Tips for Business Communication Around the World in the Wake of Covid 19

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The business world is truly a global village. Most companies have been forced to deploy business communication tools and remote staff augmentation solutions in the wake of Covid 19. Most employees in North America are working remotely or from home this week.

Thanks to a wide variety of new team working applications, as well as old standbys such as email, instant messaging, and video conferencing, people around the world can connect and communicate with each other in real-time. Because of the globalization of the workforce, other communication barriers are breaking down. Most international companies will have people who speak English on staff to help communicate with North American clients. To a lesser extent, North Americans can reciprocate. But there are always translators available for hire when need be.

The main difficulty with international business communication is simply the time difference.

Taking a look at the example below, you can see that the overlap of working hours between countries in Europe is usually not a concern, but when it comes to the working hours between Europe and North or South America, then there are vast time differences, such as seven hours between certain cities in the United States and in Ukraine, and even more of a time difference when dealing with cities in China.

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But there are always effective ways to work around such massive time differences so that they should not be a deterrent when considering working with people in those countries.

Here are some tips for people who opt for outsourcing their work or just have to cooperate with other employees around the globe how to manage the work properly:

Coordinated Meeting Times

While time differences can be daunting, there’s always some time – early morning for one group and late afternoon for another group – that still consists of work hours for both groups.

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For example, let’s focus on the United States and Ukraine.

In the United States, the workforce typically works at least from 7 am to 5 pm. The workforce in Ukraine, depending on the business sector, works the same basic hours.

So, if a company in the United States commissions a software design firm in Ukraine to create a website when ideally could customers and providers have a real-time conversation?

For the sake of argument, let’s say the company in the United States is in Boston. Boston is seven hours behind Kiev. So, when it’s 4:09 pm in Boston, it’s 11:09 pm in Kiev.

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Typically, meetings aren’t going to happen between the two at that hour!

But, when it’s 7 am in Boston, it’s 1 pm in Kiev. So really, a client and a provider can speak in real-time for at least 4 hours, between the windows of 7 am and 11 am in Boston when it’s 1 pm to 5 pm in Kiev.

It is, therefore, a simple matter to arrange to have meetings anytime during this four-hour window when it is necessary to speak to each other in real-time.

There is plenty of software to facilitate face-to-face meetings, such as Skype, Zoom, Viber, Google Hangouts or Portal, as well as video conferencing such as webmeeting.com, gotometting.com, and FreeConferenceCall.com

Effective Emails

At all other times of the day, communicating via email and even instant messaging is always possible. Effective emailing between people requires the same skills, no matter whether the emails are going between staff in different facilities in the same city, or between a client and a provider in different countries. Clear, precise communication is key to ensure that a project moves forward on schedule and on or under budget.

For this reason, it’s important that the client and vendor/provider are always on the same page.

As a matter of fact, it’s usually best to carry on correspondence via email rather than via speech, because with email everything is written down and it is easy to go back and check facts, figures and dates, which is not necessarily the case when people are talking on the phone and taking notes.

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After all, what happens after the end of a telephone conversation? Someone writes up their notes and sends it to the other party via email to ensure that everything that was said in the meeting was understood and that milestones noted down were correct.

Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging is more efficient than email when it comes to client/provider communication, and better than phone calls because, again, everything is written down. There’s no need to transcribe phone calls, the transcription is taking place as you type.

The benefit of Instant Messaging is that it can take place on any device, so as long as people are on a wireless or hard-wired network, they have access to their IMs. Free IM providers include Skype and LinkedIn or even Facebook.

Milestone Communication

When teams or groups of teams from different countries are working together, it’s important that a timeline to finish a project be established and that there is communication for every milestone. Take for example a company in the US that hires a company in Ukraine to create a website for them. A website is one of the business’ most essential tools – not only in representing themselves to their target market but also to sell their products and/or services.

They are losing – or at least not earning – money for every day that the website is not completed. That is not to say that a website must be rushed through – it’s important to have a site completed correctly the first time or it will cost yet more money and downtime to fix it.

But the client is understandably anxious to know the progress of the site on a regular basis, and it’s the responsibility of the website developer to keep in constant touch and report to the client when milestones have been met, or if they’re going to be delayed, and why.

Acknowledge Points of Contact

Typically, when the people working together are client/vendor (as opposed to members of teams collaborating on their own project), there will be one point of contact for the provider, and one for the vendor, and it is these two individuals who will do most, if not all, of the communication between each other. Rest assured that ranged behind or alongside each of these spokespersons are the people doing the actual work. No complex website is created by just one person on the vendor’s end, and on the client’s end, there is always a discussion to ensure that the site will work for all departments that need to use it.

