Newly Swissed Online Magazine

10 Office Taboos in Switzerland

If you want to succeed at your new job in a Swiss office, there are a number of taboos to avoid at al costs.

Your new colleagues might not tell you in your face that you are being rude, but they might gossip about you in incomprehensible Swiss German. Or did you think you will make friends by showing off your hairy legs or calling everyone by their first name? You guessed wrong.

Yes, Swiss work etiquette is a slippery slope. But these office taboos will hopefully help the Newly Swissed avoid the biggest blunders:

Forgetting to bring a cake for the coworkers on your birthday.

Swiss Office Taboos - Forgetting to bring cake on your birthday

Not taking a two week vacation at least once a year.

Wearing shorts and showing hairy legs (this goes for guys and gals).

Insisting on speaking Swiss German with German colleagues.

Calling everyone by their first name from day one. That's a no-no!

Swiss First Names - Hansueli

Don't bark orders. It's better to involve everyone in the "decision making" - even if it's already been decided.

Paying your croissant with a 100 franc bill (the lunch lady hates that).

Paying your croissant in Euros (dito!).

Occupying the elevator for just one floor.

And finally, microwaving cheese fondue in an open office. That's a deadly sin, even in the Land of Cheese!

Swiss Office Taboos - Microwaving Cheese Fondue

What taboos persist at your Swiss workplace? We're dying to know.

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.

Dimitri Burkhard


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