When there’s a holiday, I love having a day off from work. Sometimes even the day before the holiday is like a break. Hardly anyone comes into the office. Nobody responds to e-mails. It can be very relaxing. But, when you’ve got clients and partners in other countries, it’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays.
For example, when Thanksgiving is approaching in America, some of our clients would be surprised to see us disappear for two days, then talk about food for the next week. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and remind our global partners of any upcoming holidays. Cross cultural communication necessarily requires us to be more actively engaged.
The non-universality of holidays also goes both ways. Just as it helps to greet partners in Singapore with the opposite time of day (there is an 11 or 12 hour time difference), it is also a wonderful gesture to wish your friends in India a happy Diwali. Wishing folks well as they celebrate holidays is a polite and respectful gesture. It is always welcome in a business context. Sure, it may take extra effort to remember the holidays you don’t personally celebrate, but it’s worth it.