Work Culture In Nepal: #1 Exclusive Guide

Business culture in Nepal

We all dream about going abroad and finding a new job and family. Whether it is about the experience or the fun, travelling to a new country for business or work has a unique nature. If you have similar plans of shifting to Nepal for business, you have come to the right place.

As a newcomer with a completely different language and cultural background, even the most beautiful places like Nepal can seem overwhelming. Especially when it comes to business where you will have constant engagement with local traders, the barrier can become quite a hassle. However, that is not the end of it.

Today’s blog on Work culture in Nepal is here to navigate through such problems and give you a quick insight into the business culture of Nepal. Doing so will help you understand Nepal’s corporate culture better and allow you to adapt quickly to the Nepali people. Later, you will also find some business phrases that will enable you to converse with the locals natively. So, if you are interested in learning how the Nepal business culture functions, continue reading below!

Corporate Culture In Nepal: Finding Jobs

While it used to be great news earlier when foreigners came to Nepal for jobs, you will find many nowadays. Although business is quite common, most people come to Nepal to work for a non-profit or Non-governmental organization. So, you have a great chance of finding a job at NGOs and INGOs. Since Nepal is a developing country, you also have great chances of establishing a new organization to uplift the socio-economic status of people and develop their culture.

Another common job for foreigners is teaching or educator. You are most likely to find language teaching jobs in many institutions. Although it is not necessarily the same for all, the development of the English language is given much importance. So, if you are willing to teach English, you can apply for it.

As a foreigner, it is mandatory to get a work permit before you apply for jobs. The permit is issued by the Department of Labour, along with the Department of Immigration, which has the power to offer non-tourist visas based on the work permit.

Once you obtain a valid business license, you can also apply for export/import business. As mentioned, Nepal is a developing country, so it continuously looks for foreigners who are willing to jump on the export/import ship. It is one of the most profitable jobs, and you can benefit very well from successful investments.

All in all, Nepal is a perfect place to find new jobs. The work environment, as we shall talk about in detail in the later section, is also very simple, and your co-workers will be nothing but welcoming. You will be highly valued for your skills, even if you have an average qualification. However, to adapt and socialise well, you must keep the points given below in mind.

Work Culture In Nepal

Work culture in Nepal people working at the office

Every country has their unique work culture that makes it distinct from others. It is no different for Nepal. Nepal’s work culture is embedded in the daily life norms of the locals. So, here is an efficient guide to workplace etiquette and rules of the Nepalese business world. Learn them and help yourself build strong relations.

Work Hours

The working hours are common like others where employees are expected to work from 9 am to 5 pm. Usually, all government jobs start from 10 am and last till 5 pm. Overtime work is quite common, and most people end up working more than the given work hours. In winter, however, due to shorter days, work hours are reduced by one hour. The average working hours in Nepal is 8.82 hours per week, as per the report of 2014.

All government offices and businesses operate six days a week, from Sunday to Friday. Yes, it might seem odd, but Sunday is a working day in Nepal. In most cases, you will get holidays on Friday and Saturday, but Sundays are usually considered a working day.

Employment Contract

The next thing to be aware of is the employment contract. Once you get a job in a company or any business firm in Nepal, you will have to sign an employment contract. It is an agreement between the worker and the employer that includes aspects such as notice periods, locations, working hours, and rights and responsibilities. It is to show consent that both parties are willing to work together without any issues. It outlines the terms of your employment and the relevant details regarding your duties and rights. Usually, most sectors accept employment contracts in writing.

However, before you sign your contract, make sure that it includes your job title, description, salary and bonuses, termination, working hours, vacation and sick leaves, pension, policies, and punishment clauses. According to Rule 4 of the Labor Regulation 2018, all of the above points should be mentioned in your contract.

Nepali Economy

Most businesses and companies work in tourism, agriculture, or the service industry. Tourism is becoming one of the largest sectors recently because of the popularity of eight of the ten largest mountains that reside in Nepal. So, if you are in the tourism sector, you will find a hefty amount of work with handsome pay.

Since Nepal has recently become a developing country, foreign aid and investment continue to be one of the major sources of development, putting the country in large external debt. The neighbouring country, India, plays a major role in the economy of Nepal and has signed many agreements for development and betterment.

