Remote working has been top-rated among employees all over the world, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic hit that didn’t ask anyone if it is the right choice or not. Still, as technology is improving continuously and will continue to do so, remote teams will be even more popular among employers.
A remote team can be highly efficient for a company and its goals. However, the functioning of remote teams from various cultures weighs on both sides since the same advantages of having people from different backgrounds can also be challenging exactly because team members are different.
But, luckily for you, every problem has a solution, and that is why here we will see some important tips for managing remote teams from various cultures. So let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
Use Team-building Games That Are Fun
Team-building is essential for any team, especially for remote teams who don’t see each other often and have to build trust in order to accomplish important tasks together.
The one thing you can do to improve team chemistry is to play online games for remote teams at least once a month. It really doesn’t need to be an activity you must constantly do, but it is good to practice it once a month to create a better connection outside work that will bring better teamwork during working hours.
There are many different games you can find quickly online and present them to your team, and they will for sure accept such an entertaining activity. To give you an example, many remote teams make movie nights, and instead of going to the movies or gathering at home, they stream a movie on a shared screen on Zoom. This activity takes their minds off ongoing tasks, and you can watch different movies from everyone’s culture to get to know each other better.
Language Barriers Are Easily Manageable Today
One of the most common problems is handling language barriers when working in a remote team from different countries. But since today most people speak English or more than one language you can easily overcome this barrier and communicate normally.
However, coming from various backgrounds can still be challenging, so it is nice to try these two tips to come closer as coworkers and understand that achieving great communication will take time:
Use only the Language Everyone Knows
If some team members aren’t fluent or don’t know a language well, it is best to avoid it and find a language everyone knows. Especially for formal online meetings where everyone needs to understand what their roles and tasks are in the future. So from the beginning, pick a language that everyone speaks, and make it your ‘formal’ language for the team by not using any other language while working together.
Learn Some Key Words In Each Language
Motivate the team to learn some words in each language from every team member and have fun with it outside working hours when they are having a movie night or playing other online games for team-building. This move shows respect, and it is always fun for people to try to pronounce some words in another language.
Respect Everyone’s Time Zone
This is the most challenging part of managing remote teams, and it is even more complicated when they come from entirely different countries with different time zones. Another reason why it can be torturous is because you must set deadlines appropriately.
So to manage time the best possible way, you should use time management apps in order to avoid time-related uncertainty. It would be best if you did not underestimate respecting the time zones of all employees, and you have to find a reasonable middle ground that suits everyone.
When members come from different cultures, they tend to be sensible about this issue if you respect someone more than the others. So you can also change meeting time differently on every occasion and respect everyone’s desires and time zones.
Be More Careful When Giving Feedback
Giving feedback can always be tricky, but it can get even more difficult when you have to give feedback through video call, and sometimes extremely difficult with people from various cultures.
That is why you have to be more careful all the time, learn the backgrounds of all team members, learn about the cultural mentality they are coming from, and prepare the best possible way to give feedback. It doesn’t matter if you give positive or negative feedback; it can always have challenges when remote team workers come from different cultures.
Still, you shouldn’t be concerned a lot because there isn’t a challenge that you can not overcome when you prepare well.
Empathy Must Be on a Higher Level
Without teamwork, there is no success, and without empathy, there is no teamwork. This applies a lot when managing remote teams from different cultures because you have to try to bring them closer together. But if you want the remote team to be close first, you have to bring empathy on a higher level for them.
Of course, empathy among workers takes time, and it does not come so quickly. And it shouldn’t since people have to build trust first in order to improve their communication. However, as a team manager, you have to show everyone that they belong here and that they are a vital part of the team. Also, practicing empathy has the power to bring additional security such as:
• It provides support that will motivate remote team members to work on a higher level.
• It is the backbone of feeling safe to solve issues and achieve the desired goals.
• Most importantly, it helps to resolve conflicts effectively and extremely fast.
To Sum It All Up
Here you have some of the most important tips for managing remote teams from various cultures to achieve the best possible results. You must never forget that good team management does not only satisfy the needs of the employees but also brings better results for your company. And the perfect mix is to keep everyone happy and entirely focused on achieving the desired results.
So use these tips always and remember that even though managing a multicultural team takes time to achieve excellent team chemistry, if you are concentrated on achieving that goal, the results will come. And it is best to learn the skills now since it is evident that remote team working will become more and more popular in the future.