HUNGARY - COMMUNICATION

In general Hungary has embraced modern living (the same as in Czech Republic), although the older generation still preserves their traditions and culture, particularly in small villages. When meeting a Hungarian, handshaking is customary and both their Christian name and surname should be used. Normal courtesies should be observed. At a meal, toasts are usually made and should be returned. A useful word is egészségünkre (pronounced ay-gash-ay-gun-gre), meaning ’your health’. A knowledge of German can prove useful. Gifts such as flowers or a bottle of wine are acceptable for hosts as a token of thanks, particularly when invited for a meal. Smoking is prohibited on public transport in towns and public buildings.

Work behavior

In Hungary, the system of outwork/home working, which means working away from the company premises (but not e-working), has been known for a long time. Typical activities carried out in this framework included tailoring, sewing, basketwork, preparing strip carpets, doormats or other home craft work that can mostly be done at home. Beside manual activities, intellectual work carried out in this framework included writing studies and articles, translating, editing, publishing-related activities, and work carried out periodically in research institutes, libraries, archives, or other localities.

Since personal computers started to appear in Hungary in the early 1990s, e-working or teleworking/ telecommuting has spread in the case of those intellectual jobs that had already been done from home. It included writing and editing documents usually at home and submitting them in an electronic format, and later by Internet. Employees carrying out scientific or similar work were given 1-3 research days a week to complete tasks away from the company premises. It is interesting that employees with this scope of activities are still not considered teleworkers in most cases, although their working activity is the typical form of partial teleworking.

Similarly to the above-mentioned group, teachers, district nurses, survey-takers, consultants, managers are not considered e-workers, in spite the fact, that part of their work is done away from the workplace using mobile information technology (IT). Employees working in these jobs are not employed by e-work contract in most cases, as the conventional labor contracts provide an adequate frame for employment. The above-mentioned scope of activities is remarkably widespread in Hungary.

With the spreading of IT devices and connected professions, the range of jobs that can be carried out in the form of e-working has been widening further: IT jobs, such as programmer, developer, designer, supporter, data collector, etc. E-work has developed as a result of the improvement of instruments and technologies. A large number of people working in these jobs became self-employed workers (free lancer, e-lancer) who work away from the workplace.

Among traditional office jobs there is an increasing number of jobs that are performed away from the company premises, such as accounting, part of secretarial duties. There is also a great number of people working in this way among employees in the field of customer care and sales, such as employees doing call centre jobs, travel agents, training organizers, sales representatives (e.g.: medical representatives).