Due to globalization, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to adapt to rapid change and face new challenges. The number of organizations working with teams formed by people from different countries is increasing. For most of them, having an international team helps them succeed in the global economy today. That’s why it is becoming more common to work in international environments and interact with people from around the world. The possibility to work in alternative workplaces is another factor that supports global teams. With today’s technologies, more and more tools make it easier to work remotely when a team is dispersed. On many occasions, the members share a country of residence but have different nationalities.
Culture and personality also play a significant role here. A person’s culture directly influences their values, beliefs, and ways of thinking and acting. These differences will be reflected at work; each member will have their own approach and way of interacting with colleagues. Yet that doesn’t mean that there’s something right or wrong; they’re only different work styles.
International teams bring a lot of benefits, not only to the team members but also to the organization. And to ensure that they have a positive impact on the company, we should understand how to manage those benefits.
Improve Communication Skills
Communication is one of the key aspects when it comes to building trust and a good relationship. It is essential for a team to work well and function effectively. One of the big challenges that arises when people from other countries interact with each other is the language. When there are language barriers, communication is often more difficult and requires extra effort to ensure that all team members can collaborate as a group. Being culturally sensitive and aware encourages employees to communicate effectively with their colleagues and work toward shared objectives.
Since the interaction with individuals from all areas of the world is a must, people also become more adaptable. Over time, each member will develop communicative skills that best fit them, and their cross-cultural communication will also improve.
Adaptability and Flexibility in an International Team
Apart from language barriers, each person also has their own working culture that might differ from others. It might be hard at the beginning to manage and work with people from distinct countries and backgrounds. Each member has their own priorities at work. For example, in Germany, punctuality is essential, while in Spain, time is a more flexible issue. Despite the differences, you must understand them and adapt in the best way to avoid interpersonal conflicts.
Being in constant contact with people from different countries and cultures makes you more adaptable to any environment, situations, or people. It helps you develop your cultural intelligence. You could end up adopting a global mindset without even realizing it, transcending national and cultural boundaries. It also allows team members to learn how to integrate different skills and abilities to achieve a shared goal. Being capable of understanding the different points of view and adapting to them also increases the social sensibility of the person. It helps us grow accustomed to work in a cross-cultural workplace.
Once you’ve worked in an international team, you’ll master how to manage different situations and avoid future conflicts in any environment.
Working with people with different cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values allows you to be constantly exposed to different perspectives. You can learn new things from other countries and even master a new language. The knowledge that a team member has about their local market is much deeper than any outside source. Therefore, when you work in an international team, you learn about different markets.
Diversity brings innovation, with a variety of ideas arising in a shorter period. The intelligence of the group on a whole thus increases since coordination between the various capabilities is required to achieve a common objective.
Friends in an International Team
After sharing many hours with your colleagues, it’s normal that you become friends at the end of the day. And who says that having friends at work is a bad thing? It is demonstrated that having friends at work increases job satisfaction by 50%. This makes us feel more integrated and happier, so we enjoy our tasks more. Productivity also increases by 39%. Peer interaction helps to generate new ideas and exchange knowledge that you can apply to your daily tasks.
And even if it’s not for work reasons, it never hurts to expand your social network internationally. Although you may be separated geographically, you can stay connected through social networks. Having a friend in another part of the world is also a good excuse to travel and discover new countries.
Working in an international team is an opportunity to develop your skills in a different environment. It might be hard at the beginning, but you certainly will get a lot out of it. If you have the opportunity to work in one, make the most of it and enjoy the experience!
By Kaixi Jia