Austria is a historic country with many deep roots and customs. This report will help US expatriates adjust and transition to life in Austria. Austria is one country, however, people need to understand the differences between eastern and western Austria. “The business behavior of people from Vienna is much different than that of people from Vorarlberg.”(Kwintessential) A great idea is to try to speak with a local person before meetings to understand their culture, the people of Austria, and the region.
“Austria is made up of about 90% Germans. The official language of Austria is German. 98% of the population speaks German as a first language.”(Kwintessential) There are distinct differences between the many regional dialects, and also a wide variation in the standard Hochdeutsch spoken from region to region. “In the province of Carinthia, Slovene is the official language. Other languages spoken in Austria include Croatian and Hungarian.”(Kwintessential)
Family is an important part of the Austrian social culture. The family is generally small because of a lack of migration, and very closely knit within a certain town or village. Austrians typically devote weekends to family activities and spend time outdoors with each other. “Eating dinner in the evening with family is the norm and on Sundays usually the family will go to their grandparent’s house for dinner.”(Kwintessential) Weekends are generally devoted to family activities such as outdoor activities.
An Austrian home is a place of pride. Austrians keep their home clean and tidy and is typically a place where people will be more relaxed. “In a formal culture such as theirs, only close friends and family are invited into the house, so it is a place where more informal communications may occur. Also, neighborly etiquette has its rules that must be followed.”(Kwintessential) It is important to Austrians that common areas such as sidewalks, pavements, and corridors be kept clean at all times by all associated with them.
“Austrians are conservative people. Their behavior is generally prudent and moderate. Austrians tend to be very organized. They regiment and compartmentalize their lives.” (Kwintessential) “They extend social invitations in advance of the event, and the more formal the occasion the greater the time between the invitation and the event itself, so that they can be certain that their guests do not have a prior engagement.”(Business Meeting Ettiquette)
Appearance matters a lot to Austrians. Even when dressed for informal occasions, they are neat and conservative. “There is sometimes strict protocol for dressing appropriately in different situations such as formal wear for the theater or a concert, and semiformal wear for nice restaurants. High level events sometime will have a dress code and will turn away patrons who are not dressed properly.”(Katz, Lothar)
First impressions are important and you will be judged based on your clothing and demeanor. Austrians prefer third party...