British Etiquette

British Etiquette For Business Purposes* Business Etiquette Tips!

If you find yourself traveling to the uk for work, here are some common British business etiquette that you may find useful to know.

British business etiquette

In general they are more understated, formal and reserved than the friendly, light-hearted American culture. For instance, they prefer proper introductions and would shake everyone's hand before leaving instead of the general wave.

The widely accepted "what do you do?" is not favorable because it feels like an invasion of privacy unless the meeting is for networking and business.

Their body language in business - polite, minimal gestures or none at all. There is a sense of self possession.

If you have to tip in your business lunches etc, a 10-15 percent is accepted.

Words in British Etiquette

Common words and the meaning of those words explained below:

  1. Lift (elevator)

  2. Toilet (bathroom)

  3. Fornight (2 weeks)

  4. Tube (train/subway)

  5. Trousers (pants)

  6. Lorry (truck)

  7. Flat (apartment)

  8. Biscuit (cookie)

  9. To Ring (Phone)



Business Greetings Etiquette

  • Business people always greet by shaking hands.

  • Greetings are somewhat formal. The better your posture the confidence your exude.

  • People should be addressed formally.

  • No hugs, kissing, embracing, touching of the shoulders or elbow. Physical contact should be kept to a minimum.

  • Proper Business Card Etiquette.

British Business Etiquette

Dress Code in British Business Etiquette

  • The business dress code is formal.

  • Men should not wear striped ties, graphic ties. It is best to stick a plain tie.

  • Why? Especially striped ties which represent many schools or regiment that should not be worn unless you have attended that school or served in that regiment.

  • This is to avoid being mistaken for what it represents.

Royal Respect

  • Respect is always shown to the royal family, even though you are not British.

  • Such as standing when "God Save the Queen" is sung.

  • If you are invited to meet the Queen or Royalty, there are some protocols that need to be observed.

  • See also Royal Etiquette.



General British Business Etiquette

  • The workday is typically 830 AM to 6 PM and this varies from industry.

  • Business meetings or functions rarely extend into the evening into personal time.

  • After work hours, keep business out of conversation especially when socializing with your British associates.

  • Despite that, do not ask personal questions as it may be considered rude. Stick to general subjects and opinions.

  • A popular way of conducting a business meeting is during afternoon tea, where tea sandwiches, cake, coffee and tea are served.

  • When eating, very small amounts of food are to be eaten at any one time. In other words, no chomping. They also do not switch their knife and fork like the proper American table manners.
  • See more Business Meal Etiquette

*Referenced from Emily Post's Etiquette.

You might also be interested in:

  • Business Meal Etiquette

  • Business Email Etiquette

  • Missy Manners on the Art of Conversation

  • Business Telephone Etiquette

Thank you for reading 'British Etiquette'!

Go back to Elegance at Work.


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british etiquette, british business etiquette, british manners, business etiquette tips, international business etiquette,


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