Christmas and New Year are holidays that are celebrated worldwide. But because of that, the issue of offshore outsourcing can get a little thorny when it comes to understanding an outsourced country’s holiday habits. When outsourcing, it’s only natural to wonder about a country’s culture during their holidays, especially during Christmas. You can’t tell whether they’ll be a lot lazier because of the changing atmosphere or if they’ll work more efficiently for the sake of their company’s Christmas bonus.
With that in mind, here’s a brief guide on just that: the culture of several outsourced countries during this time of year. Hopefully, this will give you an idea on what strategies you need to change whether you’re outsourcing your marketing campaign or any other business process:
China and India
Most companies have already outsourced to countries like China and India due to cheap labor costs. Not many people here really celebrate Christmas given they’re mostly Hindu or Buddhist countries. Those that do celebrate on a smaller and less eventful scale. The Chinese also have their own Chinese New Year based on their Han calendar rather than our Gregorian/Solar calendar. In their mainland, the celebration can last up to seven days (which means seven days of no work). Meanwhile, Indians also have Diwali. And while it happens much earlier than the Christmas season of the U.S. and the U.K, the preparations leading up to Diwali can extend the event to five days.
Philippines and Brazil
On the other hand, countries like Philippines and Brazil share more similarities given the strong influence of Catholicism. This however could still mean a distinctively different brand of Christmas celebrations. Filipinos have traditions like the dawn masses (nine in total) rousing up a significant portion of the working population. The whole country is usually on break during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The same applies to New Year’s. For Brazilians, Christmas can be considered their Thanksgiving with festive meals of turkey, pork, ham, colored rice alongside vegetables and fruits. And while their celebrations are closer to Americans terms of time zones, things like mass attendance and other religious/ceremonial observations are still more strictly observed.
One of the common issues with outsourcing is that many people see the outsourcers as incapable of seeing the human side of those being outsourced. You see these in the typical cases of Foxconn. Racial stereotypes lace the jokes of comedians commenting on outsourcing and the state of global economy.
Want an easy way to turn that around? You can start by just being mindful of an outsourced country’s culture. And with Christmas less than a week away, when’s a better time to pay more attention?