As a good Brazilian, I can say that being on time is not part of most population virtue. We have a cultural difference when it comes to time management and punctuality. We have the “hora brasileira” -the “Brazilian time”- meaning is normal for meetings to start later than the scheduled time due to the flexibility and relaxed attitude toward the time. Adding to that, we value social interactions and personal relationships so prior to a meeting, we will engage in a friendly conversation that will add up to the meeting starting later than expected. Even though in some social contexts running late is acceptable, is still recommended to arrive on time when it comes to formal meetings, business appointments, etc.
Brazil is a large country with diverse regional cultures and variations when it comes to the matter. Cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro may have a more time-conscious business when compared to smaller cities or rural areas. However, is important to mention that is not universal, so individuals’ attitudes toward time management will vary and differ.
In a Business setting, is recommended to be punctual and respectful of the schedule, however when it comes to a more personal environment the flexibility will vary and it will be okay to run a few minutes late and be there on the “Brazilian time”.
by: Daniela Sztajnbok