Cambridge Business Tips
(Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK)
The main businesses in Cambridge are tourism, retail, hospitality and businesses related to university life. This is a busy city, with tourists arriving throughout the year. There are many impressive entertainment venues, cafés, restaurants, shops and a large number of public houses, which often cater to the student crowd.
There are also numerous, historic tourist attractions in and around Cambridge and these continue to thrive as the university city expands. Cambridge has developed as an important financial city in more recent years and on the outskirts are a number of large businesses, including many modern office buildings and companies. The pace of business life in Cambridgeshire tends to be fairly relaxed and less hectic than more major financial cities in England.
Business Hours and General Etiquette
In both dress and manners, locals in Cambridge are fairly formal and normal, and typical English 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 some IT companies and software houses.
Business hours in the Cambridge area are usually from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:30, although some offices may close slightly later. Many shops in the city centre are open longer and often throughout the weekends, and some supermarkets in Cambridge are open 24 hours.
Banks in Cambridge generally open from 09:00 to 17:00 and larger branches may also open on Saturday mornings. Cambridge is well serviced by all of the major banks and building societies, with branches of Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Natwest and Barclays all being easy to locate. The majority of these branches are located in the heart of Cambridge city centre, on roads such as Regent Street, Sidney Street, St. Andrew's Street and Christ's Lane. Most of these banks and building societies have ATM cashpoints and some also offer useful foreign exchange facilities.
Working lunches are a friendly way to do business in Cambridge and locals are quick to use first-name terms when appropriate. Drinks or dinner often provide a pleasant end to the hard working week in Cambridge and there are many pubs and wine bars in the city that soon fill up from 17:00 onwards on a Friday, particularly around the Corn Exchange Street, Downing Street, King's Parade, Market Passage, Park Street, Rose Crescent and St. Andrew's Street.
A brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting in Cambridge and generally throughout England. New acquaintances are often addressed on first name terms, rather than using formal titles.
Restaurants in Cambridge have a strict 'no smoking' policy, although some do tend to cater for smokers in outdoor areas. All Cambridge offices and businesses are now 'non-smoking' and although 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.