The talk “Effective Cross-Cultural Strategy for Remote and Virtual Teams” organised by CreativesAtWork could not have been more timely in an age where remote working is on the rise.

As the middleman, we match the best freelancers to the relevant projects. It saves companies the hassle and time of hunting for a reliable and competent freelancer while helping the latter to procure assignments and negotiate payments.

Having served high profile international clients such as Facebook, LVMH and Samsung, we have undoubtedly spread our wings outside the shores of Singapore. We are also constantly on the lookout for the best talents worldwide.

In an increasingly globalised marketplace, it is inevitable that one has to work with clients and freelancers of various nationalities and cultural background. How can an intermediary company like us, CreativesAtWork navigate the minefield of cross-cultural communication effectively?

The talk given by both Lauren Proctor (Head of Marketing, Jobbatical) and Silja-Riin Voolma (Ph.D., Behaviour strategist) was a treasure trove of tips and advice. Starting with Lauren, who highlighted the merits of working remotely, her presentation centred around “10 Tips To Winning with Remote Working”.

The first tip is to get the job description right. This is especially pertinent for CreativesAtWork for we bear the responsibility of conveying the requirements of the clients to the freelancers in order to get a job done well done.

With this point in mind, Silja-Riin, the second speaker who is a behaviour strategist, stressed the importance of effective communication especially in a multi-national context. Any misinterpretation of tasks could end up as costly mistakes for companies.

Another tip Lauren gave was for companies to agree on ‘Action Goals’ and ‘Performance Goals’. For instance, a company may hire a freelancer from CreativesAtWork to post a blog a day and it is imperative for us to keep track of our performance via let’s say, the number of sales achieved over a one month period. This could help clients gauge if the freelancer is productive and heading in the right direction.

Offering a repertoire of services such as: project management, talent matchmaking, digital campaign, social media marketing, design and branding and content production, CreativesAtWork need the “right tools”, as mentioned by Lauren in order to accomplish the tasks.

To further elaborate the tip above, it is imperative for our company to know the capabilities of our arsenal of freelancers and if need be, workshops can also be conducted in future to enhance their skills.

 

Other salient points mentioned include using meetings effectively and that everyone should have a chance to give feedback. In the context of project managements, if taken up by CreativesAtWork, it is crucial for us to make the most out of each meetings with a clear agenda, timekeeping and goals. Constructive feedback should also be encouraged.

To back up this point, Silja highlighted the importance of ‘tone’ in cross-cultural communication. Imagine a group of freelancers working on a big project for a client, all of different nationalities and cultural background, meeting virtually on a weekly basis; whether it is written, voice or video communication, the tone as well as language used are crucial. This is crucial if the deadline is tight.

Overall, the synergistic talk given by the two ladies from Estonia provided very useful and practical tips for both our company and freelancers to better equip ourselves to ride on the rising wave of remote working.

By Zann Huizhen Huang