5 Things You Can Expect When Working with Western Clients.

Posted on March 26, 2024

Working with Western clients, distinct from the familiar Filipino work environment, presents an exciting yet challenging adventure. 

It’s crucial to embrace these differences and prepare for a smooth and successful working relationship. Here are five key aspects to expect and prepare for when working with Western clients.

1. The Time Difference Between Western Countries and the Philippines

Working across continents means grappling with time zone disparities. Western countries generally operate several hours behind Philippine time, except Australia, which is ahead. This could mean nocturnal shifts or early morning starts to align with your client’s schedule. Managing your sleep and work schedules effectively is vital to maintaining a healthy balance.

2. Openness to Criticism and Feedback

Western clients generally appreciate direct feedback and constructive criticism, viewing it as a tool for growth and improvement. This differs from the respectful approach commonly seen in Eastern workplaces. It’s important to be honest yet respectful in your interactions, using this openness to foster better work relations and personal growth.

3. Western Clients are More Open to Casual Conversations

In contrast to the formal hierarchical structure prevalent in Asian workplaces, Western work culture often embraces informality. Don’t be surprised if your Western clients prefer a first-name basis or engage in friendly banter. Initially, this might feel unfamiliar, but it opens doors to a more relaxed and communicative work environment with time. 

4. Flexible Punctuality and Work Ethics

While punctuality is universally appreciated, many Western clients understand the nature of remote work and offer flexibility in working hours. Understanding your client’s expectations around timeliness and work delivery is crucial. Remember, flexibility is not an excuse for laxity; it’s an opportunity for self-management and proving reliability.

5. The English You Use May Be Different From Your Client’s

Filipinos are renowned for their English proficiency. However, the nuances of American, British, or Australian English can vary significantly. Familiarizing yourself with your client’s dialect, idioms, and slang can prevent misunderstandings and foster smoother communication.

Working with Western clients can be a thrilling and enriching experience. It’s a journey of adapting to new time zones, languages, cultures, and work ethics. At Virtual Coworker, we’re committed to bridging these gaps, ensuring our clients and remote staff find common ground for successful collaborations.