A multicultural office is not a new concept in western cultures, but in Eastern Europe, it’s a rare sight. That’s why here at 123ContactForm we’re very happy to have such a diverse group of colleagues and we’ve looked carefully at how it influenced our day to day work. Besides Romanians (obviously), we have colleagues from Brazil, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Serbia, USA and a Canadian of Pakistani origins. As you can see, we’re from all over the place.
Having so many cultures in one office is highly beneficial to our team and here’s what we’ve gained from it:
Being culturally aware is not limited to knowing dishes or traditions, it also refers to being exposed to their ideas and points of view, rooted in their culture’s way of making decisions and reflect upon issues. Once this happens, new angles of viewing challenges are formed, affecting everyone’s ability to solve problems, for the better, of course. When a multitude of viewpoints is thrown into the problem-solving mix, new and innovative solutions can be attained.
A SaaS is highly reliant on great customer support to be one of the key differentiations between them and their competition. From this point of view, having more cultures in the same office is a huge advantage because we can speak to customers in their own language and relate to their culture as well. A great perk of the multicultural office.
Having a multicultural office makes employees more likely to practice higher level of toleration, in turn making it more likely for colleagues to cooperate with each other and reach compromise when differences exist. Learning more about other cultures will not only stimulate tolerance, but encourage workers to use that knowledge when doing their jobs. Overall, multiculturalism within the office can build for each employee stronger leadership skills through experience and make them understand the importance of healthy social relationships.
However, all the benefits mentioned above are not easy to reach because it requires a higher level of empathy and understanding, not to mention the ability and willingness to adapt, not only for local employees, but also for the foreign ones coming in.
There will also be perceptual, cultural and language barriers that need to be overcome in order to succeed. Failing to do so will lead to lack of teamwork and low morale. Another aspect to look out for in the workplace with multiple cultures is the “we’ve always done it this way”. Failing to adapt to the workplace environment will make employees less efficient and negatively impact their experience at the job.
We want to find out how multiculturalism has affected your workplace and what were some challenges you faced.