Bristol Business Tips
(Bristol, England, UK)
The university city of Bristol has grown into an important financial conurbation. There are an enormous number of large office blocks and headquarters for many of England's leading companies in this city. These businesses include banks, telecommunications, insurance companies, law firms, software companies, printing, publishing and more besides. Many of these are located in the centre of Bristol or nearby, often being conveniently close to the Temple Meads train station.
There are also numerous large and thriving businesses situated on the outskirts of Bristol in the districts of Avonmouth, Bishopsworth, Brislington, Clifton, Cotham, Fishponds, Frenchay, Henbury, Horfield, Knowle, Redland, Shirehampton, Stapleton and Westbury on Trym. The pace of business life here tends to be fairly relaxed and less hectic than other major cities in England. There are also numerous tourist attractions in and around Bristol and these continue to thrive as the city expands. The hotel industry also reflects the high number of tourists and the city is full of hotels and guest houses, with competitive prices.
Business Hours and General Etiquette
In both dress and manners, locals in Bristol are fairly formal and normal business courtesies should still be observed. The degree of formality necessary depends upon the actual nature of the business, with financial and legal professions being more formal than computer and similar IT-based firms. Many men still wear suits and short-sleeved shirts are acceptable during the summer months. Women may also wear suits, but these tend to be more casual in appearance.
Business hours in the area are usually from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:30, although some offices in Bristol may close slightly later. Many shops are open longer and often throughout the weekends, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours. Banks in Bristol generally open from 09:00 to 17:00 and larger branches may also open on Saturday mornings.
Working lunches provide a pleasant way to do business in Bristol and locals are quick to use first-name terms when appropriate. Some exclusive restaurants have a strict dress code, although the majority are more informal and a relaxed dress code is acceptable. Drinks or dinner is a popular way to end the hard working week and there are many pubs and wine bars in central Bristol that are frequented with city businessmen and women, including a number around the trendy Harbourside and Watershed area.
A brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting in Bristol and generally throughout England. New acquaintances are often addressed on first name terms.
Restaurants in Bristol have a strict 'no smoking' policy, although some do tend to cater for smokers in outside areas. Offices and businesses are now completely 'non-smoking', along with all public spaces, and whilst the British have neither a positive nor a negative attitude to smoking, it is best to only smoke when in the company of like-minded people.