Greeek business culture guide - Learn about Greece
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Greeek business culture guide - Learn about Greece

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Greece. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at ...

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Greece. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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Greeek business culture guide - Learn about Greece Greeek business culture guide - Learn about Greece Document Transcript

  •            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture in Greece   http://businessculture.org/southern-europe/businessculture-in-greece/meeting-etiquette-in-greece/ Content Template businessculture.org   Content  Germany  
  •            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Greece  .......................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Greece ............................................................................................ 5   General Education ............................................................................................................................... 5   Other Issues such as transportation infrastructure ............................................................................... 6   Cultural taboos ..................................................................................................................................... 7   Business  Communication  ..........................................................................................................  8   Face-to-face communication ................................................................................................................ 8   Language Matters................................................................................................................................. 8   Business Relationships .......................................................................................................................... 8   Making contact ..................................................................................................................................... 9   Personal Titles ...................................................................................................................................... 9   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  10   Punctuality .......................................................................................................................................... 10   Gift giving ........................................................................................................................................... 10   Business dress code ............................................................................................................................. 10   Bribery and corruption ....................................................................................................................... 11   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  12   Business meetings in Greece ............................................................................................................... 12   Importance of business meetings ........................................................................................................ 12   Business meeting planning ................................................................................................................. 12   Negotiation process ............................................................................................................................ 12   Meeting protocol ................................................................................................................................ 13   How to run a business meeting .......................................................................................................... 13   Follow up letter after meeting with a client ........................................................................................ 13   Business meals .................................................................................................................................... 13   Business meeting tips .......................................................................................................................... 14   businessculture.org   Content  Greece  
  •            |  3     Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  15   Work experience................................................................................................................................. 15   Internship and placement advice ....................................................................................................... 15   Social security and European Health insurance card ........................................................................ 15   Safety .................................................................................................................................................. 16   Do I need a visa? ................................................................................................................................ 16   Internship and placement salary ........................................................................................................ 16   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................ 16   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  18   Money and banking ........................................................................................................................... 18   Travelling costs ................................................................................................................................... 18   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  19   National holidays ................................................................................................................................ 19   Working hours .................................................................................................................................... 20   Health insurance ................................................................................................................................ 20   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  21   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business ........................................................ 21   businessculture.org   Content  Greece  