Dress Code

Coming to a general yet essential point, the dress code in Nepali work society is very important. For men, you are generally expected to wear a suit jacket and tie, especially when you have official business meetings or conferences. On regular office days, you can opt for the traditional Nepali dress code, the Kurta or Surwal, with a Nepali hat.

For women, since Nepal is still a conservative country, you must avoid wearing revealing or skin-fit clothes. During official meetings, you can opt for business suits or long skirts, and on regular days, you can wear a Saree or Kurti. You can wear pants and skirts of your choice, but make sure that they cover your knees and shoulders properly. Revealing clothes is frowned upon. It may also damage your impression in front of your boss. This dress code is to be maintained even outside the office. Nepali ladies wear traditional clothes that cover most of their skin.

Hierarchy In Business

You will find that a specific hierarchical system is followed in the business culture in Nepal. However, it is not demeaning to lower-level people. It is mostly a matter of respect. The senior most or the highest ranking person is always expected to introduce themselves first and take the lead in a conversation. In fact, in many sectors, due to family and traditional businesses, the senior person in age also gets the highest rank in the business. However, it is not the case in every business.

Even in meetings, the highest-ranking person will always lead the discussion and put their presentation first. And the duration and termination of meeting hours and discussions also lie in the hands of the senior person. You are expected to treat them with respect and sincerity. If you come from an Asian country, you will not find this rule very aggressive or different.


Work in Nepal

No matter what, never forget to greet your colleagues and senior members. You can simply say “Hello” and give a handshake or use the traditional greeting. Traditionally, you take both palms together in front of your chest, bow a little, and say “Namaskar.”

However, avoid shaking hands with a firm grip. It can come out as aggressive, and your colleagues might not like it. Nevertheless, if you greet people first thing in the office and share a wide smile, nothing can go wrong for you. It can also act as a great starter for a new conversation.

Meetings And Negotiations

You will find many meetings lined up once you officially join your job. Before every meeting, you will find people engaging in small talk to get acquainted. Don’t miss out on this chance. Even if you work hard, it might backfire if you don’t have relations.

Although punctuality is valued, your Nepali counterparts might make you wait for more than required. Timings are flexible, and there is usually no fixed routine for meetings. One important thing about meetings and negotiations is that Nepali people are simple in such terms. Once both parties agree on a specific thing, do not push too far with negotiation to lower the amount. Also, stay away from cheating and deceiving tactics. Nepali people are honest, and they expect the same from you. Lastly, as said earlier, the senior person is most likely to lead the discussion and provide more input than the subordinate counterparts.

Public Holidays

Nepal has a lot of public holidays. And in most companies, you will be given an adequate amount of holidays per month. There has been a new holiday rule in Nepal where each employee is eligible for one holiday per week on a rotational basis. Even without that, there are many big festivals where you will find yourself in a nice vacation spot.

Especially during Dashain, which is held for two weeks in September, you will get long holidays. It is one of the most important festivals in Nepal, so no managers of business or services will make you work on these days.

Business Language

Although Nepali people speak English to a great extent, you will find many locals who still prefer their native language. Even during business meetings, there will always be fluctuation from one language to another in between conversations. So, if you don’t want to get lost in between and lose track, you must get acquainted with some of the common business phrases in Nepali.

Work Phrases In Nepali

Here is a list of common work phrases that will help you communicate!

Hello sir/ ma’amनमस्ते सर/म्याडमNamastē sara/myāḍama
How are you doing?तपाईलाई कस्तो छ?Tapā’īlā’ī kastō cha?
May I come in?के म भित्र आउन सक्छु?Kē ma bhitra ā’una sakchu?
I have a questionमलाई केहि सोध्नु छMalā’ī kēhi sōdhnu cha
I would love to work with youम तपाईंसँग काम गर्न चाहन्छुMa tapā’īnsam̐ga kāma garna cāhanchu
Thank you for hiring meमलाई काममा राख्नुभएकोमा धन्यवादMalā’ī kāmamā rākhnubha’ēkōmā dhan’yavāda
When does the work start?काम कहिले सुरु हुन्छ?Kāma kahilē suru huncha?
I want to resignम राजीनामा दिन चाहन्छुMa rājīnāmā dina cāhanchu

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