General Information:Capital: Vienna
Political system: federal parliamentary republic with prime minister - chancellor and head of state - president.
Population: 8.8 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: German
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 144
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
The Austrians are a nation which is very proud of their history. Many foreigners sometimes claim that the Austrians live more in the past than in the present. Neutrality, stability and tradition are three key values that are important for them in both private and professional life.
The word “Gemütlichkeit” describes the attitude of the Austrians to life, in other words, the joy of meeting the loved ones and friends, a pleasant atmosphere and good food. The Austrians spend their free time mainly with their families in nature and doing sports. The protection of nature is an important part of their life approach and the direction of the whole society.
Austria is described as a country of music and many music events are an opportunity to spend free time with friends.
Austrian people are rather formal in private and professional life. While introducing to each other, they emphasize surnames, university degrees and professional titles, which are many times unique to the Austrian environment. Companies there have a clearly defined work hierarchy and employees expect a detailed job description. Their experts express their opinions especially when solving a problem they understand well. Punctuality and readiness for a business meeting is an expression of a serious approach to work. Their professional and personal lives are strictly separate and the Austrians build friendships within their communities and free time activities.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Austria:
Managers are those who lead teams and give clear instructions.
When co-operating with colleagues, there is a clear division of powers and tasks.
Discussions are led mainly at the professional level and they are not about “brainstorming” or joint search for suggestions for solving problems.
Work meetings are held in accordance with the prepared program followed by the participants.
Professional co-operation is formal at the beginning. Relationships that are based primarily on meeting deadlines and agreed conditions are built while co-operating on a project.