  •            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Greece   The following is a very short introduction to Greece. External links at the end of this page provide you with more in depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSYMxsXOsD8 Greece is a Mediterranean country in Southern Europe, bordering with Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania. It is bordered to the west by the Ionian Sea, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the east by the Aegean Sea. Greece is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. Greece consists of a large mainland; the Peloponnese, a peninsula which is connected to the southern tip of the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth; and many islands. The “Kallikratis” reform, which entered into effect on the 1st of January 2011, introduced seven decentralized administrations as separate regional entities with elected governors and regional councils. Apart from these, there are 13 regions and 325 municipalities. The country has a population of about 11 million inhabitants according to the 2011 census. Athens is the capital city and Thessaloniki is the second largest city. Greek is the official language and Christian the primary religion, with 97% of the population following the Greek Orthodox Church and the remaining 3% divided amongst the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim faiths. The population is approximately 95% of Greek origin, 4% Albanian and 1% other. Greece has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool mild winters. There can be snowfall in some parts of Greece during the winter months but this is mostly limited to the mountainous regions of the mainland. Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone and adheres to EET (UTC +2) during the winter and EEST (UTC +3) for daylight saving time during the summer months. businessculture.org   Content  Germany  
  •              |  5   The ancient Classical and Hellenistic eras of Greece have left behind many ideas, concepts and art to provide the foundation of what we call “western civilization”. The greatest philosophers and mathematicians lived during these eras. The history of Greece is a succession of invasions and dominations: the Macedonian Empire, the Roman and the Byzantine Empire, which ended with the invasion of the Turks. The new independent Greek State was declared in 1830 at the end of the Independence War. In 1974, following a seven-year dictatorship, the country’s system of government changed from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Presidential Parliamentary Democracy. In 1981, the country became a member of the European Union and in January 2001 entered the Eurozone, replacing the Greek Drachma with the Euro as currency. Greece is a developed country with an open economy that has a heavy reliance on the service sector at 85%. The remaining national economic output comes from the industry sector the second (12.0%) and the agricultural sector (3.0%). Although Greece is a significant agricultural and fisheries producer within the European Union, the tourist industry forms the basis of the economy. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Greece ranks as the 7th most visited country in the EU country and the 16th in the world. Also, merchant shipping represents 16.2% of the world’s total capacity. The Greek economy has been in recession since the global financial crisis of 2008. The current state of the economy is mainly the result of the European sovereign debt crisis and only through implementing severe austerity measures and benefitting from two multi-billion Euro rescue packages has the economy begun to stabilize. Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Greece   The Greek word philoxenia means hospitality and is defined literally as “love of strangers”, which is something they are extremely proud of. Greece being a popular tourist destination, welcomes foreigners with warmth. The Greek people are known for their friendliness and openness to meeting new people and doing business with them. General  Education   The Greek Educational System is under state supervision. It is divided into three levels which include pre-school and primary education, secondary education (Cycle 1 and Cycle 2) and tertiary education. Pre-school education is provided in nursery schools as a preparatory stage, which contributes to the integration of children in the primary school system. Compulsory education in Greece lasts ten years beginning from nursery school until Gymnasio (middle or junior high school). Attendance is compulsory for one year in nursery school, primary school which lasts six years, up to the age of 12 and for three more years in a Gymnasio until the age of 15. Graduates of Gymnasio get a certificate which allows them to businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  6     move on to the optional higher-level secondary education (Lyceum) in the form of an Integrated Lyceum or a Technical Vocational School. Tertiary education is provided by Universities and Polytechnics, Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I) and Academies (for the military and the clergy). Most undergraduate courses last for 4 years, except for the polytechnics and some technical and art schools where courses last 5 years and medical schools where they last 6 years. Postgraduate courses last from 1 to 2 years while doctorates normally take 3 to 6 years. All schools and HEIs in Greece are overseen by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. There is a minimum requirement of four years of study at university level in order to get a Bachelor’s Degree, which is a prerequisite for entrance to Master’s and Doctorate Degree programmes. Other  Issues  such  as  transportation  infrastructure   Public transportation has improved, especially with the introduction of the Athens Metro, which is one of the most modern and complex transportation projects in Europe. It provides access to the Piraeus Port, historical sites, the centre and the airport. It is fast, comfortable and very reliable. Tickets can be bought through automatic ticket machines, which are installed at all metro stations and ticket offices. The train and tram networks are also efficient and reliable public transportation systems. A large network of buses is also available and taxis are used quite frequently, as they are affordable with a minimum charge. In