WORKING ABROAD / AUG. 26, 2014
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How to Master Business Etiquette in Bermuda

Maybe you should go to Bermuda or something. Well, not for just a vacation but also for business since it enjoys the fourth highest per capita income in the world today, a statistic highlighting that there are an abundance of opportunities on the island.

Despite suffering from the effects of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the British colony is still one of the most prosperous countries as it deals with mostly international finance, tourism and monetary services. One weakness of the economy is that it must rely on imports since it doesn’t produce much of anything.

Its 37,000 labor force can be described as highly educated as most of its workers are stationed in professional, clerical, administrative and managerial positions, though it does maintain an eight percent unemployment rate. Nonetheless, Bermuda still remains as an important job creator both domestically and internationally.

Here are five business etiquettes to know in Bermuda:

Communication

English is the official and predominant language, but Portuguese is also spoken across the island.

There really isn’t any social protocol regarding personal space, eye contact and any type of communication style. Bermudans tend to be respectful of each other’s personal space, remain casual when conversing with people and be polite when discussing sensitive matters.

Dress Code

Bermudans sport conservative clothing, though Bermuda shorts, which are considered to be casual around the world, are believed to be reserved clothing. In some situations, Bermuda shorts can be viewed as formal attire. Today’s restaurants expect customers to wear smart casual apparel, such as a collared shirt, long pants and shoes (no sandals or bare feet). However, in business settings, it’s better to wear business attire.

Greetings

Greetings and manners are valued in Bermuda since they try to maintain a polite and civilized society. Bermudans believe it is rude to not address residents with a simple “good day” before they discuss the topic at hand.

Professional Titles & Business Cards

Upon initial meetings, it’s prudent to address the other person as Mr. and Mrs. followed by their last name. An individual will usually permit others to call them by their first name, but it’s wise to always wait until they allow it.

When it comes to business cards, it’s believed that business cards are absolutely essential to give and receive. They should also be respected so avoid crumpling a business card or losing it.

Punctuality

Although Bermuda can be the place to relax and be laid back, the country is quite stringent on punctuality. This means that when a meeting is scheduled it is imperative to arrive at the time agreed upon or listed.

Indeed, Bermuda is the place to wear your shorts, get a tan and soak up the local culture. However, the country is quite religious and conservative so it’s always vital to be on your best behavior, respect others and refrain from mocking public institutions. Doing business in Bermuda can be a rewarding experience, but always move forward carefully and thoughtfully.

Have you previously conducted business Bermuda? Let us know in the comment section.

 

Picture by zhengxu via Flickr.

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