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Corporate Culture In China
Expats in China deal with differences in working culture on a daily basis. It might be as little as taking asleep during the workday or as serious as being compelled to work unpaid overtime. Chinese business culture is distinct in a number of respects.
In the West, most individuals work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They come and go on schedule, and overtime is uncommon, if not entirely unheard of. When workers are requested to work extra, they are appropriately rewarded or have the option to decline.
The attitude in China is extremely different. Most individuals work normal over time, starting at any time between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and ending at any time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (or even later). In some businesses, working on Saturday is very usual, and working on Sunday is also not out of the question. China is famous for its "996" system, which requires people to work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.
Working in China entails a certain amount of overtime. Employees who are requested to do so may or may not be rewarded, but regardless of workers' rights, the assumption is that the job will be completed in the quickest time feasible. While most Chinese employees understand that overtime is an unavoidable part of the work, particularly in the tech and startup industries, some foreigners struggle with this aspect of Chinese corporate culture.
However, it's worth noting that Chinese workers typically receive substantial yearly bonuses. Bonuses in larger organizations, where overtime is prevalent, can range from three to eight months' compensation. In some ways, these bonuses might be viewed as remuneration for a year of otherwise unpaid overtime.
Communication with management
Talking to management as an employee in any nation may be intimidating. However, this kind of communication pursues two quite distinct paths in the West and China.
A good manager in the West is expected to establish an environment where employees can provide constructive criticism and express their thoughts on how the firm is managed. Those that are able to solve issues or come up with new ideas are highly regarded.
When addressing problems with management in China, employees must use extreme caution. Because “face” is so essential, any management comments should be given in private rather than at a meeting. Employees that can follow directions and accomplish a task efficiently are highly regarded.
While the Chinese method can aid team cohesiveness by requiring all employees to work together to fulfill a manager's vision, it can also cause problems. If a member of staff is afraid to speak up about a serious problem or an unreasonable deadline with their boss, they will shift the burden to other colleagues, departments, or even clients.
Team building isn't as important in the West. Some businesses do not provide it at all, and those that do generally limit it to a work lunch or an afternoon excursion. The majority of team building activities take place during business hours, and participation is typically voluntary.
However, in Chinese corporate culture, team building is far more essential. A Chinese firm that doesn't undertake some form of team building, whether it's a day at a training camp, a night at KTV, or a long weekend visiting another city, would be hard to find.
Team building exercises in China might last a whole day, if not an entire weekend. Even if it takes up your own time, you are obliged to attend as an employee.
On the other side, these group outings may be a lot of fun, since they allow you to bond with your coworkers while also allowing you to see something new. And, because most expenses will most likely be paid, it'll be essentially a free vacation!
If you were discovered sleeping at the office in most other countries, it would be cause for alarm. Maybe you've been drinking all night? Perhaps you're sick and should stay at home? Basically, it's not the way things are done.
In China, on the other hand, it is the rule. Colleagues will eat their lunches as quickly as possible so they may return to the workplace and snooze slouched over their desks or even on fold-out mattresses.
Colleagues are supposed to observe lunch hour as a period when individuals sleep in Chinese corporate culture. The lights are turned out, the curtains are closed, and anybody who makes noise - whether it's conversing or viewing videos – will be punished by their coworkers and even their superiors. Outside of lunchtime, impromptu naps are also very prevalent.