Working in Hong Kong is different than working in the US in almost every way. One of the biggest differences is that they consider the work week from Monday to Saturday and are content with working long hours on each of those days even though there is no such thing as over-time pay. Their thinking is that if you aren’t willing to put in the effort that needs to be put in to complete the tasks in the office then they can find someone else. Also in the office there is a ritual every morning to bring good luck to that work day where they put four fresh oranges, three cups of hot water, and three sticks of incense in front of the shrine of their god, Guang Jon. Another difference is that co-workers are more family-like. The office eats together and knows about what is going on in each other’s lives and they pride themselves on this because they believe it improves their business.
The differences that I encounter on a daily basis deal mostly with communication. The gap between low context and high context communication is apparent to me every day. When we have meetings with our manager he spends hours thinking of the different angles of how we can complete our tasks and when we bring up problems or new ideas he spends a lot of time thinking about it before he makes a decision. We are used to a fast paced quick decision society where people get things done quickly and in order to succeed here we have to be much more patient. It is good learning about these differences though because in the future if I am interested in international business then I will have to consider these differences.