Singapore is world famous for its efficient business eco-system and infrastructure that facilitates just about everything, from commuting and tele-communications to speedy check-ins and fast Internet connections. Here are some tips to squeeze even more productivity out of your business trip in Singapore.
Email is a standard communication channel in Singapore. Most communication is carried out over email and several businesses choose to confirm contracts via email. Singaporeans tend to keep their emails polite and brief so keep your email short and professional without excessive formality. Singaporeans tend to reply quickly and catch up on their emails over lunch, during breaks and on commutes. When in doubt on how to reach a business contact, email is usually the default option. Making a hotel reservation for your business trip is no different, and most hotels will have an email address on their website to which you can direct all your queries.
Singapore has great connectivity, with free Internet hotspots in most malls, restaurants, and hotel lobbies. Use this to download location-specific maps of Singapore on your phone or mobile device to get around the island, fast. You can also ask your business partners or the hotel concierge which navigation apps the locals rely on. For business communication, Whatsapp and WeChat are becoming increasingly popular in Singapore and are no longer relegated to the purely personal realm, and are the easiest ways to update a team about a project or event or keep in touch with people back home, especially if you want to keep costs low.
Speaking of keeping it local, eat where Singaporeans eat. Food is a mainstream activity in Singapore and Singaporeans know how to enjoy their meals. Lunch breaks vary from company to company but the usual break lasts about an hour to 90 minutes. During that time, queues at eating venues in the city get extremely long. Singaporeans tend to frequent eateries that are close to their offices. They also know the best deals and fastest service places. Ask around for the best places. Mention that your time is short and you’ll readily receive recommendations on where to go to get your fill and be back in time for your next meeting or appointment.
Meetings are usually productive affairs and small talk is kept to before and after, and usually just for a few minutes. At a meeting, the most senior person usually speaks first and interruptions are considered rude. Be polite and to the point. Most people will have another meeting afterwards so efficiency is valued. Your business trip in Singapore will likely go by in a whirl so try and find time to catch up on some leisure activities in between. Singaporeans are also experts in squeezing in some R&R into the busiest days and are more than happy to show you how.