Wondering what it’s like to work overseas? Check out these useful tips about office life in India.
By Prasad Joshi
Work culture in India is a reflection of the various norms and standards followed by its people. Indians have several cultural yardsticks, which extend to their work culture as well. Thus, it is important that a person who is looking to work in India have some basic ideas regarding business ethics and customs followed here. In India many job seekers prefer online job portals for job search as it eliminates geographical barriers and communicates multiple job vacancies.
Indians work a minimum of eight hours a day, excluding lunch and coffee breaks. However, many Indians spend more than ten hours at work or work on weekends in order to follow the deadline. Only a few multinational companies allow working in flexible working hours.
In India, companies follow the hierarchical system and decision-making is usually from the top to bottom. Some companies invite suggestions from their employees on important decisions or policies, but the opinions of superiors are usually the dominating factor.
Though not in personal life, Indians are punctual when it comes to their work life. Arriving to work on time is a must. But, in the case of time management, the mindset of Indians differs from that of Americans. Meetings and seminars can be postponed or rescheduled at a very short notice.
Indians are friendly and helpful. In India discussing things like one’s academic background and previous work experience is very common and not considered as personal.
Employees spend their 30-50 minute lunch breaks in the lunchroom or cafeteria. It is rare to see anyone eating lunch at their desk.
Following rules and procedures is another important factor while working in India.
The relationship between the boss and subordinates is believed to be more formal and hierarchical in India. People in power openly display their ranks according to which importance is given. Subordinates generally do not criticize ideas of their superiors even if they feel so. A clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to show disagreement is avoided as it can be considered as rude, instead people show their disagreement indirectly. For instance instead of saying ‘I don’t think this idea will work’, people say ‘The possibility that this idea will work is less’ or ‘We need to do more research to check whether it will be a success’.
While this varies from company to company, the relationship between boss and subordinate is rarely close.
In the Indian work-culture, people do not accept change easily. Usually a lot of resistance is encountered in order to accept and implement change.
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