±A - Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Our monthly newsletter contains health and financial news, expat articles, social media recommendations and more.
±A - Join Our Community
±A - Read Our Guide
±A - Compare Quotes and Save
±A - Listen to the Podcast
±A - Expert Financial
±A - ExpatFocus Partners
Business CultureBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Greece - Business Culture
Much relationship-building takes place outside the formal business setting, over lunch, dinners or excursions. However, it is considered discourteous to behave too informally in business until a relationship is well-established. Always use personal titles (Keereeoss for Mr and Keereeah for Mrs) with surnames unless invited to use first names.
Appointments should be made around two weeks in advance, but can sometimes be arranged at short notice. Being a little late for a meeting is acceptable. Working hours vary depending on the time of year; there is a 2-3 hour siesta in the middle of the day in summer.
Business dress is formal, with business suits for men and suits or smart dresses for women. The usual business greeting is a handshake with good eye contact, but close friends usually embrace. Business cards are exchanged at the initial meeting. Although many Greek businesspeople speak English, it may be necessary to arrange for an interpreter. Written materials and business cards should be translated into Greek.
The Greeks are skilled negotiators, hard bargaining is normal here and discussions will be lively, often with several people talking at once. You should present them with hard facts and evidence of how they will benefit from doing business with you. Decisions are made at the top of the hierarchy, but take account of the views of others. Contracts usually build in flexibility for change, should circumstances require it.
Honour and respect are very important in Greece, and you should take care not to embarrass anyone or make them lose face, for example by questioning or disputing something they have said. You should never hold your hand up to someone's face with the palm open as this is offensive.
It is acceptable to give small business gifts to your hosts, but inappropriate to give anything with your company logo.
Read more about this country
Information courtesy of Carol Palioudaki, author of The Cool Guide to Living in Crete, available at www.livingincrete.net
Expat Health Insurance Partners
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.