Denmark: Office Protocol
In Denmark, formality in the office setting varies from company to company.
Danish workplaces offer very good working conditions, modern facilities and high-quality technical equipment. Competency development is considered a high priority, and most workplaces regularly offer their employees continuing education.
By European standards, Danish labor market agreements create a highly flexible work environment, especially in regard to working hours, overtime and the hiring/firing of personnel. This also means mobility is high in the Danish labor market. In return for their high level of flexibility, Danish employees are guaranteed relatively comprehensive social security in times of unemployment, illness or occupational injury. Social security is guaranteed by law. The same applies to foreign labor, and the law ensures foreign employees are given the same rights as Danes in the labor market.
Formality varies from company to company. In most business situations, appointments are required for meetings. Business is conducted at a slow pace, but efficiently. Danes are sticklers for detail and are not afraid of criticism, which is regarded as something that has to do with one’s work and not as a personal attack.
Danes like to get right down to business, and there is little small talk in the business setting. Safe topics to discuss are current events and stories about your hometown. Danes also enjoy conversations about food, culture or football (soccer). In the workplace, especially with someone who would be considered only a casual acquaintance, avoid topics such as religion, politics or anything of a personal nature. Danes are generally uncomfortable with compliments about appearance.
The informal tone of Danish business is reflected in the daily dress code. Generally, dress is more informal than in the rest of Europe and North America, though in some corporations suits are still the norm for both men and women. In others, suits are not necessary, except for formal meetings. Jeans are sometimes worn, especially if the position does not require meeting clients. Regardless of the attire, neatness and cleanliness are absolutely essential.