Guide to Business Travel Etiquette – United Kingdom

About the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is located in Western Europe, northwest of France between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. It is not very large, about the size of Oregon and is home to over 60 million people.

The UK is made up of four distinct regions – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, making it very culturally and ethnically diverse. It may seem that everyone in the UK could be called English, but many people in the UK, especially those in Wales and Scotland may be offended by this. The term “English” refers to natives of England and “British” to citizens of Great Britain.

Language

The majority of people in the UK speak English, but many areas have strong local accents and even dialects which may be difficult to understand. In Wales, Welsh is the language of choice – a Celtic language similar to Gaelic. Welsh is also spoken in some areas of Scotland.

Business Dress

Business dress in the UK is very conservative – dark colors, such as black, navy blue and charcoal are very popular as are heavier fabrics such as wool.

Tips for Men

o Avoid dress shirts with pockets and if they do have pockets, they should be kept empty. The only exception to this is a handkerchief.

o Ties with stripes should not be worn as the pattern may “belong” to a club, military regiment or school of which you are not a member.

o Wear shoes that lace, not those that slip on such as loafers.

Tips for Women

Business dress for women in the UK is not as limited as men’s but a conservative appearance is still important.

Business Hours

Most offices in the UK are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, most employees work longer hours as they prefer to complete their work at the office instead of bringing it home.

Government offices are open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and are closed for lunch from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

The best time of day to make an appointment is in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Breakfast and lunch meetings tend to be rare – outside of major cities.

Holidays

The UK has only eight national holidays a year, the lowest number in Europe. Most families with children will take annual vacations in July or August and the majority of businesses are closed between Christmas and New Years.

Conversations and Behavior

Many people in the UK are private and reserved – finding it difficult to engage in small talk with strangers. Beginning a meeting with a handshake is customary and a formal greeting is viewed as a sign of respect.

The English have very good manners and they view Americans as too casual, especially in speech. Be sure to speak clearly, in complete sentences and keep your speech at an even tone. Avoid animated conversations and a lot of hand gestures.

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Corporate Coach Hire – The Latest Trend in Business Travel

Corporate Coach Hire refers to hiring a vehicle by a company to transport its employees and equipment for the purposes of business meetings, market surveys and the like. It is the latest craze in corporate travel because of its comfort and convenience as well as its cost-effectiveness.

With falling air-fares, air-travel may appear to be the cheapest option for travel to many people. However, when we look at the hidden costs, we find that the truth is exactly the opposite.

The cost of transport to the airport, parking-charges, transport cost from the destination airport, all these factors make air-travel really costlier. Furthermore, factors like delayed flights, non-availability of seats for the entire staff, etc., make it also rather inconvenient and annoying.

Coach hire is a refreshing alternative to air-travel which is getting more and more popular with each passing day. Now there is no need to worry about queues, seat availabilities, bookings and making the journeys in bits and pieces getting down here, getting aboard there. You can now hire comfortable luxury coaches and travel with your entire crew in luxury and convenience.

Coaches today have all the elements of luxury. You can listen to music, you can watch TV or your favorite video, you can even have hostess services – and, of course, all this in the cool comfort of air-conditioning. So, what should you look for in a coach and how do you contact agencies providing such coaches? Well, we answer for you.

The net is a very convenient mode to look for coach hire agencies. The companies post clear pictures of their vehicles including the interiors. These will be of great help in deciding the vehicles for you. Look for good, clean coaches, especially ones categorized as Executive coaches. They are fitted with latest features and leave a good impression for your business. Never compromise with quality especially if you are traveling with your business associates. Remember, many deals are struck in the coach itself, even before you reach the meeting venue.

Search the net for the companies operating in your business area. Mercedes Benz is one good company for coaches as well as mini buses. You can look up its site for your requirements. Online bookings can be made easily, saving your precious time and sparing you the trouble of queuing up in booking counters.

Make it a point to see that the driver is smartly dressed and courteously behaved. A shabby and ill mannered driver can be the greatest foe of your business. It would be better if you also ask for hostess service. Wine and snacks not only relieve the tediousness of a long journey but also help cement business relationships. Air conditioning should, of course, be a must; without it long journey can become rather harassing.

Luxury is not the only thing to look for while hiring a coach, safety features are equally important. See to it whether seat belts are properly provided for or not. Air bags, anti locking brakes, window and door locks must also be checked.

So what are you looking for? Go ahead with corporate coaches and score over airlines!

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