Thessaloniki, the metro system is currently under construction and causing substantial disruption to local traffic. Also, travelling to certain islands, mountainous regions and villages may be difficult during the winter months. In the last few years, transportation has become much more reliable in large cities and buses are usually on schedule. However, delays cannot be avoided at certain times, due to traffic conditions and other circumstances. Buses and Trains The intercity buses (KTEL) are very popular for domestic travel. They are a reliable, efficient and inexpensive means of transportation throughout the country and can be used both for long and short distances. The national railway system (OSE) had been neglected, but is undergoing renovation and increasing numbers of people are using it as an alternative way of travelling within the country. The intercity fast train between Athens and Thessaloniki is recommended as the best way of travelling between the two cities. Air Travel Greece’s main airport is Eleftherios Venizelos, which is situated on the outskirts Athens, the country’s capital. It is a new and modern airport with the most advanced security equipment businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  7   that provides direct connections to most countries of the world and is served by most major airline carriers. Macedonia International Airport in Thessaloniki serves the region of Central Macedonia and is the second most important airport in the country. Airports are situated in many smaller cities and islands like Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Paros, Ioannina and Kavala. In the last fifteen years, significant infrastructure has been developed in Greece with the construction of major highways and motorways connecting major cities (Egnatia motorway, PATHE etc). These roads have reduced the driving time while making driving much safer. Cultural  taboos   Greeks are very proud of their culture and history. They are open to discussions and enjoy having conversations on cultural and historical topics, but tend to have strong beliefs on issues pertaining to religion and politics; therefore it would be a good idea to not bring up these topics. Subjects concerning Cyprus and Turkey should be avoided, since both are topics that Greeks find difficult to change their views on and may get very emotional about. Also, avoid criticizing Greece or the Greek people. Although they often like criticizing aspects of their own society and daily life, they don’t accept criticism from outsiders. In addition , there are certain hand gestures that could be misinterpreted by Greek people, therefore it is recommended to avoid: the American ‘OK’ sign, which is usually considered as an obscene gesture and the ‘moutza’, which is an open hand facing outward gesture, (often used to mean stop in western cultures), which is considered offensive and insulting. It is essential to understand and respect these issues when communicating with Greek people. It will definitely contribute to building and sustaining personal and business relationships. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  8     Business  Communication   This section focuses on best practices and etiquette that may be relevant for dealing with business contacts, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, working hours, dressing code, dining etiquette, etc. Adhering to common business practices when communicating, contributes to understanding the Greek culture, avoiding miscommunication and creating a positive image. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication   Greeks prefer face-to face contacts to telephone or written communication and personal relationships are highly valued. Therefore, first impressions are important and can influence your business relationship with your Greek counterpart. In general, physical contact and maintaining eye contact is important; and has been measured as the strongest in Europe. Some important issues to consider when communicating with Greeks are: Greeks are verbal and oratory. They like having discussions on cultural and historical topics. There are times when these discussions can become emotional and intense, depending on the topic. It is advisable to avoid bringing up issues concerning Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Cyprus or politics. When speaking, Greeks often interrupt. Don’t be offended since it is just a common aspect of the Greek way of communication. Non-verbal communication is the way our body speaks through gestures, movements, eye contact, facial expressions, and intonation of voice. Greek people are very expressive in their use of body language to convey messages. Below are some that may be useful to know: • • • • • raising the eyebrow with a slight upward nod of the head means ‘no’, while tilting the head to either side means ‘yes’; winking at someone is often simply a friendly gesture; avoid an open palm directed at someone’s face, as this is an insult; touching is common and is seen as a friendly gesture, so don’t feel offended; avoid the OK sign since it is considered obscene. Language  Matters   Greek is the official language spoken by nearly 11 million inhabitants in Greece. English is widely spoken and is taught in schools from the first grade of primary school through to university. The Greek people are very keen on learning foreign languages and it is common to find people who can also speak German, Italian, Spanish, and French. Younger managers are often fluent in English, but the older generation may not know English at all; therefore, it is advised to ask if an interpreter will be needed. Learning a few phrases in Greek would be greatly appreciated by your business counterparts. Business  Relationships   Building strong, long-lasting relationships is important for the Greeks. Therefore, personal contacts and networks characterised by trust, loyalty and strong bonds facilitate business businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  9     operations and are vital for successful business deals. Personal networks may open doors and solve problems that would otherwise be very difficult to resolve. It is advisable that you get to know your Greek colleagues and clients well, by showing interest in their lifestyle and joining in their social activities. Being a family-oriented culture, the Greek business community is characterized by small, family-owned companies. Business structures are traditional and generally hierarchical. Making  