Bridging the gaps between offshore teams (also known as dispersed, remote or virtual teams) has always been the cause for concern for many companies approaching the talent pools around the world. While technological advances can ease the communication and process problems, the cultural differences among staff require a much more sensitive and comprehensive approach. At ASW, we have devised such a combination of solutions, one of which is via company trips.
Strange as it may sound, company trips are very useful in introducing staff to cultural values and maintaining the expected team collaboration. One prime example is how we took Vietnam teams to Malaysia back in 2014 and 2016, then introduced Malaysia teams to Vietnam in 2015. These trips allowed the teams from both countries to get to know one another by catching up for dinners and lunches. The staff are greeted by people they have worked with for a long time but only managed to know the names or meet via screens. That has also allowed the teams to understand their teammates on another level.
After the company trips, we can easily notice a friendly and supporting atmosphere among teams. Any issues and misunderstandings could be dealt with more effectively and constructively while the video conference always starts with some general chit chat. These foundations are now valuable in our pursuit of team collaboration culture across all ASW offices.