Thanks to the favourable tax climate, many expats find that the Channel Islands are an excellent place to open a business. Those who do find that the business culture is heavily influenced by both British and French customs.
English and, less frequently, French
Typically Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with an hour for lunch.
Expats should avoid addressing colleagues by their first names until asked to do so. Correct use of titles is important too.
Businesspeople in the Channel Islands tend to dress professionally and conservatively, but the exact dress code differs from company to company.
It is considered polite to take a small gift like flowers or chocolates when invited to a colleague’s home.
Business culture in Channel Islands
Expats familiar with business culture in the UK or France will notice many similarities when doing business in the Channel Islands.
As with many corporations in the United Kingdom, most businesses in the Channel Islands have a hierarchical structure, with the most important decisions being made at the very highest levels. Employees lower down in the hierarchy are expected to carry out orders without giving much input into decision-making. That said, some companies are moving towards a more egalitarian approach to management, where all employees are invited and encouraged to weigh in during important business discussions.
It’s important for expats working in the Channel Islands to be tactful in all their business dealings. Delicacy and finesse are also valuable tools for expats to use when adjusting to their new business culture.