Right now, Denmark is one of the most well-off countries in the world. Though it may not be the most powerful politically, it definitely has one of the most stable economies as well as among the wealthiest in the world. It helps that many other countries are open to working with the Danish. In fact, many would probably consider working with the Danish as a surefire way to success. If you'd want to venture into their territory, you'll need to abide by the country's business etiquette. Here's what you need to know when working in Denmark.
Always Set Appointments
It's common courtesy in corporate settings to set appointments if you need to talk, consult, do business, and partner up with a client or another company. It's even more so here in Denmark. Whether it's setting up a meeting or simply having a business lunch, it's important that you let the other party know beforehand. If possible, set the appointment at least one to two weeks prior. And before settling on the time, date, and place, make suggestions first to let them know if they will be available. Once everyone is in agreement, you're good to go!
Avoid Scheduling Meetings During Summer
Speaking of setting up an appointment, avoid scheduling them around mid-June to late August. As this is the summer season in Denmark, expect many to go on vacation around this time. If you know anything about Denmark's job market
and work culture, you'll know that maintaining a work-life balance is essential. So when it comes to their vacation time, they take it very seriously. And since students go on summer break around this time, it's likely that those with kids schedule their vacation during these months as well. You'll have a hard time finding anyone willing to set a business appointment around this time of the year.
Reach Out To Companies, Not Individuals
In this day and age, thanks to the advent of social media and the like, it's become common to reach out to certain people on your own. In corporate settings, if you're looking for work
, you can rely on connections, right? Well, be that as it may, the Danish don't really work what way most of the time. If you're looking to work with a certain professional from another company, the Danish way to go about it is to contact his/her workplace first. In the same token, if you want to work with others for the sake of your company, you'd do well to follow its outreach protocols and let everyone know about it.
Never Arrive Late To Meetings
Even outside of work, Danish social customs
dictate that you should never arrive late to an appointment. Of course, this goes double for business meetings and the like! If others went through all the trouble to contact your company, settle on an agreed time and place, and reserve a venue for this appointment, how do you think they'd feel if you arrived late? Even more so, how do you think they'd feel if you set the meeting yet you arrived late yourself? There's a good chance they won't just get angry, but possibly even ruin you and your company's reputation too! Now, you don't want that to happen, do you?
Wait To Be Allowed To Use First Names
Although your Danish colleagues and clients might introduce themselves with their first names, don't think of it as an invitation to use them freely. Just like in other countries such as Croatia
, and beyond, referring to someone by their first name holds significance. Even more so within corporate settings. Before anything else, address your colleagues/clients by their professional titles. If they don't have that, address them as Herr
(Miss), or Fru
(Misses) before their surnames instead. You have to wait until they invite you to refer to them by their first names.
Exchange Business Cards
Exchanging business cards is common in Denmark's corporate settings. It's better to prepare more than the number of people invited to the meeting in case you'll need a few extras. To further impress your Danish colleagues/clients, have your business cards in both English and Danish for their convenience. Also, make sure to include the physical address of your company instead of just a post box office. As for the contact numbers, always include yours as well as your office's. They'll likely contact the latter first before reaching out to you personally. It's the same with email addresses too!
Always Communicate Directly
Now, when you're already working with your Danish colleague/client, don't be afraid to talk directly and bluntly. In fact, they might even appreciate that more than if you beat around the bush. Danes are pretty straightforward when it comes to their work. They even prefer minimal talk if possible. But when it comes to sharing your opinions and making decisions, it's better to be as honest and as straightforward as possible. Do remember, however, that words can easily be misconstrued and misunderstood regardless of how direct you are. Never forget to exercise caution when communicating.
Working successfully with the Danish will can help you go a long way! Just follow their business etiquette, from how they communicate to how they seal the deal, and you're guaranteed success every time.