QUESTION: Why do we have to take conference calls or travel for work-related matters during important religious festivals while offices in other parts of the world shut down for their festivals?
REALTY: If you have a festival to attend and won’t be available, you have to inform the management well in advance, so that work matters can be rescheduled.
In a globalized world, conference calls at odd hours are the norm, but they do cause heartburn if they come during important festivals. Many BPOs are open even on national holidays since they follow the holiday schedule of the client who might be located in some other part of the world. In this case, nothing can be done as this is a project requirement and people joining the project should be well aware of it.
Of course, it’s a dampener when employees have to work on important festivals. However, most meetings and travelling can be rescheduled according to your festival dates. Countries have many different festivals, and so the global team will need to have some prior information about those which are important to you. If you have not informed them beforehand, they might not be able to accommodate the changes; then you’ll have a situation where you complain that, while offices in other countries shut down during their major festivals, the same treatment is not being extended to your office.
Almost all organizations are sensitive to local customs, holidays and other local issues. However, since a company’s revenue depends upon its customer base, and as this may be located in different geographies, an employee has no option—festival or no festival—but to look into any critical customer issue.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE MANAGER? All the offices with which your team has ties should be informed beforehand about your local holidays and festivals so that scheduling can be done accordingly. You might have to do this proactively a few times so that these offices become familiar with your local holiday and festival dates.