contact   Greeks prefer personal contact. Men and women shake hands when meeting one another and maintain direct eye contact. A relatively firm handshake is a must. Good friends embrace and kiss on both cheeks. In general, Greeks stand close to each other when speaking, about an arm’s length. This distance becomes greater when interacting with strangers and less when interacting with friends and family. It may be considered rude to back away from someone while they are speaking. Physical contact is commonly used to show sympathy and to emphasise the subject. So, touching when conversing, between men and men or women and men, is rather common and should not be misinterpreted. Personal  Titles   The use of formal titles Mr. and Mrs. are used when first meeting someone and when addressing someone with respect, particularly the older generation. The use of titles may become less formal with and it is common to address someone by their first name when a personal relationship has had the opportunity to develop. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  10   Business  Etiquette     Increasingly crucial to competitiveness, social responsibility is getting more attention from Greek businesses. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies are being applied by companies to become more competitive in the global market. In a study of 46 Greek companies, the findings revealed that Greek companies have managed to become more active especially on issues related to the environment, human resources and local communities (Metaxas, Tsavdaridou, 2012). CSR is not only important for multinational companies, but equally as important for SMEs because, on both national and European level, they account for over 90% of total business activity, according to the Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (HNCSR). Punctuality   Punctuality is not particularly important for Greeks. They tend to be late for appointments, although they expect their counterparts to be on time for business meetings. Also for this reason, scheduling an appointment is not always necessary, but is courteous. Greeks enjoy socializing with friends and business associates. Dinners are a form of entertainment, which take several hours and are usually followed by drinks. Gift  giving   Gift giving in Greece is seen as a kind gesture. Greeks like to exchange gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and name days. However, since gifts are generally reciprocated, a gift of great value could put a burden on the recipient to spend an equivalent amount of money on you in return. Therefore, a small gift would be greatly appreciated. When invited over for dinner to a Greek home, flowers, sweets or a bottle of wine or liquor are the gifts most frequently offered. In Greece, gifts are not essential to business relationships and Greeks do not normally expect to exchange gifts on a first meeting. Nevertheless, an occasional gift (mostly at Christmas and Easter) will be very much appreciated. An excellent bottle of liquor or wine, office accessories, fine chocolate, are examples of gifts often offered in business interactions. Gifts are usually nicely wrapped and opened right away. Business  dress  code   There is no specific dress code. However, it is advisable to dress conservatively in business meetings, a dark coloured suit for men and professional outfit for women, preferably in dark or subtle colours, avoiding provocative clothing. In some cases, depending on the situation or business area, less formal clothing is acceptable. In the summer months, the weather is very hot, especially in the big cities; it is acceptable to just wear a shirt with trousers and in most cases to not wear a tie. Women can be lightly dressed, avoiding tight clothing. In Greece, first impressions are based largely on the way one is dressed, so this can make a big difference. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  11     Bribery  and  corruption   The Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 ranks Greece in 94th place in terms of perceived levels of corruption by their citizens. Corruption in Greece became prevalent after 1981; specifically after entering the European Community and electing its first ever Socialist government. Since then, a large number of major corruption scandals (some count over 150) have been exposed in the Greek press. (M. Zoakas, 2010). The Greek Government, in order to fight corruption in public administration, has created inspection bodies, which investigate cases in central and local public sectors. Bribery is considered a crime in the Greek Government and it is punished with severe penalties. An OECD Anti-Bribery Convention was ratified by the Greek Parliament on November 5th, 1998 and implemented on February 15th, 1999. During recent years, the Greek government seems determined to fight corruption and bribery through increasing the effectiveness of legislation and the introduction of severe penalties. In addition, public participation and transparency mechanisms are also needed to improve disclosure of relevant information. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  12   Business  Meeting  Etiquette     Business  meetings  in  Greece   Recognizing the proper etiquette that should be followed at business meetings in a foreign country is essential. Is planning important? What values and habits should be considered? How formal are meetings? The sections below examine the various issues of a business meeting and cultural diversities in this area. Importance  of  business  meetings   Greeks wish to be well informed about business meetings, so appointments are necessary and must be arranged in advance. However, it’s possible that meetings can be arranged at short notice, because Greeks are also known for their laidback attitude. Punctuality is expected, but not critical as the Greek counterpart may also be late. It is advisable to dress conservatively, preferably a suit with tie for men and a dress or skirt for women. In Greece, meetings are expected to have a set agenda that outlines most of the issues to be discussed; however, the flexibility of the Greek attitude means that items that are not specifically on the agenda can still be introduced for discussion during the meeting. Open discussions and passionate debates are considered as both stimulating and essential for the correct decisions to be taken. It is normal for many people to talk at once during meetings and interruptions are frequent. Informal