How to Prepare Yourself to Work in Thailand

Once you’re working in Thailand, it’s very important to adapt to the Thai environment. You should understand the…

Once you’re working in Thailand, it’s very important to adapt to the Thai environment.

You should understand the way Thais work, their culture, and their traditions.

Otherwise, you may unknowingly fall into cultural trap and work here void of happiness.

Let’s take a look at some of the key points you should know while working in Thailand.

Work Culture

Thai workers do not have a clear difference between a friend and a colleague.

And most of the time you will be treated like a friend more than a colleague. Many of your personal questions will be asked such as your family background, how many brothers or sisters do you have, the occupation of your family, and including do you have a couple or not.

During lunch break, Thai workers will have lunch and come back as a group.

There are still some people who love to eat alone before their computers, but the percentage is still quite low.

After work, they will also go back home together if they are on the same way. Some may even ask you to go and have dinner with them or join badminton matches.

It’s also common here for Thai workers to spend a vacation together on the weekend or hangout for a movie.

However, because of this, they can be easily mixed between personal life and work life.

On the occasion that some personnel problem happened between you and Thai workers, it’s going to have an impact directly or indirectly to your work as well.

This person may not corporate your work well until the personal problem is solved.

On the other hand, if you have an issue with Thai workers because of work, expect it to impact your personal relationship with that person as well.

Work Environment

If you work in a Thai company, the work environment will be much more relaxed than in Western countries.

Many times Thais group up during working hours and chat. Some may even spend time on social media or play on their phones while working.

Working Hours

Workdays in Thailand are eight hours long. Employees get a one-hour break for lunch. Workdays start at 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM and end at 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM.

Some companies are becoming more flexible with start and end times and may allow you to start working at 10:00 AM and leave the company at 7:00 PM.

In some traditional Thai companies, employees are expected to work longer than the usual end time.

Working longer hours shows that you are diligent. But this results in some workers being lazy during working hours and being more focus in the evenings.

Fortunately, these very traditional companies rarely open positions for expats, making it hard for us to work there.

Probation Period

Probation period commonly lasts between three and four months in Thailand. It’s rare for a company to make it shorter or longer than this.

Holiday and Vacation Time

At present, there are almost 20 holidays in Thailand.

But most companies only offer their employees 13 days as holidays, which is the minimum amount of days required by Thai law.

Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s, Songkran, and holidays related to Buddhism and the Thai Royal Family are mandatory.

This means that during New Year’s and Songkran, you’ll get long holidays.

But you’ll have to work on Christmas unless you use one of your vacation days.

You’re allowed to take up to 30 paid sick days per year. Most of the time you won’t need a medical certificate if you’re out sick for only one day.

The amount of vacation time you get each year depends on what company you work for. But you usually get a minimum of five vacation days.

Some companies may give you 10 vacation days in your second year and 20 days in your third year.

When using your vacation time, you have to give your company at least a one-week head’s up.

Some companies may not like it if you use all your vacation days at the same time. But this is based on each company’s policy.