The Art of Having Teams on Different Continents

In the ever-evolving landscape of global collaboration, the challenges and triumphs faced by teams working across continents reveal the true human experience behind the scenes. At Qilin.Cloud, our journey is not just about showcasing success, it is about embracing the struggles with all its ups and downs, acknowledging mistakes, and finding innovative solutions. This blog post delves into the authentic experiences of our team members, exploring the challenges faced, the lessons learned, and the strength gained from working in a multicultural environment.

Welcome, everyone! Let us embark on a journey of discovery and unravel the intricacies of working in international teams. Join us as we explore the art of having teams on different continents, and learning from seasoned experts at Qilin.Cloud, who have navigated the complexities of collaboration between continents.

Cultural Misunderstandings: Embracing Differences

Each culture has its own unique set of values, norms, and communication patterns. When working with team members from diverse backgrounds, it is crucial to be mindful of these cultural differences to avoid misinterpretations and foster mutual respect.

Working across continents brings both excitement and challenges. Tho Duong, Head of Business Unit at NFQ, shared his experience where cultural differences impacted project dynamics. He managed a team of Vietnamese and German engineers initially smoothly, but the project encountered cultural differences and expectations misalignment during discussions. He emphasizes the need for proactive measures such as hosting events like team canvases and retrospectives to foster transparency and honest feedback. We also encourage team members to learn about each other’s cultures to foster mutual respect and understanding. This not only bridged cultural gaps and promoted empathy but also aligned expectations and significantly improved collaboration.

Regarding this issue, Marvin Zimmerman from the BOD at Qilin.Cloud, also shared that cultural differences can lead to diverse problem-solving approaches. He emphasizes the significance of understanding varied communication styles. While some cultures prefer direct confrontation, others opt for indirect resolution. Face-to-face interactions and regular in-person meetings, he suggests, play a crucial role in bridging these gaps and fostering a deeper understanding among team members.

Communication Challenges Across Continents

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful team. Therefore, one of the most significant hurdles in managing global teams is overcoming communication barriers. The physical distance and time zone disparities can make real-time collaboration challenging, leading to misunderstandings and delays.

Marvin shed light on the communication obstacles inherent in global collaboration. Without sharing the same office space for direct communication, immediate problem-solving becomes a challenge. Despite these hurdles, Marvin advocates for effective planning to manage and mitigate issues. The key, he suggests, lies in acknowledging the limitations of remote collaboration and working with a well-thought-out schedule.

Join the Crowd, Start disrupting e-Commerce, Become a Qilin, Do the Extraordinary – there are a lot of terms, but only one decision:


Start your career at Qilin.Cloud

Navigating Language Barriers and Local Challenges

Projects do not always go as planned, especially when geographical separation is involved. In a candid recount, Man Tran, Project Manager at Qilin.Cloud shared the intricacies of managing a project involving teams from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Language barriers and payment complexities posed significant hurdles. The lesson learned – do not shoulder all responsibilities. Seeking external expertise for specific challenges and delegating tasks to project coordinators who can handle specific aspects more efficiently. This experience highlights the importance of adapting strategies to navigate each unique collaboration.

Technical Challenges: Adapting to the Ever-Changing Landscape

The ever-evolving technological landscape can pose challenges for global teams, as different teams may utilize different tools and platforms. Aligning visions and responsibilities across management levels poses its set of difficulties.

At Qilin.Cloud, we tackle this challenge by integrating various tools into our workflow. Platforms like Slack and Google Meet serve as our primary communication channels, enabling real-time discussions and quick updates. For project management and collaboration, we rely on Azure DevOps, ensuring streamlined workflows and efficient task allocation. Tools like Miro enhance our collaborative efforts by providing a digital whiteboard for brainstorming sessions. In terms of communication with our Qilin.Cloud developer community, we leverage GitHub to engage in discussions. Moreover, assists in managing team schedules and leaves effectively. By embracing a suite of cloud-based tools and encouraging adaptability, we fortify our team against the ever-changing technological landscape, staying agile and innovative in our approach. Additionally, we are always open to team suggestions to find the most effective solutions, ensuring that our team remains at the forefront of innovation.

Supporting Overwhelmed Team Members: A Holistic Approach

In the dynamic world of global collaboration, the challenges of working with teams spread across different continents are vast and varied. Managing a global team requires more than just technical expertise, it demands empathy, understanding, and a willingness to go the extra mile. When teams face overwhelming workloads, the impact on mental health extends beyond professional spheres. Building strong team bonds can be difficult when team members are not physically together.

We advocate for treating team members like family, organizing team-bonding activities, virtual coffee chats, encouraging breaks and open discussions to foster a familial atmosphere, which become integral aspects of our strategy. We do not just proclaim our successes but openly discuss the ongoing effort to support our team through the challenges. It is not just about delivering projects; it is about nurturing a supportive family-like environment.