meetings are also held frequently and these will not normally follow an agenda. Traditional office working hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. As first meetings usually tend to be formal, you should be prepared for a strict routine of introductions, handshakes and an exchange of business cards. Business  meeting  planning   Appointments and all information about meetings must be confirmed in writing by fax or email. An agenda is rarely sent out in advance. Avoid setting up an appointment during the month of August, as many businesses will be closed for the summer holidays. Negotiation  process   Greek business partners like to establish personal relationships before doing business. Greeks need time to form an opinion and negotiations are usually conducted slowly, so you must be patient. It is advisable to demonstrate your product or service and provide supporting documentation. Greeks will test your knowledge and experience, so be prepared. Negotiations businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  13     don’t start during the first meeting, since the first meeting is mostly for introductions. The most senior person will tend to dominate the discussion and the negotiation process. It is important to know the hierarchy of the company and who the decision maker is. Meeting  protocol   When meeting, Greeks usually smile and shake hands while maintaining eye contact. On entering the meeting room, you can greet your partners in Greek ‘kaliméra’ for good morning or ‘kalispéra’ meaning good evening. When leaving, you should say goodbye to each person, individually. How  to  run  a  business  meeting   You should arrive punctually to a business meeting, but expect to wait for your Greek counterpart. The host should introduce you to the other participants at the meeting. Business meetings will usually start with general conversation. You should introduce the company you represent with a brief but complete presentation. Also, meetings may often run over their allotted time, so it is important to allow plenty of additional time between appointments. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  a  client   Negotiations and discussions can continue after the meeting, before reaching a deal or establish a partnership. It’s important to maintain personal contacts and exchange information about the negotiation or the project periodically. If the negotiation is finished and a deal is reached, you may need to prepare a written contract, which will be strictly followed and respected by your Greek counterpart. Business  meals   Eating out is a good opportunity to develop trust and get to know your business counterparts. Business meals should be used mainly to cement personal ties. In Greece it is usual to discuss business over a meal in a restaurant; however, since business dinners are social occasions, let your host decide whether or not business will be discussed. Business meals can provide a unique opportunity for the partners to spend some time together and at the same time discuss about business, in an agreeable environment. Prior to the meeting, it is common for the Greek counterpart to offer coffee, either in the office or at a local coffee shop. You should not refuse your host’s hospitality, as this would be considered impolite. A business meeting may be followed by a lunch or a dinner in a restaurant. You should ask your counterpart to suggest what dish to taste. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  14     It is common to start lunch by ordering small plates of appetizers (mezedes) with sauces with yoghurt and garlic (tzatziki), with fish eggs (taramosalada) or vine leaves rolls (dolmadàkia). Famous dishes are: Greek mixed salads (salàtes) like horiatikì with Feta cheese, olives, vegetables and tomatoes; and Moussakà, stewed meat with potatoes and aubergines. Desserts are plentiful with specialities like Baklavà, layers of filo pastry with honey and walnuts. You will probably be offered something to drink: ouzo is an anise liqueur which is traditionally served as an aperitif and meals are always accompanied by Retsina or other Greek wines. Lunch often starts at 2pm and dinner from 8pm onwards, with meals lasting two or three hours. Business  meeting  tips   The following are some useful tips to remember when travelling to or working in Greece: • • • • • • • Greeks like asking personal questions because they want to get to know you before doing business. Set appointments with the right people. Make sure it’s the person who makes decisions. Meetings are not as structured as in other cultures and agendas will be used only for more formal meetings. Several people may speak at once during meetings; this is considered normal behaviour as it indicates that the discussion is interesting. Punctuality is not as strict as in some other countries, so people may arrive late for meetings. Appearance is important and smart clothes should be worn. Although English is widely spoken, you cannot assume that everything you say will be understood, so ask if an interpreter will be needed. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  15     Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   The following placement options are available in Greece. • • • Erasmus student placements are part of the Erasmus programme and are found through Universities’ careers offices or international relations departments. Internship placements in various industries. The host organisations for student placements may be enterprises, research centres, training centres as well as other organisations. IASTE or within the framework of Marie Curie – for Master’s or PhD students working within a specific research field The characteristics of the individual placements are: • • The home HEI must give full recognition for the period spent abroad The student must be provided with a Training Agreement, endorsed by the home HEI and the host organisation; this should explain the programme of the placement period. The period of the placement must be mentioned on the placement contract, which must be endorsed by the home HEI, the sending consortium (if applicable), the host organisation and the beneficiary. Summer Placements can be found through University Career Offices. They are responsible for promoting the Programme of Summer Placements both among employers and students. The implementation period is June to August with a minimum and maximum duration of 4 to 10 weeks. Student placements are an opportunity to gain