The Philippines has a strong business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry. In fact, the BPO industry contributes over $30 billion to the country’s economy and has a 10%-15% share of the global market.
As such, countries like the United States and Australia, outsource their manpower needs to the Philippines.
While Western countries tend to be quite similar, subtle cultural differences still exist.
If you’re hoping to work for either a US or an Australian client, here are some distinctions to keep in mind for a smooth working relationship.
Starting off, Australian clients tend to be direct, almost blunt when communicating. Thus, you don’t have to second guess what they mean. (Furthermore, being direct isn’t the same as being rude.)
Australians also do not want to seem pushy. They might even spend a couple of minutes during a meeting to chat before getting down to business.
Expect to encounter a lot of slang when talking to Australian clients.
Americans are also quite straightforward. Unlike Australians, however, they get down to business as soon as possible and ask all the important questions.
Still, American clients are not as blunt whenever problems arise. They will describe the issues, but wrap up on a positive note.
This emphasis on optimism might make Americans seem like they’re ignoring the root cause of the problem when they’re just trying to keep things upbeat.
Australians don’t like tardiness. (Although, to be fair, no one does.)
To them, it is simply rude and disrespectful. So be sure to arrive a few minutes before your shift, especially if you work for an Australian company.
Think about it, Australia is at least two hours ahead of the Philippines. If you show up late to work, you’re probably already hours behind schedule.
However, Australians have a more “laid-back” attitude and generally don’t work well under time pressure.
Conversely, Americans work longer hours. For many of them, time is money and thus, they try to be as efficient as possible.
As such, they might misconstrue having an easygoing attitude toward work or even logging off on time as “unprofessional.”
Australians don’t expect their staff to blindly follow orders. Instead, they would appreciate it if you asked questions about the business.
This demonstrates that you’re trying to understand internal processes better. If you can provide useful suggestions on how to improve, that’d make you stand out even more.
Meanwhile, it is crucial to know when and when not to speak when dealing with Americans.
A poorly thought-out idea could have adverse effects if the company follows through on it.
Dealing With US and Australian Clients
Western clients may be more casual in a business setting compared to their Asian counterparts.
However, it’s important to pay attention to subtle cultural differences because what may be acceptable to one may be offensive to the other.
On that note, if you’ve ever wanted to work for international clients, head to Remote Staff’s job listings. These are regularly updated and have several openings in multiple industries.
Remote Staff has also been in business for 15 years (and counting)! The company is currently trying to expand its presence into the US market, so if you want to work with American clients, register with us today to get updates!