Integrating into Thai Society #2

Culture Work Environment

Work culture in Thailand contrasts immensely from work culture in the United States. To me, work culture means the style in which people work at their job with influences from the culture of their country and type of job they have. Work culture can be anything from the language that people communicate with to each other or the different levels of respect people give to their superiors.

In Thailand, work culture is overwhelmingly influenced by their culture. In every workplace, there is a picture of the Thai king in order for people to pay their respect. In terms of lunch, everyone tends to have lunch together around a table and share many side dishes. When it comes to respect, everyone uses formal Thai language to address each other. There is also much down time in the job that they use to talk to each other and laugh a lot. Thai people also love to change their shoes when they get to work to more comfortable sandals when they’re on their breaks.

For me, most of these were shocking and took a while to get used too. Everyone was kind when meeting me and tried to use English to say hello; however, most people’s English is very poor or hard to understand because of the thick accent. My co-workers bought Thai to English books so that they could communicate with me, and in return, they try to teach me Thai as well. They are always eager to help me with my work and help me understand everything with the limited Thai they do know. My boss speaks English well and spends a lot of time teaching me about the Thai culture relative to food and mannerisms. My boss has helped me the most integrate into Thai working environment.  Overall, I feel that the environment I work in focuses a lot on team building and creating a supportive, kind workplace similar to the personalities of Thai people.

Furthermore, the hospital that I work in is well established, but has different regulations compared to hospitals in the U.S. For example, they do not strictly control visitors coming to visit the patients. The difference in work culture relative to hospital regulations is most likely due to the fact that Thailand is considered a developing country compared to the U.S. The lenience in regulations is also something I will have to get used too because I am used to the strict enforcement at home.

Overall, after my first week of my internship, I think the Thai work culture will be a great environment for me to learn a lot of skills relative to working in the hospital and teach me to understand Thai culture due to the support and kindness of the Thai people.

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