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How To... Maintain Work-Life Balance in Poland

Monday, September 28, 2015

My dearest travel friends and expats,

If you are settled or willing to be settled sometime soon in Poland, and you wonder how your work-life balance will be like, I can tell you how I see things through 4 years living and working in Poland. The economic situation is much more stable and constantly growing than in Romania, and Poland welcomed me with open arms through the team I worked with in Capgemini - French started corporation on IT, consultancy and outsourcing.
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There is a lot of competition in the market and there is a boom - as far as I can see, in the last 2-3 years - of international companies and corporations that move their offices to Poland.  Of course the market is cheaper but also the people here are highly trained and competitive. People are usually employed first on a temporary basis - the standard is 3 months - and then if all goes well the undetermined contract kicks in and you work there until you wish to quit or you come into your retirement.
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The market moves so fast that people my age - until the age of 30 - usually already shifted a company of two. In my case I have worked with Capgemini Romania, transferred to Capgemini Poland and after 2 years and a bit in Poland I have moved to UBS POLSKA. Also it is quite frequent to see people moving around in the companies they work with until they find the perfect and fitting position for themselves.
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The average working hours are from 8 am to 4 pm during weekdays and 8 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. Sundays usually everything is closed. But if you work in a corporation it a depends on the project you work for. At the beginning, I'm Capgemini Polska I had a 24/7 shift inside the help desk I was working.  I qas extremely happy when I changed the project and went back to regular daytime. I felt like a zombie! Those shifts were good for young people who studied but after a while you just want a normal life. Now I can come to work between 7 and 9 am and the world surely seems brighter :)
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Most Polish people care about the working time hours and the breaks they have. Most of the people I know, working in corporations, also smoke... so they have from time to time during the day, extra minutes to "feed their cancer". It is also common to have the lunch break in front of the PC or just have a sandwich on the go... they like to wait to get home for dinner with family.
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Family is extremely important in Poland! Poland also has the lowest rate of divorce in Europe. Also due to the fact that it is quite banned by the Catholic Church... religious beliefs are also very important and going Saturdays and Sundays to church is a must! Especially if you live in a small town where everyone knows everyone!
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The National Holidays are free by law, and if they fall on a Saturday you can take a day off for it ;) Here are the national days, up to this moment:

DateWeekdayHoliday nameHoliday type
Jan 1ThursdayNew Year's DayNational holiday
Jan 6TuesdayEpiphanyNational holiday
Feb 14SaturdayValentine's DayObservance
Mar 20FridayMarch equinoxSeason
Apr 3FridayGood FridayObservance
Apr 4SaturdayHoly SaturdayObservance
Apr 5SundayEaster DayNational holiday
Apr 6MondayEaster MondayNational holiday
May 1FridayLabor Day / May DayNational holiday
May 3SundayConstitution DayNational holiday
May 24SundayWhit SundayNational holiday
May 26TuesdayMother's DayObservance
Jun 4ThursdayCorpus ChristiNational holiday
Jun 21SundayJune SolsticeSeason
Jun 23TuesdayFather's DayObservance
Aug 15SaturdayAssumption of MaryNational holiday
Sep 23WednesdaySeptember equinoxSeason
Nov 1SundayAll Saints' DayNational holiday
Nov 11WednesdayIndependence DayNational holiday
Dec 22TuesdayDecember SolsticeSeason
Dec 24ThursdayChristmas EveObservance
Dec 25FridayChristmas DayNational holiday
Dec 26SaturdaySecond Day of ChristmasNational holiday
Dec 31ThursdayNew Year's EveObservance

Are you a fresh expat working in Poland? How do you feel it differently than your homeland? Are there huge differences? Do you miss any work law from your homeland? I would love to hear your thoughts on this :)

Embrace the subject and read one of the articles below - How To... In Poland
  1. Do Shopping In Poland - Currency
  2. Pick The Best Time To Visit Poland
  3. Get To Poland - Transit
  4. Eat Like The Locals 
  5. Spend One Day In Krakow 
  6. Be Prepared For Coming To Poland
  7. Recognize Tourists In Poland
  8. Maintain Work-Life Balance In Poland - today's letter to you :)
Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves to help travelers out there & expats finding their way to the proud Polish land