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Working Around the Holidays — When Your Employees Work Around the World

Working Around the Holidays — When Your Employees Work Around the World

The holiday season is upon us! Well...some of us, in some places. Professionals in the translation industry are particularly sensitive to the cultural differences they might encounter with clients and target markets. But the increasingly popular “follow-the-sun” business model, which encourages hiring workers across the globe to accommodate international customers, means that employees and bosses might not share the same holidays.

Make Holidays and PTO Flexible

Paid time away from the office can be categorized broadly as covering holidays and vacations. Of course, workers often like to schedule their vacations around holidays, which vary from country to country. Managers should ask employees to identify national holidays in their locations, and then determine whether any additional accommodations are needed (e.g., adjusting the work schedule for employees fasting for Ramadan). 

Talk to Individuals

Even employees who live in the same place might have different feelings about which holidays they would like to take. For instance, an American expat living in France might be willing to work on Bastille Day if they can take off the Fourth of July. Still, tapping into employees’ on-the-ground knowledge of national holidays can help managers gauge what kind of business to expect on those days.

Ensure Coverage

Hiring professionals around the world is one way to ensure 24-hour coverage for customers, but it means at least one worker must be available at any given time. Managers should start planning well in advance of widely observed holidays to make sure some staff are around. It’s possible not everyone will be able to take time off exactly when they want, and those who don’t get their desired slots this year should certainly be given first dibs the next time.