Customs of working and living in Belgium

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Customs of Working and Living in Belgium

Working and living in the Netherlands or Belgium comes with learning new customs. To prepare you for your dream job of working in Belgium, we will inform you in this article about these customs!

Belgium is a country with a rich and diverse culture, with significant differences between the French- and Dutch-speaking regions. These differences are also reflected in the working cultures and customs of the two regions. The Dutch-speaking part is known for its highly structured work environment, while the French-speaking part is relatively more relaxed. Therefore, it is essential to understand the specific customs of each region when working or living in Belgium.

Belgians, in general, are tolerant, flexible, and open-minded. They value privacy and a safe life but also tend to participate actively in community events. Family is highly valued, and Belgians tend to maintain close relationships with their family members. When it comes to the workplace, Belgians expect high levels of professionalism and perfection from their colleagues.

Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind when working or living in Belgium:

What to Do:

  • Ensure that your CV is well-prepared and memorize the essential components to present yourself in the best possible way.
  • Be open and honest with your employer during job interviews. Belgians appreciate getting to know their new colleagues on a personal level.
  • Maintain a positive attitude during job interviews and avoid criticizing previous employers.
  • When entering or leaving a business room, shake hands with everyone present.
  • Respond promptly to any requests from colleagues or business partners.
  • Keep any promises made, as Belgians appreciate reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Use clear facts and figures in your work, as Belgians appreciate compromise, negotiation, and common sense.

What Not to Do:

  • Avoid pointing fingers, as it is considered ill-mannered.
  • Do not keep your hands in your pockets during conversations, as it is considered inappropriate and implies a lack of interest.
  • Do not give someone a slap on the back, as it is considered offensive.
  • Take punctuality seriously, as it is highly valued in Belgium. An explanation is often required if you are delayed.
  • Avoid calling colleagues at home, except in cases of emergency.
  • Do not get down to business immediately. Belgians tend to socialize briefly before discussing business matters.

Understanding and respecting the customs and traditions of Belgium's diverse culture is essential for establishing successful relationships with colleagues, clients, and the wider community.

Customs of working and living in Belgium
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