Holidays are something you’re going to need to give a little bit of attention to while setting up your Latin American team. There are a lot of holidays in Latin America. They, of course, vary from country to country and they are attended at various levels by different staff. So, first of all, you’re going to need to verify what holidays your staff intends to celebrate.
Check the Holiday Schedule Beforehand
It’s not enough to assume that your staff will inform you of a holiday, unfortunately. I know this can be frustrating or seem unreasonable. However, you have to realize that, for them, a lot of these holidays that they take off are so ingrained- they’re as ingrained as the Fourth of July or Labor Day are here in the US- that it simply doesn’t occur to folks. This is especially true when this is their first nearshore or out of their country job and they don’t know that they need to inform their employer that the most significant holiday in the country is a day that they will be taking off. That means it’s important to make sure there’s a program in place to verify what holidays your staff is planning on taking off in advance.
At Preferati we verify those holidays and check in with your staff and you to make sure it’s all cleared up. But, if you’re working directly with Latin American developers, I highly recommend that you proactively check what holidays they’re taking off.
A Different Holiday Schedule Can Be an Advantage
Now, having different holidays can actually be an advantage. It allows you to have coverage during Thanksgiving or other days, like the Fourth of July, for instance. Your nearshore staff can keep working, can keep making progress towards deadlines or provide support during those days. Of course, holidays are great days to put big projects live, and if your nearshore staff is running those projects, that’s excellent. They can manage the downtime and the go-live over, say, Thanksgiving or Labor Day, while you and your team are offline.
Holidays definitely vary from country to country. Some countries have over 20 holidays a year. I believe Colombia has close to 24 holidays a year and they all fall on Mondays.
When working with your nearshore staff, you do not have to offer every single holiday that they have in their home country as a day off. Naturally, with a salaried employee, 20+ holidays, plus sick time and other PTO is exorbitant so that can all be negotiated. It’s just important to talk about before you’ve signed the final contract with your nearshore developer.