Along with the COVID pandemic, the entire world could start the biggest remote working experiment. It delivered positive results, and most small businesses out there are now looking forward to working with remote and virtual teams. Even though working with remote and virtual teams is more effective, there are some challenges associated with it. Cultural and communication barriers hold a prominent place out of them. Here are some tips that small businesses can follow to overcome cultural and communication barriers when going virtual.

Acknowledge the differences

When you start working with remote teams, you will have to deal with a variety of differences. It is not possible to assume that there aren’t any differences, and you can move ahead as usual. If you do, conflicts may arise with the remote teams, which will impact your business in the long run. That’s where you will need to acknowledge the differences. Then you can get everyone working for your business on the same page. Then you will be able to work accordingly so that you can overcome future conflicts.

Develop your own communication norms

Once you start working with remote and virtual teams, over-communication is a must. You need to communicate as much as you can, and it will help you to overcome confusion and misunderstandings. However, you will need to develop your own communication norms. That’s because there isn’t any universally recognized method that you can adopt for communications when working with remote teams.

For example, you can think about going for a project management approach such as Agile, which promotes continuous communication and documentation. This will help everyone to collaborate with each other, which will help them overcome misunderstandings.

Learn about the cultural backgrounds of teammates

It is a good idea to learn more about the cultural backgrounds of teammates. You will need to do a bit of research and then see what communication style would work well when you work with teammates who come from a specific cultural background. You will also need to compare that with your own. This will eventually help you to locate the best communication method that you can use.

Never assume anything

When you are communicating with remote and virtual teams, you might come across situations where you don’t understand what is being said. In such situations, you should never assume that you understand it. Instead, you will need to clearly communicate that you don’t understand and ask the other party to explain in a clear way. Otherwise, you will misunderstand and then go ahead to do something, which can negatively impact you in the long run. Hence, it is important to make sure that you fully understand something before you take any action.

Have a regular face time

Working 100% remotely would not be the best approach, especially if you are working with remote teams who belong to different cultural backgrounds. This is where you will need to think about having regular face time. This might be challenging for you at times as well. However, you should try to at least have more verbal communications through video conferencing tools, instead of sticking only to text communications such as emails.

Final words

Remote working is a great opportunity available for the small business owners out there to enhance their business productivity while cutting down expenses. If you are a small business owner, you will need to think about getting the maximum out of this. However, you should also ensure that you maintain proper communication to overcome the challenges that would come on your way.

Tune into on August 3rd at 9 AM EDT as guest Norah Jones with Fluency Consulting talks more about overcoming communication and cultural barriers in a global environment.

MarketAtomy, LLC is a growth development-learning environment for small and medium business owners with one goal in mind…to empower them with the tools and knowledge needed to build their business on a rock-solid foundation. Through foresight and fortitude, entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. For more information, please visit Visit MarketAtomy.Academy to find out about the only eLearning Management System developed for early-stage business growth.

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