COVID-19 Update for Guests

Top 3 Etiquette Tips for Foreign Business Workers in Canada

February 20, 2020
business etiquette means shaking hands to introduce yourself

Traveling to a new country is an exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking adventure, especially for an extended business stay. Not only are you learning a new city, but professionals have the pressure of learning proper etiquette. Communications (both verbal and non-verbal), attire, and social interaction in formal and informal settings are key when it comes to making lasting connections.

Don’t book your return flight just yet! Canadians are among the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Thus, there’s no need to be afraid of learning a new workplace culture. Mary-am Suites is here to welcome our corporate housing guests with Top 3 Etiquette Tips for a Successful Stay.

1.) Dress to Impress

Proper business attire conveys a strong message. Clothing that exudes confidence and professionalism can help us feel empowered to take charge, ask questions, and speak up at important meetings. If you’re a foreign business worker in Canada, take a moment to research the atmosphere of the company. A quick glance at the company’s website can offer clues as to the level of dress.

For example, are you primarily working in an office and will you have frequent, client-facing duties? Are you employed seasonally with lots of hours spent outdoors? Knowing what to expect beforehand is a great way to beat first day jitters.

In general, a good rule of thumb is to maintain a formal appearance until you’ve settled into your new role and had the chance to observe your colleague’s attire. Canadians typically adhere to a conservative standard for the office, so steer clear of jeans, shorts, and revealing garments that are better suited for a weekend out. The most common dress code in Canada is what is widely known as “business casual”. This generally means nice or smart clothing, though not necessarily a full suit and tie. Putting your best foot — and outfit — forward allows you to dress down later on if you observe the environment falls more on the relaxed side of the fashion spectrum.

2.) Communicate, Collaborate, Connect

Many international workers are hesitant to bridge the language barrier when it comes to workplace communications etiquette. While having a basic grasp of English is certainly beneficial, you’ll be relieved that Canada is highly diverse. Toronto is the most linguistically diverse city in Canada, with over 200 languages commonly spoken and 45% of residents whose native tongue is not English or French. This means you’re very likely to run into a few native speakers of other languages at the office or out and about. The rich, welcoming community can make even a short term stay feel like home.

A few tips to keep in mind include prioritizing respect, manners, and maintaining directness and purpose. First names are typically used in the workplace. Further, it’s a good idea to always offer a friendly “good morning” and “have a nice day”.

Canadians are a highly polite society, so don’t be surprise if you often hear your colleagues apologizing to one another! While other cultures may be more reserved when it comes to saying “sorry”, Canadians often acknowledge any small infraction. 

3.) Mastering Non-Verbal Communication

It’s often what we don’t say that communicates the most about our professional presence. Body language is a highly important component of being successful in the workplace. Positive mannerisms include maintaining eye contact, smiling, and shaking hands when meeting someone new like a boss, colleague, or client.

Canadians are very appreciative of personal space. Strive to maintain around 2 feet (or an arm’s length) of space between yourself and the other person. This allows the other person to feel comfortable and at ease.

Find More Etiquette Tips for Foreign Business Workers in Canada

To learn more about what to expect, check out the Canadian Welcome Centre or reach out to Mary-Am Suites. As Toronto’s most preferred extended stay provider, we’re happy to welcome new guests to our amazing country.


Mary-am Suites - COVID-19 Update for Guests

Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rest assured that we are closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to protect our team members and guests as the situation continues to evolve.

Business Continuity

Our first step was to invoke our Business Continuity Plan. We are entirely digital and do not rely on any manual processes. We are also completely cloud-based and diversified through our use of Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Our office team is mobile-ready and has access to all critical infrastructure, including our cloud-based phone and booking systems. Rest assured - we are prepared to continue serving you.

Flexible Cancellations

For any new reservations booked directly with us, and until April 30, 2020, the booking can be cancelled at any time before arrival and with no cancellation fee.

New Arrivals

Toronto Public Health announced enhanced measures to protect the public on March 13, 2020, and are currently in effect until April 5, 2020. Anyone who has travelled from anywhere outside Canada, including the United States, is asked to self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days.

For All Stays

Weekly Touch Up Service

For your safety and ours, weekly touch up service is cancelled until April 30, 2020. We encourage guests to utilize the ensuite washer and dryer to launder their linens and towels. For guests wishing to receive fresh linens, please send a request through Guest Services, and we will arrange to pick up your used linens (left in a bag at the front door inside the suite) and drop off fresh linen for you to use.

Our Commitment to High Cleaning Standards

We have always utilized commercial hospitality-grade cleaning procedures and supplies. We use specialized chemicals for different surfaces to ensure optimal disinfection. We also use new gloves and separate microfibre cleaning cloths for each suite to prevent cross-contamination. Any linens or cleaning cloths supplies by us have been professionally sanitized at a large commercial laundry facility.

Suite Visits by Guest Services & Maintenance

Until April 30, 2020, we will not conduct any suite tours for prospective guests, nor will any of our Maintenance or Guest Services team members visit occupied suites for any issues other than those relating to essential services.

We recognize that these are challenging times. Like many before it, this too will pass, and together we will get through it. Know that we are working around the clock to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable stay. We remain at your service 24/7 should you have any questions or concerns.

Yours in hospitality.

Mary-am Suites