Crossing the Work-Life Boundary in China

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In Western work culture, there is generally a boundary between work and personal life. When you meet someone in a business context, you mentally route them to the professional realm, sending emails to their work address and only connecting on LinkedIn. You don't even know their personal email address, you don't text or call them after work hours, and you don't even consider adding them on Facebook. Most people respect the invisible boundary of personal life, a sort of professional code.

In China however, there is no unspoken professional code creating a split identity, only one united digital world, thanks to WeChat. What started as a messaging app from TenCent has now monopolized Chinese interactions and superseded email, phone, social media, and more! Everyone connects on WeChat and receives messages for work, notifications about professional articles and all types of news. Colleagues discuss projects, celebrate team achievements, and send cute emoji stickers for every occasion.

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While you may want to keep your work and life separate, it can be difficult to do so when you only use one app for everything from instant messaging to video calls to hailing taxis. So while in China, do as the Chinese do and cross the invisible divide between your work and personal life.


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