Offshore IT: working remotely with an international team

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It is common to work with people of different cultures. Today, the exchanges are globalized and this even more in the world of the Offshore IT.

These differences together produce human enrichment as well as misunderstandings and misunderstandings. Multi-culturality must be mastered in the company whether with your customers, your colleagues, your teams, your partners or your subcontractors.

How to work effectively remotely with an international team? How to manage cultural differences without compromising the quality of work?

For the collaboration to work well and to get the most out of it, here are some tips that have been proven in our agencies web offshore where French French teams work together daily, Malagasy and Vietnamese.

Take an interest in others and their differences

Ask questions, start conversations during breaks or lunches or at any time you think is appropriate. Showing interest in colleagues or collaborators can create a close relationship that reduces cultural barriers.

For example, when you videoconferences with your dedicated development teams, before starting the agenda of the meeting, discuss a few minutes in a casual and informal way with your interlocutors. Make them interested before starting the meeting.

How does the other person communicate? What do you both need to improve your communication? Know how to listen : If your native speaker’s language is not French, then make an effort to listen and pay attention when he speaks to you.

The relation to the other and the mode of communication

The relationship to the other  is different from one nationality to another.

In Asian countries, non-body language plays a predominant role in the way the message you want pass will be perceived. The intonation of your voice, the holding of your arms (crossed or not), your gestures, these multiple details impact on the perception that the other has of you. In Asia always, relationships between individuals are sometimes more important than the project itself.

Aware of these differences, we must be able to combine in a measured way, without falling into the clichés, the way of communicating and working with another nationality than his.

Influence others’ time and adjust your time

The relationship to time varies by crop.

In Asia and Africa, as in Vietnam or in Madagascar , time is “spatial” unlike a “linear” time for Western countries where time is “planned”, “controlled” or “wasted” for some.

Remote meetings and punctuality

To make your collaborators punctual, make sure you check with them several times. The day before the appointment, check with the person that they have not forgotten it. Rather than saying this feature needs to be delivered for next week, rather say this feature needs to be delivered by Jan. 8. 

In Northern Europe and North America, when a meeting is scheduled at 14h, it is strongly recommended to arrive early enough to install and prepare your equipment, to be ready for the start of the meeting at 14h.

Tools adapted to work remotely with an international team

Take care of your virtual meetings

In our ESN, we work with international agencies between Paris, Madagascar and Vietnam. Apart from on-site shifts cementing relationships, it is necessary to establish a range of methods and tools to work effectively remotely.

To get started, keep in touch with your teams on a daily basis with email exchanges, instant messaging or phone calls.

Chat, instant messengers 

There are many on the market: Skype, Slack, Glip, Pidgin, Google Hangout etc.

Let’s focus on Slack which is the reference tool for remote team work.

You can group all discussions with all the actors of your project. With Slack you will be able to perform a variety of tasks: allow all stakeholders to chat on their private channel, video conferencing , e send and receive files  simply, share your screen for a demo  or a presentation. 

You can interface Slack with a multitude of other tools: 1,000 apps can be integrated Google Drive, DropBox, Mailchimp, Twitter, Trello, Google Calendar, Jenkins, Git, Jira, Climate Code. etc.

By interfacing software with Slack, you can have your employees group all the information from different tools on one platform, including one group. of discussion.

Interactive dashboards

Use “KANBAN” dashboards, such as Trello. They make it possible to create lists of tasks assigned to people spread to four corners of the world. 

This allows you to centralize all the tasks of each project and assign them to the authorized people. You can remotely track the progress of the task and its completion rate.

As you can see, the foundation of success with an international team lies in the multiplicity of ways and means of communication that you put in place at all levels of your organization or project. Multicultural Collaboration is a chance and is good for the development of your project and organization.

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