Aussie business people most offensive

Australian business people are more likely to offend others while working in Britain and the United States, according to a new survey.

The Servcorp International Business Etiquette Index shows that the US and Britain have the strictest work ethics, while workers in Japan, China and the Middle East are harder to offend. US and British workers were more easily affected by “offensive behaviour”, which includes swear words, neglecting greetings and using items without permission.

The survey, sent to 700 business people in 13 countries, also shows almost 25% of Australians believe it acceptable to swear in the workplace internationally. But 90% of Japanese, 80% of Middle Eastern and almost all English and American workers believe this to be deeply offensive.

Over 97% of Australians thought it normal to address their boss by their first name, which almost 20% of Chinese workers found rude. Other actions by Australians that were found to be rude were speaking too loudly, taking personal calls and asking about the personal lives of co-workers.

Taine Moufarrige, executive director of Servcorp, says Australians working overseas need to be aware of what behaviour is offensive. “Australians are very natural in their business style, perhaps more so than any other country in the world,” he says.

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