Every country has holidays. It is a great way to get a break and spend some time with friends and family. However, different countries have different holidays. In our increasingly globalized world, as in the world of web development, where people cooperate across the planet, some scheduling issues can arise.
We take pride in the fact, that our clients come from different parts of the world, mostly the EU and the US, though not limited to them. It seems a good idea to explain potential pitfalls to our partners. In this article we would like to clarify some details about Russian holidays, so any possible confusion can be figured out beforehand.
There is a tradition in Russia, which might look strange to foreigners. Russian government merges holidays, so we get a series of little vacations. Every year holidays get shuffled and rearranged. Officially it is done to increase operational efficiency of state-owned enterprises, and the whole country follows this schedule. There is another interesting detail: should a holiday occur on a weekend day, it gets shifted to a weekday. That way, the weekend day becomes a regular business day. So, what should you expect when working with a Russia-based company in 2018?
When working with a company under Russian labor law, be aware of the possible issues:
- The most trivial situation is when your Russian counterpart doesn’t show up on a holiday. This usually happens, when there is a lack of communication in your team.
- In the case of a holiday being shifted from a weekend day, the weekend day becomes a regular business day. Don’t get too surprised, if one Saturday your Russian colleague starts working and asks you to pay for a day of work.
- Unexpected holidays may overlap with your entire development sprints! For example, May 2018 presents us with 5 official days off in a row.
- These points raise not a potential, but a very real concern. Working with a company, which complies with the Russian labor law, requires some additional planning.
Take a look at the official calendar with all the days off marked red. Note that the week starts on Monday. Asterisk marks a shortened working day.
Based on the information from: www.consultant.ru
To sum up, here is the list of the official public holidays:
- Jan 1 - Jan 6, Jan 8 - New Year holidays
- Jan 7 - Orthodox Christmas Day
- Feb 23 - Defender of the Fatherland Day
- Mar 8 - International Women’s Day
- May 1 - Labour Day
- May 9 - Victory Day
- Jun 12 - Russia Day
- Nov 4 - Day of People’s Unity
By default (as in no discussion of this matter was held), your Russian partners are not to be expected to work on some weekdays. The last confusing thing left to figure out is shifting days off from weekends. Some Saturdays become working days and a Russian company is expected to operate during such days. Here is how it goes in 2018:
- Jan 6, Sat → Mar 9, Fri
- Jan 7, Sun → May 2, Wed
- Apr 28, Sat → Apr 30, Mon
- Jun 9, Sat → Jun 11, Mon
- Dec 29, Sat → Dec 31, Mon
So, the Saturdays of Apr 28, Jun 9 and Dec 29 become working days.
Is it a must?
In short, no. The whole issue boils down to communication and discussion. We can suggest two ways of dealing with it:
- Negotiate and fix the absence dates of your Russian development team. Also discuss payment and workload for working Saturdays.
- Negotiate and fix the absence dates of your Russian team, but carry the working Saturdays over to regular weekdays. We suggest the following schedule:
- Apr 30, Mon is a working day - Apr 28, Sat is a day off
- Jun 11, Mon is a working day - Jun 9, Sat is a day off
- Nov 5, Mon is a working day - Dec 29, Sat is a day off
Of course, the matter should be discussed with every particular company or even the team of developers. There is a high chance, that your Russian colleagues will prefer the second option in order to be synchronized with the international team.
We comply with the Russian law, but we are also open to discussion. Should you have any questions, contact your project managemer or drop us a letter at firstname.lastname@example.org We will gladly talk over the schedule of your development team.