Unveiling the Unresolved Challenge

Embarking on the journey of international collaboration, we encountered challenges that were both expected and entirely unforeseen. In the spirit of honesty, we confess that we are still navigating and seeking innovative ways to overcome this ongoing challenge.

The unresolved challenges faced by the team encompass diverse aspects, each presenting its unique set of complexities. The first prominent issue revolves around the lack of face-to-face interaction, despite concerted efforts to establish cohesive activities. The absence of in-person connection proves to be a substantial hurdle, as non-verbal cues and facial expressions, pivotal in effective communication, become challenging to interpret. Misinterpretations can easily arise, and the nuanced understanding of team morale and engagement becomes more elusive. The challenge is exacerbated by the remote working environment, where the proximity and daily interactions in an office setting are replaced by virtual encounters.

The other challenge delves into the technical intricacies of constant software and platform development. Despite a collaborative approach open to team suggestions, achieving unanimous agreement on effective solutions remains elusive. The team invests significant effort into addressing new issues, organizing meetings and brainstorming sessions to explore diverse approaches. However, the acknowledgment prevails that not all challenges can be promptly resolved.

Regarding challenges related to situations where immediate solutions cannot be found, Man Tran has new perspectives. In such instances, a pragmatic strategy is adopted, focusing on minimizing the impact of the challenge rather than fixating on an elusive resolution. This adaptive approach aligns with the overarching objective of reducing losses stemming from unresolved challenges and finding alternative measures to address their impact effectively.

This perspective can be illustrated by a scenario in which your body lacks essential nutrients despite your best efforts, and there seems to be no immediate solution to address it comprehensively. In such a situation, a practical solution could be to use vitamin supplements to ensure that the body receives the necessary nutrients. While not addressing the root cause of the problem entirely, this approach helps minimize the negative impact on the body’s health and productivity.

This is analogous to a work environment where, when a challenge cannot be immediately resolved, the team may seek supplementary measures and minimize the negative effects rather than solely focusing on a comprehensive resolution to the problem. As the Qilin.Cloud team grapples with this, solutions are elusive, reminding us that not every challenge has a neatly tied bow.

Embrace the Journey: Lessons Learned and Advice

Navigating the complexities of global teams has been a journey of continuous learning and adaptation. Along the way, we have discovered invaluable lessons that can guide others embarking on similar paths. In their parting words, both Tho and Marvin share valuable advice for teams engaged in global collaboration. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Emphasize team alignment: Understand each member’s background, expectations, and goals to foster a cohesive unit.
  • Encourage patience, empathy, and emotional investment: Building trust and rapport takes time and effort.
  • Actively seek opportunities to work with teams from different continents: Embrace the learning experiences that come with cultural diversity, try new approaches, and learn from one another.
  • Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth: View obstacles as catalysts for innovation and improvement.
  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures: Recognize achievements and approach setbacks with a growth mindset.

In summary – have the same goal, try, fail, learn, and succeed together.

Conclusion: A Symphony of Imperfection

As we wrap up this insightful exploration into the challenges and victories of having teams on different continents, the message is clear – working across borders is not always smooth, but it is an enriching experience. We encourage others to embrace the art of global collaboration and discover the transformative power of working together across continents and cultures. Authenticity lies in acknowledging the struggles, sharing the lessons learned, and growing together. Qilin.Cloud’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement shines through in the candid narratives of our guests about the challenges, mistakes, and raw truth of navigating the complexities of global collaboration.

In concluding this narrative, the art of having teams on different continents is not a flawless masterpiece but a symphony of imperfection. The journey is arduous, but within the imperfections lies a unique and powerful story of growth, resilience, and the art of collaboration. This narrative is not about self-adulation, it is a testament to our shared humanity, where challenges are the threads that weave our story, making us stronger and more resilient with each passing day.

Closing Words

A big thank you to Tho Duong, Marvin Zimmerman and Man Tran for sharing their valuable insights. Their experiences provide a real and unfiltered look into the intricacies of global teamwork. At Qilin.Cloud, we embrace challenges, learn from setbacks, and continuously strive to improve. Join us on this journey of collaboration, where the strength lies not just in success but in genuine efforts to overcome challenges together. See you soon!

Written by Nhi Ngo

Nhi has joined the Qilin.Cloud MYT team as a fresher in 2023. She always pays a lot of attention to the team spirit and has a passion for applying her creativity in content creation and her specialized work at Qilin.Cloud.
December 4, 2023


What to read next

Ready for the leverage?

Choose the Qilin.Cloud technology platform for your business now.