Doing business in Warsaw

When doing business in another country it might be wise to make some preparations. Here are some best practice tips when it comes to navigating the rules and regulations in Warsaw, Poland.

When doing business in Europe, Poland is certainly one of the most interesting countries you can visit. The capital city, Warsaw, and indeed the wider country has evolved and gone through big transitions over the last 20 years. It has emerged as an important and dynamic market, thanks to the beginning of democracy and a market driven economy in 1989. A population of over 38 million people also makes Poland the largest market among the Eastern European countries.

Business influenced by the EU

In 2004, Poland was taken in as a new member to the European Union. It also held the presidency for the last six months of 2011. Participation in the EU meant a big deal to the country's own way of doing business. A large part of the reason for this was that Poland adapted to the EU legislation, which led to reforms in economic regulations together with reduced government intervention in the private sector. In short, you can say that these changes have improved the environment for private business and boosted economic growth in the more free market system.

Since Poland is still going through many developments, it might be best to be on the safe side when it comes to business etiquette and protocol. There are marked differences between older business people and young entrepreneurs. The young ones are generally known to have a less bureaucratic approach. Be aware that there are several institutions that regulate business practices in Poland, with several rules and regulations to navigate through.

Roles of a Manager

It might sometimes be a tricky business to fully understand intercultural management. But success is more likely to be achieved if you have some knowledge and understanding of the country's history. The older generation in Poland have a great deal of respect for authority, together with a great sense of loyalty for the company and its business goals. Among younger workers you'll find a more eager tone when it comes to exploring new opportunities that the market has to offer.

The adaptability and reaction towards change is developing all time in Poland. For time being this country is considered to have a medium tolerance for change and risk.

Time and decision making

No matter what country you visit, make sure you do your research when it comes to approach towards time and deadlines. This might be a source for frustration for both sides if you are not ‘on the same page’. Poland is known as a moderate time culture. It means that there might be both some flexibility and strict opinions towards schedules and deadlines. But best practice to achieve successful cross cultural management, is to reinforce the importance of agreements and to work towards deadlines.

In businesses with a strong hierarchical structure, managers tend to be autocratic. They expect the subordinates to follow standard procedure without asking questions. In companies with this structure, getting things done is more about knowing the right people, who can help with the bureaucracy. In entrepreneurial companies individual initiative tends to be more appreciated. The managers expect their staff to work out the best course of action according the current situation.

Communication and working together

Personal relationships are important when it comes to communication and negotiation. Poles do prefer to do business with people they know and trust. The communication is known to be very direct, and negotiation non-emotional and straightforward. People here can be fearless and frank when discussing. They are also detail-oriented and may ask many questions. Committees are often formed to make decisions so that one individual does not bear all the responsibility alone. Business moves slowly since most decisions require approval from multiple people. It may take several visits to accomplish business goals. Especially if the government is involved.

When doing in business in the capital Warsaw, there are many modern meeting facilities to choose from. At the Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel, Warsaw you find the latest audio visual tech, together with 1, 400 square meters of conference space, suiting your needs from conferences, meetings, seminars to gala and exclusive board meetings.

For more information about business in Warsaw, please visit Here you will find an easy guide to intercultural management in Poland, and can read more about the role of a manager, approach to change, time and priorities, decision making, leader types and negotiation styles.

Do you have any tips for doing business in Poland?

Tell us what you think