first-hand work experience in a Greek organization, during your semester program. Internship  and  placement  advice   There are many practical issues that must be looked into before deciding on a work placement. All arrangements must be made with the training organization, home and host University. It is advisable to plan ahead of time since Greece is a rather bureaucratic country and you may need more time than usual for paperwork to be completed. Student mobility grants for placements are offered as part of the Erasmus programme and enable students at higher education institutions to spend a placement of between 3 to 12 months in an enterprise or organisation in another participating country. These grants are given to students through their home University and their University Erasmus coordinator should take care of all the practicalities. Social  security  and  European  Health  insurance  card   businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  16     Public health facilities in Greece are limited in some areas, especially on the islands and remote areas. For this reason, public authorities are going to invest in building new medical facilities with high tech equipment. EU students should have the new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which has replaced the E111 and covers basic medical care whilst visiting European member states. It is advisable to take out private medical insurance to cover any unexpected healthcare needs that are not covered by the EHIC, while you are in Greece. Safety   Greece is a safe and friendly destination. However, it is always advisable for students studying or working to be cautious when in crowded places, since pickpocketing and incidents of petty theft are common. It is recommended to leave any valuables in safe custody at your hotel or apartment. • • • • The European emergency telephone number is 112. Police number: 100 Ambulance: 166 The electricity voltage in the country is 220 V; 50 Hz. Do  I  need  a  visa?   EU nationals do not need a visa to visit Greece, only a valid passport or identification card (issued by the home country). According to the Greek Immigration Law, all non-European Union students should acquire a student visa, which is valid for 3 months. If their stay exceeds this period, they have to apply for student residence permit. Students who are accepted for a semester or a full degree program at a university in Greece can apply for a visa to study. Internship  and  placement  salary   Student placements and internships are usually not paid, but this depends on the industry. There are training jobs available in the hotel and restaurant industry with a relatively good salary and conditions. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Accommodation may be offered by some institutions but, due to the limited number of places available in Student Hostels, it is very difficult to find a place. Rooms and apartments for rent are available in private buildings throughout Athens and Thessaloniki, with the average cost of renting a one-room apartment being approximately €300 per month. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  17   Students searching for accommodation can visit numerous websites that advertise student housing and shared accommodation. It is also a good idea to ask the University’s Erasmus office for any information, before trying to search on your own. Also, word of mouth is sometimes the best means of finding appropriate housing and if you know someone who lives in Greece, you should consult this person. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  18   Cost  of  Living     The cost of living in Greece is average compared to other countries. For Greek residents, living costs are considerably higher as salaries have dropped and unemployment levels risen since the economic crisis. Nevertheless, there is a variety of accommodation available to suit all budgets. An average international student in Greece will spend about €500 to €800 per month on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation, and telephone, depending on where they live and their lifestyle. Money  and  banking   The official currency of Greece is the Euro. Everyday payments are settled in cash, using electronic debit cards and credit cards. Most stores accept credit and/or debit cards. However, in small neighbourhood stores, only cash is accepted. Greece has plenty of local and foreign banks to choose from. As a placement student in Greece, you may need to open a local bank account. This requires a tax number, a valid passport and may require a residency permit, depending on the branch and employee you are dealing with. Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 8am to 2.30pm and on Friday from 8am to 2pm. Travelling  costs   The travel costs to and from Greece are usually paid by the student. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  19     Work-­‐life  Balance     In today’s demanding economy, it is a huge challenge for workers, especially working couples, to find a balance between work and life. According to OECD findings, Greek people have one of the highest work rates among the OECD countries with individuals working 2,109 hours a year, which is much higher than the OECD average of 1,749 hours. The Regus Survey (2010-2012) on Work-Life Balance shows that, in “comparison with 2010, Greek workers’ life has significantly deteriorated. 74% of the employees are forced to work more hours than in 2010, while workers living in other countries work on average 59% more than the previous year due to the crisis”. It appears that the unemployment and economic instability has affected negatively the psychology of Greeks, and their personal lives. Greek people have to try really hard to reconcile work with their personal life; therefore, facing problems with their personal and work-life balance. According to the European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO), Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are countries that lack flexibility regarding working time for parents employed full time. This is more evident in Greece, since most women have responsibility for taking care of their house and family along with their work. Women in Greece feel that they don’t have enough time for hobbies and interests. National  holidays   Greece celebrates both national and traditional holidays: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1st January – New Year’s Day 6th January – Epiphany Kathara Deytera – First day of Lent, moveable depending on when Orthodox Easter is celebrated 25th March – Annunciation and Independence Day, the anniversary of the declaration of the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, in 1821. Good Friday – moveable depending on when Orthodox Easter is celebrated. Easter – moveable Easter Monday – moveable depending when Easter is celebrated. May 1st – Labour day 15th August – Assumption of the Virgin Mary. 28th October – OCHI day, celebration of the Greek refusal to the Italian ultimatum of 1940. 