Now, more than ever, it’s become easier to work more remotely. The coronavirus has twisted our arms into submitting to social distancing and succumbing to the demands of the need for as much physical isolation as possible. With that being said, this has shown many companies that may have had reservations about remote work, that not only can they do it, but they can have outcomes and goals surpassed just as easily as when in one location.
This fear has hindered many companies from considering Global Distributed Work teams in the past. But, they’re selling themselves (and their companies) short by not considering a global team.
This is a great time to consider hiring global workers, as long as you do it carefully, and with the right people! Read on to see our Things to Keep in Mind when working with Global Distributed Work Teams.
Hire a Professional that Knows What They’re Doing
When it comes to working with a global team, there should be no shortcuts taken!
This includes hiring a professional in your People department with experience in distributed and remote workforces, who can write company remote policies, advise on best practices and strategies, and do the best hiring and training.
Someone that knows the ropes can make a difference in not only running things more smoothly, but knows how to navigate the world of work visas and restrictions that when neglected, can at best cause massive headaches, and at worst leave you in legal trouble.
It sounds scary, but a true professional will know how to vet talent appropriately, and keep you moving forward by sourcing great additions to your company.Access New Talent Pools.
Speaking of talent, this is a huge benefit of working with Global Distributed Work Teams. It’s very easy to hire “what you know”, thus causing your organization to lean heavily in one direction, not exactly making your company very versatile.
If you are evaluating the opportunity of expanding your distributed workforce to unlimited geographical regions, considering the wealth of variety you get, this is a win!
Our life experiences help shape our professional calling and what drives us. You stand to gain so much by introducing that diversity to your workforce, and can even drive company growth financially from such decisions.
Move Past the Language Gap
Many companies worry about progress slowing down with differing levels of fluency amongst the business, but there are ways to work around this. Remember that professional we mentioned in #1?
With the right amount of proper training, your global workers can become more aware of cultural norms and policies, as well as the best ways to communicate. Also, the Human Resources Department will screen for fluency beforehand, to make sure basic correspondences can be had.
Make sure native language speakers reduce their use of colloquial terms and idioms, and slow down their speech, enunciating their words more carefully, if necessary.
Managers can also make sure they encourage less fluent speakers to ask enough questions so that they understand what is being discussed, and encourage the more fluent speakers to refrain from dominating the conversation. Encouraging dialogue and independence, as well, can also help to facilitate workers in a cooperative fashion.
Whether local, or global, workers want to feel supported and like they have a voice in what’s going on. Give them a structure in which they can express frustrations and what may not be going smoothly for them. Make sure everyone feels included, and help unify the team with a common purpose.
Ensure that your global workers feel valued, and even though they’re physically further away, that their input and decisions are crucial in making the company a success.
Treat your global teams just as you would the workers nearer to you, in giving feedback and constructive criticism.
Connect, Connect, Connect!
Workers located outside of the primary office can sometimes feel left out of what’s going on. Managers should make efforts to make global workers feel supported in their concerns and needs. They can also ensure employees are included as much as possible with general work channels, and other communication tools, such as chat, that allow group collaboration to be viewed in real time.
Make sure communication isn’t just typing all of the time. Casual dialogue should be encouraged, as well, as it allows us to see others as humans, and not just an email address located thousands of miles away.
Encourage employees to get to know each other a little bit, and even make it a game if you need to!
You can also rev things up a bit by promoting friendly competition, which can help if time gaps are a factor in communication. Allow workers to speak at times that work for their meeting, even if it is at “off” times, such as earlier in the morning before the rush of the day.
Having workers on a global scale provides so many benefits to companies that open both their minds and doors.
Different perspectives coming together is a beautiful thing, and can really shape the company into a more versatile, resilient enterprise.