This article was written by Ana Tomašić, Head of People & Culture at Balkan Brothers — a full-service creative agency and veteran Dribbble community member. Thanks to Balkan Brothers for sponsoring this blog post!
As the world increasingly becomes more connected, companies look for ways to tap into new markets and expand their customer base. One way they’re doing this is by becoming more diverse in their workforce. There are many benefits to having a workforce representing different cultures and backgrounds. It can also lead to more creativity and innovative thinking, as employees with different perspectives can bring new ideas to the table.
Remote work has become more prevalent in recent years, allowing employees to work from anywhere in the world. This gives companies access to a larger pool of talent, including those from underrepresented groups who may not be able or willing to relocate.
At Balkan Brothers, we’ve been doing this for over a decade. We’re proud to have brought together a community of international creatives even before the term “remote work” became what it’s today. (Yes, before it was cool.) Our coworkers all over the globe keep changing their addresses, and we couldn’t be happier. But how does multiculturalism affect our daily work, and more importantly — how does it affect our people?
Whistling different tunes… in tune
We all have different backgrounds. Our unique cultures shape us and are the reason we hold certain beliefs. They influence our behavior more than we realize and give us our identity.
Nevertheless, an attitude of tolerance, togetherness, and acceptance is an attitude we as a collective must agree upon and, as such, presents a filter for all future hires. This is a place where everyone has the same rights and opportunities.
Multiculturalism offers many benefits for workers, whether from different socio-ethnic groups or countries. Here are five of them:
1. The freedom to hire the best talent, wherever they are
We’ve always been about being creative, using our skills, and working effectively with all the talent at our disposal. From day one, it allowed us to hire anywhere in the world. Our diversity and the experience of working with other like-minded but differently experienced people make potential coworkers curious and willing to get to know us better.
2. More diversity = more ideas = more creativity
Hiring diverse people is not enough. It’s critical to create a framework where people can flourish and find creative solutions to problems and approaches to our ever-changing project needs. That’s why we encourage open dialogs and discussions because they’re crucial for us to constantly innovate
3. Personal growth
Working with someone from a different culture provides an opportunity to learn and develop our skills and talents. In this way, we can better understand other people’s ideas, backgrounds, and experiences that led them there.
More specifically, it’s an opportunity to take a global perspective, improve problem-solving skills through exposure to other views, enhance communication and analytical skills, and, most importantly, advance one’s career in new and exciting fields.
4. Multiculturalism builds trust, respect, and commitment
By encouraging knowledge sharing and mentoring on the one hand and allowing newcomers to introduce us to their culture and background on the other, we engage our employees in healthy dialog and show them how to accept different points of view.
Initiatives like these create a sense of teamwork in the workplace. By sharing personal experiences, our employees make direct connections and build trusting relationships with their teammates. This is more important in remote work than in any other working environment.
By showing mutual respect for different colleagues, we build commitment and trust among our employees, which promotes personal motivation and collaboration. Our coworkers feel valued for their skills and achievements, regardless of their backgrounds. Overall, people tend to be more productive when valued and feel respected and listened to, and their contribution is appreciated.
5. Multiculturalism makes us better in every respect, and customers notice it
A diverse workforce brings a unique global perspective to our clients’ businesses. Through their varied international experiences and cross-cultural awareness, our employees bring a wide range of skills to the table. Only companies with a truly global perspective can make a difference and gain a competitive advantage.
There are many cases where we feel the charm of people from different countries. Here are just a few examples.
It was so surprising and beautiful to see that we have a Brand Team Lead and a Junior Brand Designer leaving each other feedback in Spanish. Something completely unexpected and lovely to see, as it shows how far we’ve evolved as an agency.
During product discovery for IMMO Capital, we had to conduct user interviews in German because IMMO was testing its idea in Hamburg. Fortunately, we had Galya, almost a native German speaker, doing the initial UX research and moderating user interviews to gain insights that would usually have been out of reach for us.
In the end, it’s pretty straightforward — by promoting diversity in the workplace, companies can not only improve their bottom line but also positively impact society. We’re proud that our remote journey continues and improves us daily. And who knows who we get to work with next!
About us: BB Agency is excited to celebrate 10 years of (remote) work! There are over 40 of us from 15 countries with more than 500 completed projects. We help businesses by creating design systems, building brand identities, and developing websites that convert and create change. Our remote work experience brings together incredible talent from around the world.