Everybody dreams about a career abroad at some point. If you are particularly interested in working in Thailand, this will be a simple guide to the work culture in Thailand. We will cover topics such as workplace environment, business culture, well-known companies in Thailand, and a great app to help you get started learning Thai.
A small reminder before we get started, you may want to take a look at our blog post on Thai business vocabulary if you plan on working in Thailand.
When you search online for jobs in Thailand, you'll most likely find a high demand for international school teachers or English teachers for language schools. If you have previous teaching experience or a degree related to education, then it's highly likely that you'll be able to find a job in Thailand.
Keep in mind that you must have a work permit to be able to stay and work in Thailand. However, most companies should provide this for you.
Work culture in Thailand has its own set of rules and etiquette. If you know how to act in different situations in the workplace, building relationships with other employees in your company will be much easier.
The Thai Ministry of Labor regulates working hours in the country. Working hours are usually 40 over a five-day period but can be up to a maximum of 48 hours per week.
Employees should receive a one-hour break after working for 5 consecutive hours unless there is an additional agreement between the employee and employer. Since break hours are not considered working time, they are unpaid.
Employees should have a minimum of one day’s rest per week and the gap between days off must not exceed six days.
Under the Employment Protection Act of Thailand, overtime on a normal workday should be paid at least 150% of the regular hourly rate. Employees asked to work on holidays must be paid twice the normal hourly rate or three times the normal rate if working overtime on holidays.
In Thailand, you should avoid pointing out mistakes and criticizing in front of other people. Avoid raising your voice while talking to your coworkers and bosses. Greetings are also important in the work environment, so don't forget to give the most senior person a "wai greeting" with a slight bow.
Exchanging business cards is very common. If you have dual-language cards, present yours with the Thai language side up and with both hands.
In terms of the dress code, conservative is always better since it is a workplace. The way you dress is linked to respect.
Gift-giving is another essential part of Thai work culture. Reciprocal gifts are common, but it's best not to open the gift in front of the person who gave it.
All provinces in Thailand set their own minimum wage amount since there isn't a national minimum wage. The lowest daily rates are THB 313 in Narathiway and THB 336 in Yala. The minimum hourly wage in Bangkok is approximately THB 331.
Employees are allowed to have six days of paid vacation per year on the condition that they complete one full year of service in the same job.
The Labor Protection Act provides maternity leave of up to 98 days, including holidays. It's important to note that maternity leave begins with the birth of the child. If you want to take a prenatal leave you need a doctor’s report and you can receive full payment for the first 45 days.
Some additional points to remember:
Employees should have 30 days of sick leave per year which is paid by the employer. The employer can request a medical report if the employee's leave lasts more than three days.
The Workers’ Compensation Fund will provide up to 60% of the monthly wage (capped) in case of workplace injuries or occupational disease.
In general, Thai people tend to avoid confrontation even in business meetings. Also, if you’re making a mistake at work, it’s unlikely that you'll be warned about it directly because they won't want to hurt your feelings.
Thai people are also not very competitive; however, you are still expected to do your best. If you're planning on working in Thailand, don't expect the same competitiveness that exists in the West.
Another point to note is that Thai people often say they understand even when they don’t. Of course, not everybody is like this, but if you give a Thai employee a task and ask "Do you understand?" they will typically reply "yes" even if they don’t.
If you are looking for an efficient way to learn Thai before traveling to or living in Thailand, the Ling App is here for you!
The Ling App is a language learning app that's loved by millions of language learners all over the world!
Not only does Ling offer more than 60 foreign language courses, but the app teaches useful vocabulary that you can actually use in real life with locals. There are also mini-games for you to practice your knowledge and quizzes to help you track your progress. The app even claims that you can learn any language by using it for just 15 minutes a day!
So, what are you waiting for? Start learning Thai, or any other language, by downloading the Ling App from the App Store or Google Play!