How You Can Go Global with an Innovative Team - Taking Advantage of VoIP

Joel Goldstein - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Companies are going global in a way they never have before, and reaping in all the benefits of having employees around the globe - in a simple, seamless way.

Whether you would like to tap global talent, open a new branch, retain a valuable employee who is relocating, or have 24/7 customer service, you can communicate with your remote employees as though they were in your physical office.

How VOIP Works With An International Team

With VOIP, you can sit in your office in New York City and dial a 3-digit extension to reach your employee in London, Hong Kong or Melbourne. Each employee receives a business phone which they plug into their internet router, and they are connected to your company network. Clients can talk to your remote employees with crystal clear communication, using your office phone number with no foreign codes.

Do you own the mentality successful global teams have?

Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, explains the mindset behind successful global teams.

“Always be in a position where you’re constantly communicating about the basics of your relationship, and constantly evaluating the social dynamics of your relationship. Where am I? Where’s the other person? Okay. Let me put myself in the shoes of the other and really learn about their position, and why, in fact, they’re making these decisions. Let me try to understand the temporal dimensions of my collaborators. That could mean just how people treat time worldwide. Very, very different. So there’s this constant need to teach, learn, suspend judgment, and communicate in order to make it work.”

How to Structure Global Teams

Building your global team in a way which optimizes collaboration and communication is crucial. Keith Ferrazzi, the CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, writes on Harvard Business Review: “Use a flexible, fluid team structure that consists of three tiers: a core, an operational level, and an outer network. The core consists of individuals responsible for strategy and important decisions. The operational level includes those who are doing the day-to-day ongoing work and might make decisions about their portion of the project but they don’t tackle larger issues (which are handled by the core). And the outer network consists of temporary or part-time members who are brought in for a particular stage of the project because of their specialized expertise. Using this hierarchy groups together those who need to collaborate with one another for particular purposes, and exclude others who aren’t important to that process.”

How to Circumvent Misunderstandings

As simple as it is to get in touch with international employees, it is also simple to run into tangles. Cultural diversity brings a broader perspective to your company and more appeal to different markets - yet it can also lead to miscommunication and  Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Use the Right Tools

Use a mix of tools to stay in touch with your virtual team. Do a quick run through when you would like to tell a remote team or employee something - what is the clearest way to communicate in this case? Video call through Skype and other video calling apps when you would like to demonstrate something visually. Use chat tools like Slack and Glip when you need to convey a simple message or want employees to have written instructions to easily refer back to.

Brand Clarity

Make sure all of your employees, whether they work in your physical office or virtually, two continents away - know your brand promise, tone and values. Concretize your brand message so your entire team is on the same page. We’ve spoken about why it’s so important to have a clear brand message and how to define your message; you can read it here.

Collaborative Meetings

We all hate unnecessary meetings. But with global teams, frequent collaborative meetings are necessary - and an important binding agent for employees of different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds to work together towards one goal: the success of your company.

Experts even suggest something a tip which may sound incredibly counter-intuitive - rather than start meetings immediately, as you would do with on-location staff, give your employees five minutes of free time where they can talk, laugh and share. This is virtual “water cooler talk” in which employees from all different countries can bond, laugh, share and become a cohesive team.

In conclusion, as you take advantage of creating global virtual teams with easy VOIP communication technology, set up your communication thoughtfully and thoroughly so your employees, connected on the same VOIP system throughout the world, can connect and coordinate with cohesiveness, productivity and results-driven collaboration for your business.

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We’re deep into the email age, where email has become many people’s favorite way of communicating.

But is it the right option?
Yes, email is much more convenient. But many times it is doing someone - you, your customer or colleague - a disservice.

Sometimes, we simply must pick up the phone.

There are pros and cons for both email and telephone communication. The most important thing is context - why you need to communicate, and what you are communicating. Some things are best discussed through email, and some are best left for the phone.

Let’s go through common business situations and see when email is best used, and when phone calls are the way to go.

The Case for Email

We’ll start with the widely preferred option: email.

Many people think email is more convenient, and leaves them with more control over the conversation.

Yet sometimes, email is - quite bluntly - a cop out.

Here’s when email is best to use: 
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