Vietnamese Work Culture

People in Focus: Vietnamese Work Culture


There are several expat opportunities in Vietnam and ones that will require interaction with the Vietnamese locals. Here’s what you need to know about Vietnamese work culture to understand them and work with them effectively as a team or as a person.

Generally, Vietnamese employees are quite punctual, especially during business meetings. They can still tolerate a 5-minute delay but beyond that is unacceptable. You will also notice the level of seriousness and focus exuding from the locals during meetings (they take things professionally).

Gender discrimination is usually not popular in the workplace. However, it is a fact that there are far fewer female workers than male workers in the software industry and this has nothing to do with gender discrimination.

Compared to Western culture, Vietnamese have a much higher level of tolerance for sexual harassment. This means a lot of behaviors that are considered sexual harassment in Western cultures may not be seen as such in Vietnam.

Generally speaking, it is quite common for Vietnamese to think that sexual harassment needs to involve physical contact. Induction or orientation may need to be conducted to align the understanding of Vietnamese employees in this topic.

Vietnamese employees usually need to build personal trust with others outside of the office in order to increase their teamwork and collaboration.

This is the reason why companies in Vietnam usually have a budget for team members having dinner or drinking every few months or sponsor some sports activities for team members to play together.

In business, a contract is more likely to be signed by inviting the business partner to dinner, drinking and other entertainment activities.

Influenced by the hierarchical structure in Confucianism, it is quite common that most Vietnamese employees think that they have the obligation to respect people who have a higher position or are older than them.

Vietnamese people are usually hospitable. It is quite common that as a guest, you will be treated to lunch or dinner by a Vietnamese host.

However, Vietnamese people also expect the same in return when they are the guests.

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