Global Mobility News

Published on 23 October 2013

navigating_russian_etiquetteThere are some positive trends in the relocations market both globally and in Russia. Despite Russia being a complex destination due to linguistic and cultural barriers, Russia’s economy has rebounded more strongly and quickly post-2008 due to high oil and commodity prices and places Russia high in many multinational lists as an area for expansion.

Several recent mobility surveys report that over half of multinational companies will be increasing their number of international assignments.
Russia’s international assignments in the 1990’s and 2000’s tended to be more of an introductory, long-term and initial expansion nature, but two decades later, the role is shifting to more specific tasks such as covering technical functions, knowledge transfer, or specific project needs on a more local level.

As such, mobility trends are beginning to show an increase in more short-term and project-oriented roles, and more and more assignments outside the country’s capital of Moscow. Positions which are in growing demand are Project Managers, Engineers, Technical Directors, and Consultant positions.

Recent revisions to the visa regime in Russia have made Russia slightly more attractive as well. The new US-Russian visa treaty has simplified the process and visa duration for American expatriate workers, and the relatively new ‘Highly Qualified Specialist’ visa has removed many obstacles on hiring quotas and permissions that firms earlier spent considerable time and expense obtaining.

Staying up to date with a dedicated relocations expert like Eurohome will ensure that a multinational’s staff will be in good stead to stay with current trends and increase the success desired for international staff and Moscow offices alike.

Navigating Russian Etiquette

Relocating to any country can bring cultural challenges for an international transferee, but Russia can present even greater difficulties given its long period of isolation and unique mix of Eurasian traditions and cultural heritage. Knowing what to expect can help ease the transition and make a Russian assignment more successful and pleasuable.

From a social standpoint, Russian colleagues and friends are frequently more direct and straightforward in everyday interaction. Formality is frequently foregone for the sake of logistical ease. Daily transport is one prime example where people will forsake comfort and personal space for greater efficiency. Russians also tend to overlook what might be regarded as pleasantries such as smiling in public as insincere.From a business perspective, first impressions are crucial and as such formal and conservative attire is crucial. Moscow life is dynamic so while it’s good to organize meetings well in advance, schedules can change at short notice and punctuality is less emphasized due to public transport constraints. Expect Russian business partners to get right to the heart of any meeting with negotiations and pricing discussions almost immediately.