How to build a team of freelancers who live in different countries than yours

The possibility of working with a team comprising freelancers proves increasingly attractive for businessmen and entrepreneurs.  

Mainly, because this mode provides the chance of meeting goals through the contribution of different talents focused on the same project.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of working with freelancers. To this end, we will mention a study conducted by Stanford Business School reflecting the outcomes of an experiment performed with customer service employees in China.

Among other results, the research showed that working home-based increased target-oriented behaviour in employees. The survey sample showed a 13% improvement in performance, both in the number of daily working hours and a 4% more of calls within that period.

Also, workers referred higher satisfaction levels since they were able to keep better focused and had fewer leaves when tending towards compliance with objectives.  

This survey is an excellent endorsement for you as an entrepreneur, allowing you to grasp some of the resources and benefits deriving from working with home-based people. And, in this particular case, we are referring to one of the most robust economies in the world –China.

At the same time, Freelance Union website has dared to predict the freelancers’ sector behaviour in the United States, ranked as the number one economy by the International Monetary Fund, according to what has been quoted by Diario Gestión.

In the poll mentioned above, it is estimated that the bulk of the American population will be freelancer by the year 2027. This entails this market presence will be expanding, and that every day more and more companies and projects will change their mindsets in which regards work, migrating to home-based professionals.  

Therefore, it is essential that you consider starting to assembly an available qualified staff team, working mainly from home and able to offer higher performance while counting with the benefits working from a familiar workplace environment provides.

As a matter of fact, InfoJobs home page illustrates some of the reasons why working with freelancers proves beneficial as an entrepreneur, highlighting labour cost reduction, a broader vision in projects, motivation and more time availability to look after your requirements.  

This is why Workana has become one of the largest platforms in Latin America registering hundreds of freelancers with high-quality standards and willing to turn your venture real.  

Just as you can rely on the platform and grasp the enormous benefits derived from assembling a tailored team, you must know some challenges you will have to face. Among them, the distance marked between each of the team members and the need of unifying criteria.

Working with inter-cultural teams: A challenge to undertake

Ricardo Fernández described quite well the journey someone is embarked on when he opts for remote teams, where we intertwine with many cultures.

Nowadays, Ricardo works as a Marketing and Sales Manager at Prodigy Finance, while developing consultant services for different firms and start-ups, primarily focused on innovation, strategic plans, competitive analysis and remote team work-mode.

His current position has led him to work with many professionals around the world in different time zones. Thus, his last professional years’ experience main centre has been coping with multi-field teams based on varying latitudes.  

In a TED talk in Barcelona, he told about his experience as entrepreneur and remote leader of a team of professionals formed by more than twenty people, accounting for 10 different kinds of culture, time zones and, of course, standpoints.

Part of his past experience conclusions sums up quite satisfactorily how successful it has proved to him working home-based and counting with a global vision for his business, in which every collaborator cultural footprint empowers the project.   

At the same time, he lists some of the biggest challenges which are precisely benefits, namely, the lack of real contact, ruled by time zones, technological tools and, indeed, communicational barriers.  

Though it may seem difficult to picture this at our present time, Ricardo speaks about the undeniable differences splitting us, when it comes to interpreting the messages we receive from the environment and carrying out them, even though we communicate in the same language.  

Making a success out of his ventures is mostly due to his becoming familiar with the culture of those people he has set an alliance with, not to mention some tumbles and the support of some bibliography he vastly recommends, such as a book by author Erin Meyer, The Culture Map.

At the same time, he addresses one of the hardest difficulties and often, one of the most controversial facts of remote work: missing the opportunity of connecting to each other from time to time, apart from the challenge of being available at moments and hours demanding physical and emotional defiance.

Considering this as the starting point, we will itemise some of his talk’s best quotations, analysing their impact for remote-team work-mode.

10 inspiring excerpts from TED’s talk about Management of remote intercultural teams

Undoubtedly, Ricardo Fernández sketches quite well the great adventure posed by working home-based while relying on remote teams spread all over the planet, which is quite common when deciding to assemble a group of freelancers.

