Business Culture in Canada

Canadians are polite by nature and you can expect to be treated with courtesy and respect in mostly all work situations.

When meeting a contact or business associate for the first time, a firm handshake is the customary greeting for both men and women. Shaking hands is also customary when meeting in social situations, although friends will often greet each other verbally.

Women occupy the same range of work positions in Canada as men and have the same kind of authority.

Eye contact is an important part of communication in Canada. Be sure to make eye contact with the person that you are speaking with to show that you are interested and engaged in the conversation.

Be on time for business meetings and appointments. It is considered rude to be late for appointments and being late for a job interview is a sure way to eliminate yourself from consideration. People will typically arrive 10-15 minutes before they are scheduled to start working.

The typical office workday is from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Many businesses are open later hours and on weekends and may require alternate hours for employees.

Most workplaces use a dress code called “business casual” in place of more formal dress. Men typically wear dress pants with a button up shirt but no tie or jacket while women often wear a skirt or dress pants with a blouse. Take cues on what is appropriate to wear from co-workers.

Related Links:

Canadian Business Culture

The Canada Guide to Manners and Etiquette