10 Ways to Adjust in a New Multicultural Workplace
Post on 23-Jan-2017
10 Ways to Adjust in a New Multicultural Workplace
Relocating abroad can be exciting especially if its what youve desired. Now
youve received a letter from your local office nominating you to represent the
company abroad. The role however requires a certain professional skill, exposure
and a high level of competence. You seize the offer with both hands and sign off
on the acknowledgment.
Embedded in the whole sensation of the new experience, you begin to worry about
your coping abilities in a new multicultural environment especially if its your first
offshore assignment. Issues like where to stay, adjusting to new meals, temperature
and time differences, your loved ones begin to becloud your excitementNot to
worry, these relocation tips can help you adjust properly into your new environment
and perform optimally.
1. Do a Research on the New Environment: Research to get familiar with the socio-
ethnic life style of the people youll be interacting with. Times have past where
you get embarrassed by culture shock. Virtually everything you need to know is
available on the internet. Google searching online can go a long way. Look out
for behavioural pattern of the people and simple greeting pattern so you don t
step on toes relating the wrong way. In Italy, you greet relatives and close friends
with two kisses starting from the left, in France; you start from the right with three
or four confirmed by Alessandro Fais in his blog. In Nigeria you greet by shaking
hands in a formal settingIn an informal setting you prostrate for Yoruba
gentlemen and kneel for women. Similar greeting pattern goes for the Igbo and
2. Get a Travel Guide: Search for a travel guide and a map of the country, most
travel guides have maps in them...You can get them at the consulates or tour
guide office when you arrive the country but this is not advisableSurf for these
resources online. Look to get familiar with Land marks, get to know the name of
prominent places. Start with airports most especially the one youll be arriving at.
Get to know seaports if the country is surrounded by water, get to know available
water channels you mustnt cram their names as some sea ports may be
named in a local language you could find difficult to memorise. Look out for
train stations and its connecting routes to cities and towns, this very important in
order to avoid taking routes that are way off your travel path. Along the way you
can pick up names of major cities, hubs and other notable destinations.
3. Get to know the Work Ethics of your New Office Since youve been transferred
from one geographical location to another. Its expected that the code of
conduct and other company policies would be similar. However, if its a new
company, seek to establish relationships with a few staff ahead of time. Ask
questions pertaining to working hours, staff etiquettes and job expectations. Be
tactical to inquire about staff welfare and disciplinary procedures. This would
prepare you ahead on what to expect so you dont look like a novice hiding
your tails between your legs in your new work space.
4. Verify Work Permits Status Ahead of time Before you Leave Most countries are
strict about their immigration control laws and ensure immigrants adhere strictly
to guidelines concerning this. It advisable to sort this out with your local office
before you travel. Some countries like the US insists you must apply for a special
work permit or a A right to work permit for non-US nationals before youre
eligible for employment. Employers who violate these laws are usually
sanctioned. Ensure this is clarified before you leave your country.
5. Sort out Accommodation Concerns: This depends on youYour budget would
determine where youll stay. If your company is responsible for your
accommodation, theres little to worry about. If you are to cater for your staying
expenses, its advisable to get an agent on time to help you look out for an
accommodation options with fair rates. During summer, rents are on a high side
compared to spring and winter. Searching ahead of time in any season or city of
your choice would help keep your budget tidy.
6. Contact your Agent to Confirm Arrangements: A follow up on your
accommodation status and other settling plans would not be a bad idea,
communicate frequently with your agent for updates or for changes where
necessary. Factor in time zone differences to know when to put call through to
your agent. Chatting apps like Whatsapp, Instagram and the likes have simplified
the process at little or no cost.
7. Tighten Loose Ends: As your departure time approaches, reconfirm your flight
date, time, departure terminal to avoid last minute mix-ups. You will have this
information stated on your booking ticket. Check your luggage to ensure it meets
up with the airline policy. Verify any other personal items you may wish to travel
with to ensure it doesnt violate air travel regulatory standards.
8. Get your family Involved in the Planning Process: Family is an integral part of your
life include them in your plans and ask for their help and support in this
relocation process. Share your excitement, concerns or fears with them. Theyll
be glad to support you.
9. Settle Communication Arrangements with your Loved Ones: Make clear
arrangement on how to communicate with your loved ones. In as much as youre
excited, they love you and would surely miss you especially when they know youll
be away for a long time. It even becomes sad when your time zones dont match.
Be sure to plan on how to reach them periodically.
10. Get Yourself Checked Medically Before Leaving your Country: This is equally
important as you may have some unknown micro-organisms resident in your blood
stream. Its important youre checked to eliminate them before you travel. Include
some antibiotics, antimalarial medications in your luggage in case your body reacts
to changes in temperature or the environment.
On arrival, be alert but calm; go through your check-out process. Surely your
settling plans will fall into place. Take time to rest after youve arrived. Show
up on time on your resumption date at work.
By: Chinedu Ozulumba
Author Name: Eddu Oz