cards – Make sure you research the general rule for your guest’s nationality in terms of giving business cards. If you usually have some cards on display, then consider discovering what the appropriate way to give a business card could be. Such as, In China, they give business cards with both hands, and in some cultures, they prefer to give business cards before the meeting starts.
- Flowers – A lovely way to show that you’ve prepared for your international guest, is to discover what their country’s national flower is, and then have them on show in the office. You don’t have to point it out, but if your guest noticed you can subtly mention you put them out there especially for their visit.
- Treats – Like the flowers, another subtle way to show you care for your clients and associates is to add in their national treats. They may not notice, or they may be surprised to find them in your country!
It’s also important to remember that every nationality will have different rules for business etiquette. For example, in some countries, like Hong Kong, it’s viewed as bribery to give gifts at business meetings. Whereas in other countries, it’s a wonderful way to build a rapport with your client.
Online printing company instant print recently carried out a study on International Business Etiquette, speaking with business owners for their personal anecdotes, business etiquette experts for their top tips and carried out a survey which revealed some shocking statistics. Such as, 78% of business people are not fully educated on what the correct business etiquette is internationally!
Below is an infographic containing further information from the study, to help you out if you have international business guests: