In traditional jobs, businesses only address holidays relevant in their country or local culture. The biggest concerns for the employees are whether they will be paid or not, how much time off will be given, and if the company is requiring attendance to an event. In some cases, businesses can be known for having celebrations, which serve as a means to build business culture and employer-employee relations.
When managing an internationally diverse team of freelancers, not everyone will celebrate the same holiday. Instead, freelancers will be left to celebrate their own holidays alone and in private (apart from the team), unless the team builds a remote culture that includes everyone's holidays.
Here at goLance, we're different. Every holiday matters to everyone!
What Is a Holiday?
Holidays are any days recognized as non-working days due to religious customs, national identity, or other events which are celebrated based on cultural or religious beliefs. Holidays do not have to be speficially non-working, but in general are celebrated outside of the workplace.
For workers, holidays represent spending time with family to honor traditions, customs, and other practices that are most important to them.
An entire country can celebrate a holiday, but individuals and their families can all celebrate them differently through various personal or family traditions.
Everyone seems to have a favorite holiday based on their own individual culture and experiences. Holidays are celebrated worldwide as time-honored traditions.
Understanding Other Holidays
Each country celebrates their own unique schedule of holidays. Although different than the U.S., holidays themselves are celebrated for much of the same reasons.
Most countries celebrate January 1st as the New Year, but some will celebrate their own independent New Year, such as China, based on a culturally different calendar.
Other countries hold various religious beliefs, so an open-mind is necessary to better understand the vastly different holidays.
America was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, while other countries were influenced by other religions such as Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. Some countries such as India have over ten religions which are widely practiced, making religious holidays more unique to the individual.
Holidays in other countries hold the same level of importance as the ones celebrated in the U.S., so it is important to understand the impact of these other religious, cultural, and historical dates of significance.
Why Should I Know My Freelancers' Holidays?
In traditional jobs, employees don't have a choice pertaining to the holiday schedule that a company follows. The U.S. for example, has very broad holiday policies in the private sector. Some businesses such as retail, food, and service, are open even on major holidays, regardless if they are celebrated at the federal level or by their employees.
Business culture in the U.S. normally involves parties or non-working days for most federal holidays. Depending on the customs surrounding the holiday, results in how the business celebrates the holiday with its employees.
When employees are traded for freelancers, businesses feel that there is no longer a need to celebrate holidays. Freelancers are not given paid holidays, so for most, celebrating a holiday simply involves not working. The importance of the holiday is celebrated at the individual level, instead of at the company level. There isn't a support system through the client nor team in regards to this unique holiday situation.
It is important and vital to the culture of your remote business to acknowledge or even celebrate holidays with your freelancers. To them, these days have meaning in their hearts and minds, and essentially represent a part of who they are as an individual, as a citizen of their country, and as a member of your team.
Knowing your freelancers' holidays strengthens the remote culture that you're building. It shows a deeper level of connection as humans, instead of simply having freelancers that work for pay.
World Culture and Your Business
As a leader running a business with a remote workforce, the culture of your business will become complex and unique. If you have a team with members from China, Guatemala, and Russia, the holidays each freelancer celebrates will be different.
Since your team won't be rooted to a single home country, building a remote culture is imperative to the survival of your business. Do you want your freelancers to feel valued and appreciated? Would you rather that freelancers only worked for money, and kept their relationship with you on a professional level?
You must be able to understand that some holidays only hold meaning in one country, for example America's Independence Day, but has no meaning to other countries, especially the United Kingdom.
Every culture is different in its own unique way. As a business leader, it should be your goal to understand your freelancers on a personal level.
Developing Your Remote Business Culture with Holidays
The freelancer-client relationship should be more than simply assigning tasks, Skyping, and paying for services rendered. A remote business culture cannot develop without understanding global cultures and religions. Acknowledging or even celebrating unique holidays will have positive impacts on your relationships; some of your freelancers might even become life-long friends.
Ideas to Build Your Remote Business Culture With Holidays
- Get to know your freelancers on a personal level.
- Discuss with them what holidays are most important to them, and find out why.
- When their holidays approach throughout the year, ensure to recognize their holidays and their birthdays (if celebrated).
- Involve your entire team in wishing your freelancer a happy holiday, or through some other form of acknowledgment.
- Showing that you respect and care about someone else's holidays only takes a couple of minutes, but it means a lot to them.
- Here is a list of every country and their respective holidays throughout the world. The bottom of this link includes a list of every holiday occurring in the current month.
- You learn more about the 7 Steps to Creating a Strong Business Culture with Your Remote Team.
The roles that holidays play in everyone's life matters. Holidays are uniquely different across the varying cultures, religions, and historical dates throughout the globe. Knowing your freelancers' holidays will strengthen the business culture of your remote team and lead to life-long relationships.
Thank you for working with us.