Romania Work Culture

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Romania Work Culture

To succeed in business in Romania, it is vital for both employers and employees to have a strong understanding of the business culture.

As a global PEO (Professional Employment Organization) it is our goal to be familiar and updated with the business culture in the country we work with and in. By sharing our knowledge about Romanian work culture, we want to support your global expansion plans. Therefore, we will address all the aspects of the work culture in Romania to start your expansion well-informed.

Romania has the highest percentage of non-local European Union citizens in its workforce at 18% – a significant proportion of foreigners alongside Romanians that underlines the country’s attraction for international jobseekers.

In the southeastern corner of Europe, Romania is the region’s second-largest country and borders Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Moldova, and the Ukraine. The Danube, one of the world’s iconic rivers, flows for 600 miles through the country into its delta on the western shores of the Black Sea.

Romania has mountain ranges – the Carpathians and Transylvanian Alps – with the name Transylvania forever associated with vampires and the infamous Count Dracula. There are forests and immense rolling plains.

The name ‘Romania’ was first used in 1859 and reflects the Roman Empire’s influence, which also stretches into the language’s Latin roots. Slavic, Greek, Turkish and Roma influences is also found in the official language.

As a member of the EU, Romania is part of the ‘freedom of movement for workers’ principle. Statistics from the EU in 2020 showed that Romania had the highest percentage of non-Romanian EU citizens in its workforce at just over 18%.

Romania’s natural beauty and rich heritage are primed for a developing tourist industry and services sector, while construction, architecture and design, IT, software, and hardware development are among the areas expected to generate the most employment opportunities.

Ready for the challenge? Now is the time to get down to business. So here are a few tips on taking the best steps and clearing those cultural barriers … and Romania has some unique etiquette nuances that could catch out western employees.

  • Language:  Romanian is a Latin language, so has similarities with French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, while they are also familiar with English. Check beforehand the ‘business language’ for your meeting and engage an interpreter if deemed necessary
  • Punctuality:  Being reasonably early will be appreciated for displaying a business-like attitude
  • Business Attitudes:  Formal and largely hierarchical, showing respect for elders and superiors
  • Negotiations: Decisions tend to come down from the upper managerial levels. Although the collective view is valued, decision-makers will hold sway. Romanians are extremely business-savvy at the international level and will prepare meticulously for meetings and expect their counterparts to do the same. Be ready and be professional – they will be!
  • Greetings:  Shaking hands, maintaining eye contact, and issuing a friendly ‘Buna ziua’ (Good day) is a suitable way to begin proceedings
  • Business Cards: Part of the introductory rituals
  • Dress Code:  Initially, men and women should dress conservatively but this will relax to ‘business casual’ as the relationship develops, particularly for business lunches
  • Gift Giving: Modest but thoughtful gifts from the home country will be taken as showing an appreciation for international cooperation
  • Out of Hours: Business dinners, whether during negotiations or after sealing the deal can still be quite formal. Behave according to usual etiquette and if ordering a la carte do not go for the most expensive. Drink sensibly, or avoid alcohol altogether

Romania’s Minimum Wage

From January 2022 the minimum for full-time employees is RON 2,250 per month (€515, US$566), equating to RON 30,600 (€6,184, US$6,795) a year. Employees in the construction sector stayed at a monthly minimum of RON 3,000 (€606, US$666), the same as before January 2022.

Probation Periods in Romania

Permitted only once for each employment. Generally, for 90 days, they can be shorter if applied to fixed-term contracts or temporary employees. Probation periods for executives and managers can be for 120 days.

Working Hours in Romania

The working week is 40 hours over five eight-hour days and cannot normally exceed 48 including overtime unless there is an averaging agreement for no more than 48 over a four-month period. Workers must have 12 hours rest between successive working days and two successive rest days per week. Daily breaks are not generally paid, with their length determined by contract or collective agreement. In March 2022, proposals were announced to allow full-time employees to work four 10-hour days.

Overtime in Romania

Employers need employees’ written agreement to work overtime. Compensation is generally as paid days off within 60 days of working. Where impractical, employees are compensated financially at not less than 75% above their normal hourly pay rate. Overtime cannot exceed 48 hours per week and after working a 12-hour shift, employees must have 24 hours off. Under-18s, part-timers and pregnant employees cannot work overtime.