Employees of global companies, and those with global clients, find themselves learning of all sorts of holidays they didn’t know existed. On Labor Day, of course, Americans will be out of the office, enjoying backyard barbecues or maybe just a day to sleep in and putter around the house. Our colleagues around the world will be toiling away like it’s any other Monday.
At Tribe, we often work with programmers in Ukraine, so our timeline for a rush project this May had to take into account their Labor Day. Both May 1 and May 2 were national holidays for them. Fortunately for our workflow demands, Cultural Workers and Folk Artists Day on May 25 is observed without businesses across the board taking the day off.
We’ve just started work with a company headquartered in Japan, where employees customarily take extra vacation days around Bon, the festival honoring one’s ancestors. While their Japanese colleagues were traveling to their hometowns, taking their kids to visit grandparents and other relatives, our client in charge of the Americas and EMEA regions was able to catch up on a joint project.
The global pattern of country-specific holidays creates an interesting rhythm to the workplace. Regions take turns in the inhale and exhale of time on and time off. While one group is enjoying a vacation from work, others are continuing to move the business forward. In our post-recession environment, where employees are accustomed to doing more with less and can easily begin to see themselves as indispensable, these mismatched holidays are a reminder that they’re not.
In other words, the world doesn’t fall apart when you take a day off.