Have you ever traveled somewhere where people were on a completely different time schedule than you? That’s because different countries have varying definitions of punctuality and what it means to be on time. For example, Germans live by the clock culture, while Italians are very laid back and have a “go with the flow” mentality.
Ancient countries like Egypt and India don’t even really believe in time, they think it is natural and therefore minutes or even hours shouldn't be taken into account. On the other hand, a “time is money” attitude exists in places like Switzerland, and arriving late to anything is considered rude. In some cultures, success and achievement are even based on timeliness and meeting deadlines.
In business settings, punctuality can have a lot of hidden meanings. One culture may think being late is normal, while another may perceive it as rude. So, how can we make better distinctions between cultures and be respectful when doing business internationally? One answer is to simply be aware of your surroundings and understand that the business people across the table may not have the same beliefs as you.
Another important thing that we do on a daily basis is eat and drink. Etiquette also majorly varies from country to country. Eating a sandwich with your hands in Brazil is considered disrespectful, while you are supposed to not eat all of your meal in China. Take all of these things into consideration when you're on your next international business trip!
For a more detailed description of how punctuality, etiquette, and business works around the world visit this page: https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/how-time-can-cause-conflict-when-working-internationally/. Also, contact Bare Bones Translations to schedule your cultural training today!