Getting to know your workers from thousands of miles away can be difficult to do without any face-to-face meeting but it can be easy especially with a graphic designer that’s able to make funny birthday celebration cards!
Working with Pinoys (informal demonym for Filipinos) in a remote setting has been considered by many offshore business entities. That is because this option is cheaper and Filipinos are skilled and can adapt easily to the Western Culture. But even if Pinoys are somewhat “Westernized”, they still have been brought up differently. Thus, they live and work differently. If you would like to have a symbiotic and fruitful relationship with your Filipino virtual staff, you need to get to know them first. To help you in getting to know them, here are 10 common traits of Pinoys.
Pinoys are Timid
Most Filipinos are timid and reserved. At work, you would likely see this in how they deal with money matters such as their salary. Pinoys would likely not talk about it until you start talking about it. They wouldn’t want to be labeled as “gold diggers”. So, it’s best that you talk to your Filipino staff first about the compensation and make it clear to both parties as to how much and when you would be sending it. Also, if you tend to be forgetful, tell them to remind you that it’s payday.
Pinoys are Traditional & Religious
Filipinos have many traditional beliefs, such as celebrating the feast of the Patron Saints, that they still follow even until now. You will be hearing about Fiestas, the Holy Week and some other local holidays. To avoid conflicts about the attendance during these holidays, make sure you have a clear arrangement as to when can your Pinoy virtual staff take a holiday. Most of them may agree to work during local holiday, such as Rizal Day or Bonifacio Day (celebration of the bravery of the two national heroes), but when it comes to Catholic holidays, many would suggest that you honor these. Because it is very important for them, as religious Catholics. You can also make an agreement to follow your local holidays, instead of theirs.
Pinoys are diligent
Pinoys are diligent workers. They take pride in their work and that is why they work hard. Also, they know that there are many Filipinos who are unemployed and they are fortunate to find a job where they get to work with foreigners while staying at home. Most of them will take the extra mile to keep the job and because most of them are shy, they wouldn’t even complain. This is a good trait that many employers love, but make sure you do not abuse their them.
Pinoys like cash bonuses and praises, instead of gifts
Everyone deserves to be praised with words when they work hard. Filipinos love getting praises from their bosses who they consider as superior to them. A simple thank you and praise would go many miles for Filipinos. They will appreciate it very much and would work harder for it. But, they would love it even more if you give them bonuses.
When it comes to bonuses, Pinoys would rather receive cash incentives rather than gifts. Although they will not say it, they prefer cash over gadgets and other gifts because they can use it to spend for more important matters, like bills for home repairs, that they have not included in their budget.
Pinoys are Courteous and Polite
Pinoys are always polite and courteous. Being such, they have terms of respect for the elders and people who they think are superior to them, like their employers. They would likely call you Sir or Ma’am as a sign of respect to you being their remote employer. So, don’t get offended when they call you using any of those terms. If you don’t like it, tell them to call you by your name, boss, dude or however you want to be called.
Pinoys are Emotional
Filipinos are sensitive and emotional. Most of them would take everything to heart and would worry if you say anything in a different tone of voice. They would think that you are mad and disappointed about something they did, which can affect how they work. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you keep calm and your voice low when talking to them or avoid using CAPS in emails or instant messages. Or if you know you are the type of person who usually swears, tell them first that you are just like that and when you swear it doesn’t necessarily say that you are mad.
Pinoys would rather stay quiet than confront with you
Staying quiet instead of confronting is one good act that shows how professional Filipinos are. However, there are times that this can negatively affect the productivity of your Pinoy virtual assistant or staff. Many times, Filipinos would just stay quiet instead of voicing out their issues that stress them on the inside. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you tell them that they can tell you directly if they have some issues. Or if you sense that something is bothering them, go ask them directly.
Pinoys are Grateful People
Filipinos are grateful people. If you hire them, they will think that they owe you something and that will make them work with their best. If you give them something that they didn’t expect, like a cash incentive, they will be more grateful. Even if you say they deserve it and they don’t have to say thank you, they will still say thank you many times. This would also make them become more motivated to work, which is good for you. So if you want to have a more proactive and hardworking Filipino remote staff, it wouldn’t hurt to give incentives from time to time.
Pinoy VAs are Usually Breadwinners
Most Filipino workers, remote or not, are breadwinners. They are either supporting their own family or sending a younger sibling to school. Because of that, be sure that you will pay them on time and fairly. If not, the people they are supporting will also suffer. Yes, their family is not your responsibility. But, when you don’t pay or you don’t pay on time, their family would be affected. This usually leads to them sending you a resignation letter and looking for another source of income.
Managing people, whether remote or not, is challenging when you don’t know who you’re working with. If you are working with Filipinos in a virtual setting, you need to get to know them first. Although not all Filipinos are the same and the newer generation have changed somehow, the traits mentioned above are still common to them until now. If you will learn how to adjust to these traits, you will definitely have a productive and wildly successful relationship with your Filipino virtual worker.
To learn how you can choose a Filipino Virtual Assistant, read about the expert tips here.