The Challenges of Building a Global Team


Given the current economic climate all over the world, it has become imperative for any company to build a global team. A team that will comprise team players not only from the cities where one has opened the doors of the office but also from far-off places. The diverse work culture and global business expansion demand a global team. But when you have one, it is never a cakewalk.

My Perception Shift for a Global Team

As an entrepreneur hailing from the USA, I always preferred to have a team working from India. Even though, with MSys, we opened an Atlanta office, our headquarters were in Chennai from the beginning. This was a great place to attract the talent pool that was needed for a company like MSys.

With the idea of expansion, we started choosing locations, and Bengaluru seemed to be the next amazing option for us. A thriving city with so much talent and potential, there will be hardly any entrepreneurs who can resist the charm that Bengaluru offers. Soon after, We started our corporate office in Pune too. Over the years, we have opened our doors not only in Atlanta but also in Vietnam and Australia. But for India, most teams remained around the base locations. But things changed with the pandemic.

When COVID hit us hard, all our teams had to retract to the work-from-home model and continued doing so. And then we realised that when our teams are working efficiently and seamlessly from all the remote locations across the country, why don’t we make our recruitment process pan-India and global? As a result of that, now we have team members working from their homes in North East India as well as remote locations in South and North India. Many of our team members are working from abroad seamlessly with their teams.

Benefits of a Global Team

When you are running a global team, it offers you a large number of benefits. That will include the following:

A study conducted by the 20th CEO Survey says that 83% of tech leaders feel that the most difficult part of running a business is the availability of the right talent. When a company is hiring from the global talent pool, there is a higher chance of getting the right people on your team. It will increase efficiency by up to 8% compared to working with the average team.

Office establishment expenses go down quite a bit as a global team does not always work from the same location. From saving on the cost of space to electricity, water, internet, and so on, you can easily save when your team is located in different corners of the world.

A decentralised global team can increase efficiency by working from convenient locations. This will give them more time to invest in work during the scheduled working hours.

Running a global team also increases employee retention in the company. On the one hand, the team can collaborate seamlessly, and on the other, creativity and innovation never stop.

Challenges of Running a Global Team

But while there are so many advantages to running a global team, there are also some challenges. However, that does not mean it is impossible to run one. Now, let’s discuss the challenges and how to overcome them.

Communication Issues

The biggest challenge when you are working with a global team is the lack of communication. A distributed global team has to communicate well for deliberate purposes. Given the advantages of technology and the availability of different platforms for communication, there should not be any difficulty in doing so. So, the most important thing you need to do is set clear communication regulations for your workforce. Choose a platform that allows you to easily share data while also being easy and flexible to ensure internal security. Choose a common language of communication within your organisation to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness. While doing all of these things, make sure that your employees also get the freedom to plan their workday the way they want. The purpose of communication is not just to discuss projects and deliverables. The channels of communication are there to create a bond within your team, to create a great work environment, and to ensure that everyone feels heard and understood.

Dissolving Cultural Barriers

One of the most unique things about global teams is that you work with people from different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. While a team is working together, they need to have a team culture that is collaborative and easy. Building a cohesive team that fosters collaboration and great bonds can become easy when time is invested in team-building exercises. Non-work-related activities and events, relaxing sessions, or even talking once a week apart from work can be great ways to dissolve cultural barriers.

Boosting the Productivity of the Teams

When a team is working remotely, productivity during the day often becomes a detrimental factor in performance. If the managers keep bombarding the team members with questions regarding the progress of the project throughout the entire day, then it will become micromanaging and create an unhealthy work environment. That is why tools like Jira can be implemented to track the progress of the project or address deadlocks. With daily scrum meetings and staff meetings between teams, it can be determined how the team is collaborating and what challenges they are facing so that they can be resolved quickly.

Keeping Transparency

Maintaining transparency in the team is of utmost importance. Teams should foster a sense of community. That is why creating a team dynamic is important. A team should work together like a well-oiled machine where employees complement each other. While managing a team like this, setting clear deadlines, expectations, and milestones is necessary. How each team member is finishing the project should be transparent so that high-quality deliverables can be assured.

A global team can be a great asset for any organisation when it is managed well. So, dealing with the challenges mentioned can make things much easier for the leadership. At the same time, my personal suggestion will be, show empathy. It will help your team offer you the value you are looking for.

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