With 56% of businesses including international expansion in their growth strategies, managing a global workforce is quickly becoming the new reality. And this is no different for creative companies and digital agencies. Their competitors are no longer limited to enterprises just in the UK, meaning they should look to international markets in their business development plan. Taking these types of businesses internationally presents opportunities by expanding options for talent, new customers and creating cost-savings. However, with team members dispersed across the globe, maintaining productivity, team focus and business efficiencies can often be one of the greatest challenges that business leaders face.
Whether the organisation has employees working in one country or 10, it’s the company’s responsibility to ensure the team works towards individual and group goals. Frequent communication between global teams is key to this success. By regularly scheduling meetings, it gives team members the opportunity to collaborate, exchange information and knowledge, as well as learn from each other and keep everyone updated on organisational developments. However, this goes further than simply allowing employees to communicate with one another, allowing collaborative decisions to take place without international constraints.
Creating a ‘knowledge map’
In today’s fast paced and digitally advanced world, simple meeting room technologies are no longer sufficient. Organisations need a workspace that emulates a face-to-face, natural meeting, allowing everyone across all locations to be on screen and involved in the project. These types of richer virtual meetings create a ‘global village’ for knowledge sharing, allowing creatives or designers to share ideas and collaborate across international borders in the best possible way. They go one further than simply sharing a screen and hearing voices of colleagues, which allows businesses to innovate in an exponentially greater way than ever before, delivering an agile and competitive business.
Combining people’s interaction and thinking with a virtual space to work will help to instill a culture of collaboration and establish a ‘knowledge map’, which can often be difficult when a creative business has different teams based in multiple locations across the globe. By making collaboration a priority, employees will be able to call on their colleagues for help and will have a better understanding of the processes and methods to streamline remedies. They also have the opportunity to brainstorm together and utilise each other’s capabilities to find a solution to any problems. What's more, these richer workspaces allow for cross-team collaboration, bringing people together from various departments to combine their knowledge, experience and expertise. This is critical for international creative companies, who are working across various international borders and demand deeper insights, fresher perspectives and faster innovation.
Global team collaboration
By establishing a collaborative working environment, these digital organisations will benefit from increased team alignment and better productivity, to improved efficiency and quicker decision making at a global scale. With an international ‘knowledge map’, employees will be brought together to understand project objectives and the role they play in achieving results. Coordinating these goals leads to team-wide support and increased productivity for true alignment. In addition to team alignment, productivity is a natural result of a collaborative culture. When using a workspace that emulates face-to-face, natural meetings, the global team will benefit from increased flexibility which makes it easier for them to build efficient processes and boost decision making for optimum productivity.
Whilst navigating different time zones, cultural differences and language barriers, creative companies have the opportunity to create a ‘global village’ for employees to collaborate internationally in the best possible way. Using a workspace that goes one further than simply sharing a screen and hearing voices of colleagues, will allow everyone across all locations to be on screen and involved. This will create a more organised working environment, smoothing the flow of communication and sharing knowledge amongst different teams without any constraints.
Ultimately, international growth creates a number of challenges, such as time-zone and communication barriers, but working across borders can also offer many rewards and benefits to creative companies and digital agencies. Staying on top of communication and making efforts to garner a collaborative culture are great ways to make international teams a success. Businesses that excel at creating a ‘knowledge map’ have used this to their advantage and learned that it is also critical to utilise a workspace that emulates a face-to-face, natural meeting, allowing for better team alignment and improved productivity, to increased efficiency and quicker global decision making.
Jocelyn is the Chief Executive of nuVa Enterprises