Virtually every office and business environment in Myanmar has a shrine to the Buddha. For your Myanmar colleagues this shrine is an important part of the office, as it provides protection and good luck, as well as being a focal point of serenity in stressful situations. Your colleagues will offer fruit, flowers, tea and other gifts to the Buddha frequently.
Even if you are a Christian or another religion, and even if you want to establish an international image for your office in Myanmar, your colleagues and staff would feel very strange about not having a shrine somewhere in the office.
Apart from this shrine, you will also see your colleagues engaged in some form of religious activity throughout the day. Reading scriptures from a book and committing them to memory is a common activity. Reciting scriptures with a handheld counter -where you count the number of times you have recited a certain Scripture – and passing beads between your fingers as a form of meditation are also common.
If the staff in your office isn’t busy, don’t be surprised to find them engaged in these kinds of religious activities. If you would prefer to keep religious activities out of your office, make sure that you explain this to your Myanmar staff. Also explaining the reasons behind this will be useful, because many Myanmar people find the absence of religion counter-intuitive.