Keeping this in mind, we will list the best ten statements of the talk, to analyse his best pieces of advice supported by his leadership experience.  

1.With just a few steps, in less than five seconds I am at work.

One of the key benefits of working home-based and remote-teams is the possibility of starting the working day without having to move about much, starting quickly and with many conveniences.  

2. 30 different people from 10 diverse nations spread all over the world, unendingly speaking

Ricardo helps us catch a glimpse of one of the biggest challenges he faces as an entrepreneur, shared by all projects under this mode: the more extensive and more varied the team is, the bigger your demand will be and, indeed, the day will start in a quite hectic way.

3. The different cultural interpretation given to each event occurred in the workplace environment

Ricardo focuses precisely in the greatest challenge to overcome, namely, achieving assertive communication, understanding that each message and work moment is connoted differently depending on each team member and his cultural background.

4. People demand flexibility, they want to be given the opportunity to choose when to work, and they want that right now.

The success of remote-work and freelance teams depends mostly on the need of millennial people to manage their own time better and to reach economic growth without sacrificing personal goals.  

5. The truth is, they spend much more hours working and as a matter of fact, they work late at night, but they love the flexibility this mode provides during the day

One of the most attractive aspects of freelancers and of you as an entrepreneur is the ability to manage your project according to an objective and not depending on the time devoted to work.   

6. The cultural differences may result in misunderstandings

Most of our communication, especially when we are to expose business ideas and entrepreneurial projects, depends on the interpretation given to messages based on prior personal knowledge.

Therefore, as an entrepreneur, culture enables you to give meaning to your ideas and allows your team to grasp the sense of your thoughts and moreover, even theirs’. In cultural crossings, we are presented to different views of the same fact.  

Nevertheless, this situation is not an impossible task: taking cultural differences under consideration proves essential. Taking some time to become familiar with the context of what is being exposed in each country will avoid the issue to escalate higher. Remember that working with remote teams is all about patience and understanding.   

7. Even though sharing a common language –namely, English-, problems continue to arise due to a lack of context.

While working remotely and with a freelance team we lack for the constant contact happening at an office throughout a fixed schedule, and we do not have a clear context in which to develop the projects.

Therefore, it is necessary to create a context through exact instructions, enabling to reduce communicational misunderstandings as much as possible.  

8. Common areas of work provide the chance of gathering with other people and thus, while being inspired, inspiring others.

For Ricardo, one of the most critical aspects is loneliness deriving precisely from the lack of context at work. To this regards, his advice is to search for areas of work in common, such as coffee-shops or facilities designed for this specific purpose.  

There you will be not only accompanied, but you will also have the chance of sharing the workplace with professionals from different areas, who will inspire your work while they are enriched by your experience, empowering mutually.

9. Remote work is the future, but you need a physical presence at least twice a year.

One of the most complicated points of working in this era is accepting the fact that technology has not been able to defeat the success of physical contact when it comes to generating empathy. That is why it is a must, to manage your team successfully, to have the chance to connect with them at least twice a year.  

10. Sometimes, waking up far from your work allies is not that bad

Finally, Ricardo cherishes the most essential value of working with freelancers in a remote mode. It is the possibility of continuing with your other dreams realisation, sharing your life with your dearest, escalating in the labour world and broadening your ideas’ horizons to achieve an increasingly solid business.

Embarking on the adventure of working with a remote team can turn into one of the most productive labour experiences in life. It will provide an opportunity to give your business a vaster vision. But above all, you will become more mature as an individual.

To achieve this successfully, you must open your horizons and prepare to embark on a journey on which you are to gain knowledge, not only of your business but also of your team and their members’ cultures to cross cultural barriers. Once this is done, you will have achieved the best team among all.  

For this and even more, dare to create your own team of freelancers, with the support Workana provides, offering you a wide variety of professionals at your disposal.

Subscribe to the Workana newsletter and keep updated