Four keys to solving communication problems related to global growth and multinational workforces

The director of a major West Coast architectural firm whose affinity for Japan leads her to open an office for the firm in Kyoto; the veteran graphic designer who wants to stay with his longtime employer, but only if he can work from the Italian countryside; the ambitious American apparel retailer looking to expand its physical footprint across the border in Canada.

These are the faces of a new era of “jobs everywhere”, a globalized workforce and cross-border organizational footprints, ushered in by growing employee preference for remote working and open-mindedness. growing number of employers with flexible working arrangements.

Why not let valuable employees work abroad, as long as they can do their job just as well there as in a traditional office? Why not broaden a company’s geographic horizons to cultivate new markets for products, services and talent? Business landscape leaders ask these kinds of questions when considering how to balance the demands of being more flexible, mobile, and adaptable without sacrificing profitability.

These demands have crystallized during the pandemic. According to figures cited in a recent Buffer report, 97.6% of workers would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their career; 25% say the flexibility to work from anywhere is the biggest benefit of working remotely. Unsurprisingly, projections suggest that about a quarter of all higher-paying jobs ($100,000 or more per year) in North America will be away by the end of 2022.

Companies like Airbnb have responded with policies that allow employees to live and work anywhere. “If we limited our talent pool to a commuting radius around our offices, we would be at a significant disadvantage. … And by recruiting from a diverse set of communities, we will become a more diverse company,” co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky wrote to his employees.

Such moves raise another question for organizational leaders to think about: how are we going to give geographically diverse and dispersed teams the tools and support they need to collaborate and innovate effectively? A Stanford study notes that remote work can increase a company’s productivity.

But to maximize those gains and deliver the kind of digital work experience that employees expect, companies need to support their remote work strategies, regardless of their setup, with a robust set of capabilities and approaches to collaboration, connectivity and communication, starting with these building blocks:

1. Universal communication capabilities that transcend borders.

To operate effectively across borders, companies with offices or employees in multiple countries need uninterrupted connectivity and seamless multi-channel methods to communicate internally within and across teams, as well as with partners, suppliers, customers and talents from all over the world. The more a workforce is armed with real-time, remote collaboration tools (chat, voice, video collaboration, etc.), the more productive employees and teams will be, wherever they are.

2. Multiple communication options to meet people’s changing needs and preferences.

Ultimately, an organization’s ability to deliver a superior employee and customer experience largely depends on omnichannel communication capabilities. To create superior CX, your customer-facing employees must be able to engage them through their preferred means of communication and switch between channels seamlessly as needed.

The same goes for employee experience – your EX. Your staff members expect to have access to robust and integrated digital communication options, just as they do in their personal lives. The easier these tools are to use and the more they improve productivity and collaboration, the more likely they are to enrich the EX, which in turn will improve the customer experience.

3. Multiple layers of security to defuse cyber threats.

Remote working and distributed teams make an organization’s network, data and users more vulnerable to cyberattacks, at a time when attacks are already on the rise (a 105% increase last year alone). So, for organizations with a widely distributed workforce and global offices, having multiple layers of cybersecurity (encryption, trustless network access, etc.) is a must to protect a network as well as the assets and users that are attached to it.

4. Flexibility with employee schedules.

Recognize that, for team members, communication and collaboration across time zones can be challenging. In its report, Buffer noted that 32% of employees say the ability to have a flexible schedule is the biggest benefit of working remotely. Giving employees access to the best communication tools means little unless there is a top-down organization-wide cultural commitment to provide people with the flexibility they need (and expect) to excel in their work.

Based on current trends and as horizons expand globally for employers and employees, organizations that focus on these critical areas are bound to create new breakthroughs for themselves and their workforces. outside US borders. Get those passports ready.

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