Oxford Business Tips
(Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK)
Oxford is predominantly a university city and much of the its wealth has derived from its vast network of almost 40 colleges. Employing over 7,000 people, almost 10 percent of the city's total workforce, Oxford University has a major contribution to the local economy. Each year, more than four million people visit the city and many of the most popular tourist attractions are historic university buildings, churches, libraries, gardens and parks.
Some of the main businesses in the Oxford are include tourism, retail and hospitality. This is a busy city, with many student and tourists arriving throughout the year. As a result, there are a large number of shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and public houses in and around the city centre, providing an excellent choice. There are also numerous tourist attractions within Oxfordshire and these continue to thrive as the city expands. The local hotel industry also reflects the high number of tourists and the city is full of affordable hotels and guesthouses, with competitive prices.
The city of Oxford has grown in status as an important financial city and a number of trade estate and out-of-town developments have emerged in the suburbs. The include financial institutions, corporate head offices, large office blocks, software companies, shopping centres, garages and law firms. The pace of business life tends to be fairly relaxed and less hectic than other cities in England.
Business Hours and General Etiquette
In both dress and manners, locals in this university city are fairly formal and normal business courtesies should still be observed. The degree of formality depends entirely upon the actual nature of the business, with Oxford's financial and legal professions being more formal than computer software, Internet, publishing and media organizations. Many men still wear suits and short sleeve shirts are acceptable in the summer months in Oxford. Woman may also wear suits, but tend to be more casual in appearance.
Business hours in the Oxford area are usually from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 to 17:30, although some offices some close later. Many of the city's shops are open longer and often throughout the weekends, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours. Banks generally open from 09:00 to 17:00, while larger branches may also open on Saturday mornings. Working lunches are a popular way to do business in the city and locals are often quick to use first-name terms when appropriate.
A brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting in Oxford and generally throughout England. New acquaintances are often addressed on first name terms.
Many restaurants and public buildings in Oxford have a strict 'no smoking' policy, although some do tend to cater for smokers in different areas - usually outside. Most 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. This is generally true throughout England as a whole.