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Working in Poland

Your guide to expat life in Poland

Want to work in Poland?

Since joining the EU, the Polish economy has flourished. Poles are industrious and the country’s educated workforce, fast-developing economy and strategic position in Central Europe have helped attract multinational companies to its shores. Poland offers good opportunities for investment and career progression.

Business in Poland

Business in Poland is a formal affair where punctuality and appearances are valued. The Polish are hardworking and industrious, and you might need to get used to working without a formal lunch break. While Poles can be reserved, their communication style is direct – eye contact is important and seen as a sign of respect and trust. People are expected to address matters directly.

In business, there is a strong respect for those in senior positions. Business structures are hierarchical – decisions are made at the top and authority is respected. Academic achievements and titles are highly valued, and you should address colleagues formally until told otherwise. Women have similar opportunities as men, although most high-ranking positions are still held by men.

Trust is paramount if you want to be successful in the Polish workplace, so be sure to spend time getting to know business associates in a social setting. Family life and sports are good conversation topics, but avoid discussing money or Poland’s history and relations with its European neighbours.

Practical details

Polish is the official language of business, but English may be spoken in business circles, especially in larger cities. Business hours are usually from 08:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday, without a formal lunch break during the working day.

Polish business dress is formal and conservative. Businessmen wear dark suits and ties. Smart skirts, dresses and trousers are all acceptable for women.

A firm handshake along with direct eye contact is the most common business greeting. Introductions should include a person’s full name and title. Giving gifts is an established practice in Polish business. Gifts are usually given at the beginning of a relationship and at the completion of a project.

Expat salaries in Poland

Salaries in Poland are among the lowest in Europe, and employment packages are rarely as lucrative as you would find in other popular expat destinations.

Top tips for working in Poland

See what people responding to our Expat Explorer Survey think about living in Poland.

It's a great opportunity to earn more money, see the world and meet different people.

All Expat Explorer survey data and all tips (in quotation marks) are provided by HSBC.

All other content is provided by, Globe Media Ltd and was last updated in September 2021. HSBC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

This information is purely for orientation and to inspire further research, it does not constitute advice and no liability is accepted to recipients acting independently on its contents. The views expressed are subject to change.

Always remember to ensure you're aware of and comply with any laws in your host country or country of origin that apply to gift giving and bribery.

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