Work culture in Bangkok

Work culture in Bangkok
Updated 2022-05-08 14:38

Thai people are incredibly friendly and approachable. If one wants to stay and work in Thailand, then learning their culture is a must. It might be strange at first to understand all, but the time will come that you'll get used to it. Understanding and building relationships with coworkers are one of the significant factors that make the work easy and fun.

Thailand is also known as the 'Land of Smiles', and people love to have a fun and comfortable life. They also want to keep a happy environment and avoid arguments and quarrels. So keeping all these in mind won't make your workplace miserable. There are many advantages to working in Bangkok, but before that, expats must know how to deal with Thais inside a workplace environment. Below are some of the 'unwritten rules' which you have to take note of.

Labour Code

When accepting a job in Bangkok, one must review the contract to see if there are discrepancies or if there are some terms and conditions that you do not agree with. In the Labour Code of Thailand, salaries, working hours, and holidays are important. The salary will undoubtedly depend on the job you're applying to, plus, the employer should follow the certain quota of the amount one must receive. For working hours, 8 hours a day and 1-hour break is the normal working hour, beyond that one must demand overtime pay.

For leaves and holidays, Thailand has a certain number of holidays that the companies must follow. Each year, employees must be granted a minimum of 13-day paid public holidays. If the public holiday falls on a weekend, then it must be moved to the next working holiday.

Correspondingly, an employee who has worked for at least one year must be granted a minimum of six days of paid annual leave each year. Pregnant women are also granted a minimum of 90-days maternity leave and employees are entitled to pay 45 days of it.

Dress code

Appearance plays a significant role in a Thai workplace as Thais are very fashion-conscious. The business dress code is quite conservative. Women, usually wear dresses and skirts rather than pants. Men, typically wear suits and ties. Also, wearing black can be very minimal as they are only using it when going to funerals.


Being polite and helpful is as important as speaking softly and nicely if you want to build relationships with Thai people inside the office. Usually, when entering the office, you must wai to everyone. To wai is to greet in a way that both hands are in a position of praying and the head is bowed a little.

Thais are also very conservative when meeting for the first time as they don't usually barge you with questions. It's not that they're not friendly, they're just not that open to ask personal questions to strangers to them.

Work environment

Thais build harmonious relationships first before directing to business. They are into loving an environment that has a soft touch and an easy-flow attitude. They also value progress, promotions and challenges. Support and appreciation are important too. The locals are very eager to learn and be supported, so don't be surprised when one of your colleagues asks you to teach them English. Lastly, hierarchy is present in the office environment. Younger people must show respect to seniors.

Having said all this, Bangkok is a beautiful city with beautiful people worth having excellent and memorable experiences with. Having determination and perseverance, along with having good relationships with the locals, will definitely make the work environment progressive and the stay in Bangkok worth the while.

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