With a surface area larger than Pluto, Russia is by far the world’s largest country. Host to a variety of peoples, cultures and languages, Russia is just as diverse as it is large. Through political upheaval and ever-changing economic fortunes, Russia perseveres as one of the world’s leading powers. This CareerProfessor.works infographic will walk you through the basics of what is needed to survive in the Russian workplace. Click here for a legend of the infographic.
Hierarchy is a significant element of Russian life inside and outside of the workplace. One’s social rank is determined by age, position and experience. Russian leaders, be they employers or politicians, generally practise a leadership style that is paternalistic and charismatic. Nevertheless, Russians do favour a democratic work environment in which each employee has a voice.
First meetings are quite formal and are held to determine the sincerity of a prospective business deal. With typical Russian directness, the host will clearly state the purpose of the meeting at its outset. Russians are known to be pragmatic business people, so point out what makes your work an asset for them and sum up the benefits your business has to offer.
People in Russia very much appreciate punctuality, particularly from visitors. However, do not be surprised if they allow themselves a little more flexibility by either showing up early or if meetings are cancelled on short notice. Russian society does seem to be changing in this respect and the expression “time is money” is becoming more common. Working hours in most Russian offices are from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
In Russia appointments are typically made well in advance and confirmed another two days prior to the meeting. Mornings are the time to make calls and organise your schedule, though persistence may be necessary as it is not always easy to get somebody to agree to an appointment right away.
Russian business dress is quite formal and conservative. Men wear suits and ties and women wear dresses and suits with skirts or trousers. Wearing a well-cut and impressive outfit, particularly one on the more expensive side of things, will create a positive impression in the Russian workplace.
Have you already read about the work culture in Germany?
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