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5 Ways to Ensure Productivity in Your Multilingual Remote Team

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Did you know that the concept behind productivity through remote work has already been in use since the very invention of the Internet in the early 2000’s? But it was only during March 2020 when companies worldwide started to realize the full potential of this flexible work arrangement and began to actually implement it simply because they were left with no choice — thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last year and a half, businesses became aware of multiple tremendous perks that remote way of working offers to them. Higher cost efficiency and greater staff satisfaction are the primary of them. Besides, working remotely, a company can access a larger pool of international talents and collaborate with people from around the globe, which helps to boost innovation, increase performance and save money even more.

However, managing a multicultural and multilingual remote team poses some challenges of its own. To help you address them effectively, here we reviewed the five best ways to boost productivity in your multilingual remote work setting.

Let’s start by exploring why going remote is beneficial in the first place.

Work from Home Benefits

Despite the many challenges of not actually being present in the office to perform our daily tasks, the remote work set-up has proven much more lucrative as there’s no need anymore for employees to travel from home to office on a daily basis, thus saving energy, money, and time. Moreover, the usual trapping of office-based employees spending more time chatting with their colleagues rather than bringing actual value to the company can also be avoided.

But those are just two. Here a few more things that out-of-office employees love about having to finish their daily tasks in the comfort of their homes:

  • Time is more flexible,
  • There’s more privacy,
  • Workstation is customizable,
  • And most of all, getting distracted by an annoying or noisy colleague is more unlikely!

Which takes us to our next point…

Ensuring Productivity in Multilingual Remote Work Settings

“A typical office worker is interrupted every 11 minutes.” — UC Irvine

If there’s one really obvious difference between office work and a remote setting, it’s without question the ability to concentrate. Because work from home employees are more focused, having a more personalized and quiet environment that they can instantly connect with, they tend to work longer (sometimes surpassing the 8 hours limit) compared to those in the office.

The flexibility that a remote work setting provides employees convinced 47% of survey respondents that it’s good for them, thus making them more productive.

And what about multilingual remote work settings?

There are plenty of productivity strategies that you can use to boost productivity in a multilingual remote team. Listed below are five other tips on how your remote team can cope up with the work from home situation:

1. Get to know the cultural backgrounds of your staff and then decide on a common language

Believe it or not, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic are the top three foreign languages that employers look for when they hire multilingual talents that’s why as a company, it’s only right to know your team members’ origins and the languages that they speak from the get go so that once you address them, the chances of being caught in a crossfire of misunderstandings can be minimized.

You can decide on a common language for the whole team to use when cases like this arise. Many would prefer English as a solution but it’s still up to you and the rest of your staff which one to use.

2. Provide your multilingual remote team with all the work from home tools that they need

Besides a laptop and the Internet connection, what other tools and equipment do you need to efficiently work from home with minimum supervision?

If you hear your employer asking this question, consider yourself lucky because it just means that they care about your well-being, knowing that working in a home set-up will at first be a struggle but later on fulfilling.

A well-equipped employee is a happy employee and it’s easy to know why. Maybe the company he’s working for provides a company laptop, a monthly internet allowance, or a lifetime and unlimited subscription to Google Workspace which allows users to create, collaborate, and communicate almost anything from emails, slides, survey forms, sheets, video conferences, etc.

All the above-mentioned telecommuting technology tools are vital but if there’s one tool that can help in the productivity and time management department, your best bet would be actiTIME. It’s a multifunctional time tracker tool with a handful of project management features that can help startups and businesses of all sizes achieve greater success in any work setting. actiTIME is great for remote team management and allows for easy project progress monitoring.

3. Have a regular check with each and every member of your remote team

As managers, it’s your task to reach out to your team to ask for an update regarding a pending project but more importantly, to personally check on them and ask how they’re doing. Having catch-up sessions with your staff on Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype might not be as effective as face-to-face conversations but doing one-on-one video calls would still mean a lot to your team members. Opportunities like this could also be a good time to give them small compliments or maybe offer them something (a gift or a favor) so that they will feel more inspired to work.

Apart from video calling, here are other ways that you can have a friendly check on your remote team:

  • Sending an email with a personalized graphic,
  • Encouraging them through chat or SMS to take regular breaks
  • Sending a voice message to ask how their weekend went,
  • Inviting them for a virtual coffee session, etc.

4. Defy the screen at least once a year to catch up

“Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.” — Harvard Business Review

Every hard work deserves a good reward and one way to bring happiness to your employees is by allotting at least one or two days a year to take them out of their homes for a well-deserved and all-expense paid team building vacation. Having fun every once in a while can lead to better decision-making, speedier data processing, and eventually, improved productivity in general.

Remember to do this when the pandemic protocols are more relaxed so that you can enjoy your time together to the fullest and with less restrictions.

5. Conduct fun and informative webinars and game nights to promote teamwork and camaraderie

There are numerous ways companies can educate, create a sense of camaraderie, and reinforce cultures among employees while at the comfort of their homes via multilingual webinar platforms like Zoom.

Why not use this free tool to its extent by gathering your team at least once a month to learn a new skill apart from the job at hand? Maybe you can hire an expert when it comes to mobile photography (for example) and tell that person to conduct an hour-long webinar for your whole team. Knowledge when it comes to this field might not be essential to the tasks that they’re trying to finish but it’s a shared activity since casual photographers nowadays use their phones to take DSLR-quality images. Plus it can also serve as a way for your team members to bond and catch up. Consider changing the topic every month so that despite the heavy workload, the team will learn something new regularly.

So what are some other topics that you would like to learn with your workmates? How to make viral TikTok videos? Making Dalgona coffee? Or why not learn a thing or two about bullet journaling? The limitations are endless so it’s all up to you!

How Can Multilingual Webinars and Other Productivity Strategies Help Ensure the Efficiency of Your Remote Team?

Remote multilingual teams, by definition, are a group of people who work from different places. If they live in different countries, then most probably the team is multilingual — meaning they speak different native languages. Basically, the two most basic productivity resources that they need in order to work are a laptop, and a decent internet connection.

Given that they’re multilingual and at the same time remote, managers will most probably have a hard time changing their ways to make sure that he and his team are on the same page every single time. They should know that while some proven and tested management strategies may work for office-based employees, it’s certainly not the same case when it comes to ensuring productivity in multilingual remote work settings.

Tomedes, a leading translation company that’s been remote-first since its inception in 2007, published an article precisely about this topic, which interrogates the marked move from face-to-face to online services, and details a step-by-step guide on how remote employees can facilitate a multilingual webinar. Tomedes, an expert in the subject, has had remote employees in five continents even before the pandemic.

Since employees worldwide are working from home, there’s a likely tendency for your staff to get bored easily. If that’s the case, conducting a fun, interactive, and informative multilingual web conferencing could be key to regaining their energies.

The Pandemic Will Soon Go but Remote Team Settings Won’t

An American freelancing platform, Upwork, estimates that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. That’s two years short of a decade since the onset of the pandemic! Just imagine all the upcoming technologies addressing productivity in multilingual remote work settings that will emerge in the coming years!

Let this article be a reminder that you and your team can withstand each and every challenge that you might face along the way may that be productivity-related or not because as early as now, you’re already equipped with all the knowledge that you need to manage, maintain, and address a multilingual remote workforce of your own.

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