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National Holiday

Today is the last day of China’s National Holiday. Finally. The whole concept of National Holidays may seem nice, but for a company that works internationally it is very inefficient. The system works like this: three times a year, during Chinese New Year, May 1 and October 1, the whole of China closes down for 7 days in a row. This vacation started on Sunday October 1 and ends this Saturday. In order to compensate employers staff have to work the Saturday before the holiday and the Sunday after it (=tomorrow). This may be useful when your company only works in China, when all your competitors and clients/suppliers also do not work during this period. But for companies with any foreign exposure it is a nuisance. I continued working most of this week anyway, but many things had to wait until the company starts working again tomorrow.

And I wonder if the staff really likes a forced week off, is it not nicer to be able to take these days for example in the middle of summer or just during another time of the year? I would personally prefer to choose when to go on vacation instead of going on dates determined by the government, and we would also not have to shut down the whole office. On the other hand, as an employee it may be nice to know that you are not missing out on anything while away from the office, and knowing that there are not hundreds of emails waiting to be answered upon return to your desk.

But Micah Sittig writes on his blog that the whole concept of forced week-long holidays may be over soon. He quotes an article in the Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily that says a new concept may be necessary, among others because of transportations bottlenecks (the whole country wants to travel during the same time period). I would welcome this very much!

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