Communications in a Global Economy

It is a significant challenge for all organizations today. The world has become smaller and more interdependent than ever before. This means that the way we communicate with each other has changed dramatically. It also means that our communications must adapt to these changes. In this post, you will learn how to identify the most critical issues when communicating in a global environment and overcome some of the obstacles that can arise.

Communicating across Different Time Zones

One of the most prominent problems organizations face today is the fact that they are operating in different time zones. For example, if you work in New York and your customer base is in California, you may work very late at night. However, when you compare this to someone who works in California and is based in London, there could be significant differences.

When you consider that many companies now operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it becomes even more apparent that employees need to be flexible and willing to adjust their schedules to accommodate others.

As such, everyone must understand how to deal with the challenges posed by different time zones.

Cultural Competence

Another issue that arises as a result of globalization is cultural diversity. There are many different cultures within the world, which means that communication between people from other countries can often be tricky. For example, in the United States, it is common to say “you’re fired!” to mean that an employee has been dismissed.  In the United Kingdom and much of Europe, most people are employed through indefinite contracts—meaning they cannot be dismissed without cause.

This is just one example of the range of cultural differences around the world. Therefore, any organization that operates globally must make sure that its staff understands what is acceptable behaviour in different parts of the world.

Language and Terminology

A third problem that can arise when communicating globally is the language. Many businesses have found that simply translating documents into another language does not always make sense. For example, in many cases, the translation process itself can cause misunderstandings.

Every company must ensure that its employees understand the meaning behind specific terms.

Technology

Finally, technology plays an increasingly important role in the modern business world. With the increasing number of mobile devices available, it is becoming easier than ever before to access information from almost anywhere.

As such, any organization must provide the necessary training to enable its staff to use new technologies effectively. Two commonly used approaches for global communication are video conferencing and emails. Video conferencing allows for real-time interaction between participants. In other words, all parties involved will see each other simultaneously. On the other hand, email allows for asynchronous communication.

The choice between these two methods depends mainly on the specific task or the goal. If the goal is to communicate quickly, video conferencing should be used. If, however, the need is to send out detailed instructions, then email is preferable.

Business Practices

It should also be noted that some practices which were once commonplace in the Western world are no longer so standard in other parts of the world. Therefore, all organizations must make efforts to adapt their practices to suit local customs.

Conclusion

Although some issues may be associated with operating a business globally, they are undoubtedly manageable if suitable measures are taken. The critical thing to remember is that globalization is here to stay, so companies must take steps to ensure that they are prepared for the future.