As with the Germans, the Swiss dress smartly for business but do not restrict themselves to the dark blue and dark grey suits favoured by many U.K. and Asian business people.
It is common for men to wear sports jackets and trousers with a shirt and tie in business situations and for women to wear smart casual clothes. Trousers for women are commonplace.
Some of the more conservative elements of the banking sector still prefer the more formal attire of suits and ties and if visiting such a firm it is probably better to err on the side of caution.
The climate is very variable, so ensure you have dressed appropriately for the season.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Switzerland must rank as one of the most politically and economically stable countries in the world. It has for years managed to deliver ongoing prosperity for its highly educated, multi-lingual population and, although the country did feel the impact of the banking crisis, the long-term signs seem very positive.
Switzerland is a land-locked country yet despite that seeming disadvantage it is an extremely successful export economy with sector strengths ranging from advanced manufacturing through to high-end financial services. As well as being export-oriented, Switzerland has also been able to attract massive levels of inward investment through a combination of fiscal incentives and a very high standard of living.
Recent years have seen large numbers of immigrants entering Swiss society and whilst this has led to some internal tensions, it has also allowed Switzerland to benefit from the arrival of highly skilled workers who have helped Swiss industry remain at the forefront of innovation and productivity.
Switzerland is a high-cost, high-skilled economy which must be an attractive proposition for many international organisations who are looking to grow their business by entering new markets. Don’t be put off by the seemingly high costs – Switzerland is worth a closer look.
However, Switzerland is a culturally complex country – as you would expect from a country with four official languages. Before starting to do business in Switzerland you would be well-advised to develop a good understanding of the significant cultural differences you can find within the country. Don’t be fooled by the fact that so many people speak good English – their fluency in English doesn’t mean they don’t think, act and behave in a Swiss way.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Swiss business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: