7 Efficient tips to work with global teammates

7 min read

As businesses move towards being more connected with clients and teammates across the globe, companies are adapting to a more open working mindset. With team members and reps spanning across countries, regions, or even across the ocean, many new opportunities and challenges are coming up that need to be tackled immediately to increase profits and reduce friction.

For companies to adapt and get completely acquainted with how things work at the other end, there are some basic ways to make an inclusive team of employees and ensure everyone's needs are taken into consideration. With different languages, customs, work ethics, time zones, and more, here are some tips that can help you work efficiently with global teammates!

Difference in time zones

In the professional setting, we usually observe working hours when sending out any kind of communication, especially through call or text message. When you're working with people in different countries or continents, there may be a vast difference in time zones that can hinder when and how you communicate with each other.

When calling or emailing teammates, keep in mind their working hours and try not to disturb them when it is night time where they stay. Create a schedule around your difference in time zones to make communication and staying in touch regarding work much easier to establish on a day to day basis.

Another important point to consider is national holidays and festivities observed by others. Stay up to date on days they may not be available for work and be considerate of their personal time. Always be thoughtful of your team's time by using a world clock to reference when contacting them or even keep a team calendar to track public holidays across countries.

Change your mindset

Become an excellent global team player and master the soft skills needed to navigate a team that is diverse. When interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds, it's easy to misunderstand nuances and attributes that others may have. Changing your mindset to become more global and educating yourself about where these colleagues come from can help both understand the other better.

The Harvard Business Review claims that having a global mindset requires you to have three things -

"Intellectual capital: Global business savvy, cognitive complexity, cosmopolitan outlook
Psychological capital: Passion for diversity, quest for adventure, self-assurance
Social capital: Intercultural empathy, interpersonal impact, diplomacy."

Reduce cultural differences

Fostering an inclusive way of working is also extremely beneficial for conflict resolutions and can help minimise cultural nuances. For instance, there is business jargon used in the UK that may not be as easily understood by people who don't know that reference. Saying "Peel the onion" to your teammate doesn't literally mean that but in fact uses an 'onion' to refer to problems and 'peeling the onion' signifies identifying and working on the many layers of the problem to find the best solution!

Try to avoid using such terms and slang to reduce confusion. Another difference to address can be the usage of the imperial system versus the metric system. Keep these small details in mind and create a work strategy that includes everyone and helps create an environment conducive to productivity.

Make time for visual meetings

Since everyone doesn't work at the office together, having a face to face meeting is impossible with global teammates but virtual video calling is the next best thing! With remote working, quick voice calls are the norm but they do little to build team rapport. Make sure to schedule a time for virtual video meetings to add comfort and minimise miscommunications.

Getting a chance to see the other person's face allows you to get visual cues and understand their tone and intent better. Without these cues, there is often misunderstandings and the communication can seem impersonal or curt.

What's in a name?

Great success comes to those who focus on the small details. The same applies for when trying to create a seamless way for global teammates to connect and collaborate better. Since you are working with members from different countries and languages, their names may be hard to pronounce. Take the time to learn how to say all your teammates' names and avoid mispronunciation. This is a small gesture that goes a long way!

Celebrate milestones

Not being in the same location can be tough when trying to celebrate successes and milestones together. Not acknowledging these achievements can lead to low morale in the team and create a disconnect between them. Always factor in time for celebrating achievements, as small as they may be.

Whether it is the whole team that has reached a milestone or an individual who has been especially great at their tasks and work, always acknowledge that in a proper way. Understand how people like being congratulated - in person or around the whole team and make sure to do justice and make them feel worth their work. Cultural differences can play a role here as certain cultures are more private.

Integrate cultures

Don't let colleagues in other parts of the world feel left out when you celebrate certain festivities. Create a way to include all holidays and celebrate together so no one is left out of the festivities. A great way to do that is by celebrating all the main holidays observed by the teammates across the company, instead of limiting holidays based on region or country. Creating this inclusivity also helps fellow team members understand and know more about the traditions, culture, and holidays that others celebrate, further helping develop a global mindset.

Plan a meeting

At least once a year, plan a meeting between all the team members from across the world to strengthen work relationships and build stronger bonds. Plan a retreat together and fit in time for socialising so everyone can get to know each other on a more personal level.

Plan these trips to help foster a team spirit and add a certain realness to the relationship your team members share. Putting a face to a voice you speak to over the phone can definitely help create better bonds and understanding.

No matter where the people in your team are from, cultivating a global mindset and being inclusive can go a long way in keeping positive work morale. It's also better for collaboration and understanding one another! Use these simple tips to make sure you are efficiently working with your global teammates and making the best of every opportunity.

A big part of an easy collaboration for global team members is cloud-based platforms that allow everyone to share the same files, details, software, and more when working from different parts of the world. FIVE CRM offers a scalable and efficient Customer Relationship Management system that not just makes working with your team easy but also simplifies sales and marketing processes.

Get in touch with us now to know more about how our software can help your business.

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