Author: Anne Borup
Date of Publication: 09/12/2022
Globalization increases both the awareness and the need for working in an international team. For most organizations, diverse internationality in the company creates the opportunity of succeeding in a rapidly changing business environment. Besides, today’s technological tools help international teams to flourish and thrive on a global scale. So, what are the specific benefits of creating an international setting in the workspace?
Increased productivity and creativity
One of the most essential benefits of working in a team that is made up of a lot of different nationalities and cultures is productivity. Since your team includes many international people, the flow of ideas will be magnificent! Your coworkers will come up with ideas that you couldn’t even have imagined – and vice versa. These different mindsets make it possible to achieve great creativity and brainstorming for various work tasks.
Also, if you’re working in an international team, you’re probably not restricted by the traditional nine-to-five work schedule. Instead, you can work under your own conditions and be much more flexible. Moreover, working across borders opens up possibilities of employees working anywhere at any time frame, which speeds up the work process. This way, the results increase since the production time decreases due to international work processes.
Improved communication skills
Communication can be challenging – especially if there are different opinions in your work team. However, communicating and coordinating with colleagues from other cultures improves your communication skills. International teams will include people from different environmental backgrounds with different views and experiences. What’s more, the mix of cultural backgrounds allows you to practice your communication and problem-solving skills.
In addition, communication is key when creating trust and a good relationship. This happens both across different employees in an organization and between the organization and its stakeholders. In fact, it can be challenging to communicate in an international setting because of language barriers. Yet you will gain so many benefits from being culturally sensitive and aware of other people since it increases your adaptability a lot. Who doesn’t want to be a social butterfly across nationalities and cultures? In a world where we’re more connected than ever, this is a massive benefit for you as an employee but also for your company in general.
Expanding the organization’s flexibility and adaptability
Other than communicative adaptability, the general flexibility of work processes will improve across employees in an international team. Since every person comes from different work cultures, the merging can benefit the overall work culture in an organization. It might be hard for the team at first, but being constantly in contact with people from all over the world will make you more adaptable to different environments and different people. This way, your cultural intelligence will grow.
Lowered cost of management
Besides all of the benefits above, you also get a financial reward from working in an international team. When a company hires in-country employees, it might have to pay a lot of money for wages, compensation schemes, and so on. However, if you recruit from all over the world, it can be easier to hire people from countries where the amount of taxes, the minimum wage, and the standard cost of living aren’t so extensive. This way, you might find excellent talents for your work team and cut costs at the same time.
Besides, your business will also be more prone to have easy market integration across cultures and borders. The integration can be smooth when you have employees who know the way of business in the particular country you want to expand to. Their knowledge of the culture at hand will enhance the communication flow with stakeholders, customers, business partners and so on. Furthermore, your international work team can benefit you by having better access to knowledge about competitors, customer demands, the local market environment, and much more.
Increased knowledge across the organization
Another important benefit of having an international work team is that business knowledge improves. The employer will benefit from improved knowledge since people from different countries and cultures bring different skills, knowledge, experience, and education to the company. When hiring globally, a company won’t limit itself to one particular skill set or restrain itself by the educational level of a specific country. Instead, the company’s knowledge becomes more extensive, the employees can enjoy the diversity across the work team, and the decision-making and problem-solving capabilities are much better.
Challenges to be aware of
Even though there are many benefits of having an international working team, there are also challenges to be aware of. For example, it is vital to keep clear and open communication if you want successful teamwork across culturally and nationally different employees. In this regard, you should set some expectations about what is acceptable in your specific company. For example, these guidelines could clarify some basics about the company dress code, physical contact, tone of communication, and so on.
Language can also create barriers. Misunderstandings and frustrations might arise since an international work team consists of people who speak many different languages. A solution to this could be encouraging employees to use short sentences. This way you can save a bunch of time running to Google Translate every other minute.
Last but not least, one of the big differences between people across geographical areas is culture. It is what makes us who we are and how we act. Therefore, it can be necessary to understand the culture of your coworkers and the company as well. This is not a small task, but practice makes perfect.
Having an international work team brings many benefits, but only if you know how to use it. A rule of thumb would be to have broad awareness of the people you are working with as well as acknowledge all of the differences between you. This can give you a good basis for reaping the benefits of an international setting in the workplace.
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