Many workers today are in virtual teams spread around the world. Their ‘closest’ colleagues can be thousands of miles away. Global teams offer great advantages – access to the best talent, local market knowledge, 24-hour coverage, etc. – but creating a happy and cohesive team over thousands of miles requires skill.
1. Adopt a clear decision-making process that is consistent around the world
Different countries have different working cultures. Some cultures major on building consensus slowly before committing strongly to an agreed position. Others tend to ‘wing it’ more, refining as they go along. Global teams must work to clear decision-making processes set out when the team is established, which every member of the team has fully bought into.
2. Allow for different language abilities
Fortunately for us in the UK, English is the common language of business around the world, but that can put non-native speakers at a disadvantage. Their views should be actively canvassed, in case they are holding back because of a lack of confidence in their ability to express themselves.
3. Create global team workspaces…
Sports teams have defined colours and brands – global teams should have them too. Using consistent colours and designs across every location creates a sense of unity and shared purpose. When team members visit their different offices, and even when they link up with their colleagues by video, all of them should recognise what they see as belonging to their team.
4. …but be mindful of local regulations
While it’s great to have consistent branding that your whole team can align itself with, it is essential to be cognisant of local regulations and processes. Good design does not exist in a vacuum, so great concepts will only become great workspaces if the practical aspects of their installation is given due regard.
Accent creates workspaces that foster team spirit and improve productivity for clients across the globe. Our understanding of the dynamics that govern teams in multiple locations, along with our practical experience of implementing workplace designs around the world, enable us to create workspaces that facilitate global operation. Today’s challenge is to create flexible workspaces that adapt to multiple demands – a challenge we readily rise to!