Business Culture in Israel

Working in Tel Aviv is likely to be an exciting experience. There is a unique spirit and energy to the city that is contagious. To get the most out of this opportunity, it is important to familiarize yourself with the business culture in Israel.
Doing business in Israel is more informal than in other countries. Israelis are known to be straightforward and assertive. This straightforwardness is part of the overall cultural value of honesty that ensures both parties get the best results from a business relationship. While business is run at a fast pace in Israel, personal connections are of the utmost importance and add a sense of community.

Flat Business Culture

While Israeli companies are often structured hierarchically, they generally encourage an open, friendly working environment. It is common to refer to your superiors on a first-name basis. Employees are encouraged to speak their minds and voice any new ideas to higher management.


Workplace Interactions

An Israeli workplace can be quite open, friendly and, at times, subject to random bursts of lively conversation. Communication between colleagues is straightforward, like in business dealings. For example, you may fnd that your colleagues will interrupt you, not because of a lack of interest in what you are saying, but because of their enthusiasm to relate and share experiences.


Working Style

Israeli employees highly value fexibility in work processes and problem solving. Innovation and initiative are traits your colleagues will respect and aspire to.


Dress Code

Informality can also be observed in the dress code, which is usually business casual- a dress shirt and trousers, instead of a suit and a tie, is common for most meetings. This may also be attributed to Israel’s warm climate.


A Typical Work Week

The working week in Israel begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday with standard office hours ranging from 08:00 or 09:00 to 17:00 or 18:00. Sunday is a regular work day. Certain stores and businesses remain open on Fridays and close in the afternoon.
As Saturday (“Shabbat” in Hebrew) is a day of rest, from Friday afternoon until Saturday night many businesses close and most public transportation is not in service. It is also a day observed as a religious obligation by some. People who observe Shabbat will not answer the phone or their email, will not drive or fly, and will not do any kind of work.


Holidays

Two important Israeli holidays are Passover and the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). During these two holidays, it is customary to give gifts to clients and employees.
Other holidays, such as Chanukah and Purim, are regular work days in the private sector but are school holidays, so parents may take some of these days off to spend time with their families.
Jewish holidays follow the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar as opposed to the Gregorian solar calendar, so holiday dates are not fixed from year to year.

List of Holidays in Israel

Purim- February or March (2 days)

Pesach- March or April (7 days, only the first and last days of the festival are official holidays)

Shavuot- May or June (2 days)

Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year)- September or October (3 days)

Yom Kippur- September or October (2 days) 

Sukkot- September or October (8 days)

Shmini Atzeret (Evening of Simchat Torah, the day after Sukkot)- October

Simchat Torah- October (1 day)

Chanukah- December (8 days)



Paying Suppliers

Checks are widely used to pay for a variety of services, such as suppliers, business partners, customers and so on. For smaller amounts, checks are more popular than bank transfers. The use of payment apps is becoming increasingly popular to pay suppliers.