Work Culture: Commonalities between Australia and Vietnam

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Work Culture - Similarities between Australia and Vietnam
Work Culture – Similarities between Australia and Vietnam

From Canberra to Ho Chi Minh City, a 4-hour time difference separates these two great capitals (for reference, Ho Chi Minh City is the economic capital of Vietnam). Australian companies, startups and SMEs have software development projects to undertake. The Australian Tech industry is actively seeking talents in web development and, like many other countries worldwide, faces an IT engineer shortage. Solutions exist. Opting for outsourcing web development to a country with a significant talent pool is an opportunity not to be missed. Vietnam, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, known for its cost-effective software development, is just such a case. The competitive rates offered by Vietnam are significantly lower than those found in Australia.

“Gathering is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success.”

– Henry Ford

As mentioned in a previous article, despite prominent cultural differences, Australia and Vietnam share numerous similarities in their work approaches. These commonalities contribute to establishing smooth relationships between Australian and Vietnamese teams. Think of “like attracts like,” a well-known proverb that fits perfectly into our narrative. When an Australian developer team shares the same work values as a Vietnamese developer team, the project gains numerous advantages:

  • Effective communication
  • Harmonious work environment
  • Smooth exchanges
  • Predictable and more reliable actions
  • Decreased intercultural conflicts
  • High-quality standards

Let’s now explore the shared aspects between Australia and Vietnam in the workplace.

#Commonality #1: Work-life balance

A Balance that Makes a Difference in Australia

Australian professional culture is characterized by a remarkable balance between professional and private spheres. Australians, while displaying undeniable seriousness in their professional commitment, prioritize their loved ones, ensuring to dedicate sufficient quality time to friends and family.

This philosophy is reflected in the working hours of Australian companies, designed to promote harmony between professional obligations and employees’ personal lives.

Consequently, it is common for Australian workers to work within regular hours, avoiding voluntary overtime, in order to join their homes for relaxing family moments. This mindset is shared by Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Germany (Statista data from 2019).

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A Pre and Post-Covid-19 Shift for Vietnam

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to changing some habits within the Vietnamese work environment.

In the current Vietnamese context, the balance between professional and personal life holds increasing importance. There is a noticeable shift in work culture following the Covid-19 pandemic. This concern for a harmonious balance between professional responsibilities and personal imperatives is significantly illustrated in the aspirations of Vietnamese workers. According to VN Express, the majority of job candidates – 73% – stated that this balance is now a decisive criterion for choosing a position. In four years, this balance has become the number one criterion for Vietnamese talents, surpassing social benefits and job security.

In the wake of the pandemic, a marked desire for flexible work arrangements emerged. In 2022, it was reported that 40% of workers aspired to a combination of office and remote work. Finally, 60% of Vietnamese consider flexible hours a key element in the work-life balance, according to the Grove website.

It is evident that the Vietnamese have had an accelerated awareness of the importance of personal well-being, health, family and leisure in life.

All of this aligns Vietnamese developer teams with Australian developer teams when working on the same web project.

However, this pursuit of an ideal balance is not without its challenges. In certain fields, especially those characterized by demanding deadlines and long working hours, it remains difficult to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life. Additionally, Vietnamese societal expectations and cultural norms, centered on dedication and hard work, sometimes complicate the prioritization of personal time.

#Commonality #2: The Importance of Rule Adherence in the Workplace

According to, in Australia, there is a genuine respect for rules, instructions and the law in general. Indeed, the violation of rules is frowned upon, and reporting is even well-received. Some company websites go so far as to display a policy of encouraging reporting. This trend moves towards a system where individuals “self-manage and self-regulate” among themselves, without necessarily needing pronounced higher support. This collective behavior leads to greater individual and collective responsibility, encouraging self-correction.

“We have an interest in the happiness of others, we have an interest in others not being ill, we have an interest in the success of others because we are a collective team.”

– Jacques Attali, writer

This unique and unified trait is also found in Vietnamese work culture. Adherence to rules in businesses is prevalent in Southeast Asia in general. Vietnamese people have deep respect for their ancestors and elders, leading them to show significant respect to their hierarchical superiors. This attitude aligns with Australian work policies. Family cohesion is a pillar of life in Vietnam, evident in significant solidarity among colleagues. For generations, the Vietnamese have practiced rituals, rites and duties by worshiping ancestors at home. Respect is highly emphasized.

The collaboration between Australia and Vietnam goes beyond mere business transactions to reflect a union of shared values and ambitions. As companies from both countries continue to navigate post-Covid-19, they discover commonalities that strengthen their partnership: a pursuit of balance between professional and personal life and mutual empowerment in rule adherence. These elements are essential for successful cooperation on software development projects and could serve as a model for other international alliances.


Amberblog: Things to Know About Australian Work Culture (September 2023)

Le Petit Journal: In Australia, the balance between work and private life makes all the difference (September 2023)

Book “Hommes et migrations – Vies de Familles” by Florence Nguyen-Rouault, published in 2001 – Chapter “Le culte des ancêtres dans la famille vietnamienne””

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