25th December – Christmas 26th December – day after Christmas There are some holidays that are celebrated only by Schools and Universities: • • 30th January – Commemoration of the patron saints of education. 17th November – Anniversary of the 1973 students’ protests against the junta of the colonels (1967–1974). businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  20   Many municipalities have a Saint which they celebrate on a specific day with a holiday for the city when all schools, offices, banks, and stores are closed. For Example: 26th October – St. Demetrius Day is celebrated in the city of Thessaloniki. Working  hours   The length of a typical working week in Greece is 8 hours a day, 5 days a week starting at between 8am and 9am. Greeks do spent more time working as, according to Eurostat, employees in Greece work on average 42 hours per week compared to a European average of 40.3 hours per week. Part-time work is increasing, due to the current economic situation in Greece and increasing numbers of companies are reducing working hours for their employees. Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 8am to 2.30pm and on Friday from 8am to 2pm. Shops open from 9am and close between 2.30pm to 3pm on Monday through Saturday; they also open in the evenings from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Recently, a law has been passed to allow shops to also open on Sundays, but only shops in tourist areas have begun to take advantage of this legislation. Large department stores and the shops in Malls have much longer opening hours, 10am to 9pm on weekdays and 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. Health  insurance   Reform in Greece’s healthcare system has been a major priority for the government. Although it is not considered satisfactory by the Greek people, the World Health Organization ranks Greece as having one of the best health care systems in the world. The Greek healthcare cost is the lowest among the EU countries, while the government’s GDP allocation on health is also low. The system is both publically and privately funded, comprised of the National Health System (EOPPY-IKA) and various other social insurance funds. Public hospitals tend to cluster in big cities and they are limited to certain areas. These are probably some of the reasons why Greeks have the perception that they have a low quality healthcare provision, despite the fact that hospitals in the metropolitan areas are of excellent standards. Greeks have access to medical care by paying a monthly insurance contribution, which is mandatory. If your stay in Greece is for a temporary stay or short term visit, access to the healthcare system will be covered through the European Health Insurance Card and/or private medical insurance that you will have taken out. However, for longer stays and living in Greece, you may need to apply for an E106 or E121 in your home country. If you travel to Greece it is recommended you should have full travel insurance or private health coverage, especially if you intend to stay any length of time. If you are working in Greece and pay regular contributions to social security, you will be entitled to full or subsidised healthcare benefits. In this case, private health insurance may cover the portion of the bill that is not covered by the government. businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •              |  21   Social  Media  Guide     Currently, there are about 4 million Facebook users in Greece, with a penetration of about 36% of the population. As far as the use of social media in business is concerned, a recent survey found that 90% of workers admit to using social media (Nikolaou, 2010). Facebook and LinkedIn are the most widely used social media amongst workers with a penetration of 90% and 63%, respectively. LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for professional use with 79% penetration in companies’ staff and it also appears to be the most preferable site for job seeking. Google+ and YouTube are also popular social media networks, according to the Passport to Trade online survey conducted in 2012. Interestingly, 16% of workers include a personal blog in their social media usage. Social media is mainly used for personal purposes such as communicating with friends rather than for business purposes. Social media usage for marketing and customer service purposes is still very limited. Among younger business professionals and businesses whose customer base is young people (cafes, restaurants, clubs, etc.), social media usage is more frequent. As far as the do’s and don’ts in social media are concerned, most Greeks prefer to use their real name and believe that speaking to people you do not know in real life is not acceptable. The majority also thinks that it is inappropriate to criticize others in abusive terms, to swear and use foul language and to post pictures of people without permission. As far as the SMEs are concerned, 30% use social media for business purposes, which can be considered a relatively high ratio, and. LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook are the preferred networks. Most companies use social media in order to generate consumer interest and to develop business partnerships. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  22     • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  23     How to use social media for international business development (4/12) • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss How to use LinkedIn (7/12) businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  24     • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded How to stay legal on social media (10/12) businessculture.org     Content  Greece  
  •            |  25     • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Greece  
  •              |  26   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopoulou TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Greece