Summary

Thanks to the power of the Internet, there is no longer any real ‘time’ or ‘space’ constraints between people no matter where they are in the world. By using the best technology, and effective communication, clients, and vendors throughout the world can do great things just as easily as if they were working together in the same city.

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If you have been thinking of finding a technological partner locally with an international global delivery model, Midland Digital Solutions has a remarkable experience in managing such cooperation and will ensure smooth web and mobile development even being miles and hours away. Please visit https://midlanddigitalsolutions.com/staff-augmentation-consulting-services-cloud-remote-developers/ or email [email protected] for more information. This article was written by Dr. Chi Uwechue of Midland Digital Solutions.

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Latest News

Strongest first quarter ever: Preliminary results of Deutsche Post DHL Group above market expectations

  • All divisions significantly increased EBIT in first quarter 2021; Group EBIT tripled to around EUR 1.9 billion
  • Free cash flow development continued positive trajectory and improved by more than EUR 1.4 billion to around EUR 1.0 billion
  • CEO Frank Appel: "The start into the new financial year was more dynamic than ever"


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 12 April 2021 - Deutsche Post DHL Group has today released preliminary results for the first quarter of 2021 and has raised the outlook for the current financial year. Preliminary operating profit (EBIT) for the first three months improved to around EUR 1.9 billion (Q1 2020: EUR 592 million). The positive development of the group's businesses seen in the fourth quarter 2020 has continued well through the first quarter 2021. In the first three months of the year the B2C shipment volumes remained high in all networks while the recovery in the B2B business continued.

"The start to the new financial year was more dynamic than ever. It proves that we have successfully geared our business to the right growth drivers. One year into the pandemic we experienced in the first quarter 2021 a sustained momentum in e-commerce and a significant stabilization in global trade with increasing air- and sea-freight volumes. Consequently all divisions reported a significant jump in earnings above market expectations. Global trade continues to recover and vaccine distribution is in full swing which makes me very optimistic for the rest of 2021 and beyond," said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

All divisions optimally positioned for continuing e-commerce boom and growth in global trade

Express: The division reached an EBIT of around EUR 955 million in the first quarter 2021 compared to EUR 393 million in Q1 2020.

Global Forwarding, Freight: EBIT in Global Forwarding, Freight stood at around EUR 215 million in Q1 2021, clearly above previous year's Q1 of EUR 73 million.

Supply Chain: EBIT at Supply Chain came in at around EUR 165 million in the first quarter 2021 compared to EUR 105 million in Q1 2020.

eCommerce Solutions: eCommerce Solutions recorded a first quarter 2021 EBIT of around EUR 115 million, clearly above last year's Q1 result of EUR 6 million.

Post & Parcel Germany: EBIT in Post & Parcel Germany in Q1 2021 was around EUR 555 million (Q1 2020: EUR 334 million).

Earnings momentum mirrored in positive cash flow development and improved outlook


The continued positive business development is underpinned by a strong cash flow development; free cash flow amounted to around EUR 1.0 billion in the first quarter 2021. In Q1 2020 this figure was still negative at EUR -409 million.

In light of the strong earnings momentum, guidance for 2021 is adjusted as follows:

Group EBIT for 2021 is now expected to be significantly above EUR 5.6 billion (previous forecast: more than EUR 5.6 billion). Equally, the result for the DHL divisions is now seen significantly above EUR 4.5 billion (previous forecast: more than EUR 4.5 billion). EBIT for the Post & Parcel Germany division is no longer expected at around EUR 1.6 billion but above EUR 1.6 billion. The expectation of a Group Functions EBIT of around EUR -0.4 billion remains unchanged. Full year 2021 Free Cash Flow is now expected to be significantly above EUR 2.3 billion (previous forecast: around EUR 2.3 billion).

The Group will introduce a revised detailed guidance with the comprehensive disclosure for Q1 2021 which will be published as planned on May 5, 2021.

Deutsche Post DHL Group

Deutsche Post DHL Group is the world's leading logistic company. The Group connects people and markets and is an enabler of global trade. It aspires to be the first choice for customers, employees and investors worldwide. To this end, Deutsche Post DHL Group is focusing on growth in its profitable core logistics businesses and accelerating the digital transformation in all business divisions. The Group contributes to the world through sustainable business practices, corporate citizenship and environmental activities. By the year 2050, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero emissions logistics.


Deutsche Post DHL Group is home to two strong brands: DHL offers a comprehensive range of parcel and international express service, freight transport, and supply chain management services, as well as e-commerce logistics solutions. Deutsche Post is Europe's leading postal and parcel service provider. Deutsche Post DHL Group employs approximately 570,000 people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. The Group generated revenues of more than 66 billion Euros in 2020.


The logistics company for the world.

Tips for Business Communication Around the World in the Wake of Covid 19 - Brand Spur
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