Working remotely has become increasingly common in recent years, thanks to rapid developments in technology that have paved the way for better communication and collaboration tools. And with globalization, remote work is no longer limited to your home country – it has become commonplace for people to work for overseas companies, whether as freelancers or full-time employees.
While working for companies overseas can be exciting and rewarding, it also comes with unique challenges. In this long-form blog, we’ll explore how to work remotely for companies overseas, including tips on finding international job opportunities, what to expect from remote work cultures abroad, and how to navigate cross-cultural communication.
Finding Remote Job Opportunities Overseas
Finding remote job opportunities overseas can be a bit more challenging than finding jobs within your home country. But thanks to the internet and a global workforce, it’s more possible now than ever.
Job Boards and Websites
The first step is to search for international job listings. Some of the popular job boards are LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. You can filter your search to “remote” jobs or specifically search for international postings.
Networking and Referrals
Networking and referrals are another important aspect of finding international remote work. You can use LinkedIn, join online communities, attend global conferences, or attend events in your local area to expand your network. If you have connections who work for international companies or someone who works remotely for an overseas company, don’t hesitate to ask them about the process and their experience.
Another option is to find work on freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. These platforms allow companies from all over the world to find and hire remote workers. That being said, freelancing platforms can be quite competitive, so you need always to be on the lookout for job listings and respond quickly.
The Interview Process and Preparation
Once you’ve found a remote job opportunity with an overseas company, you’ll need to prepare for the interview process. This process may differ depending on the country in which the company operates, but there are a few things that are generally the same across cultures.
Know the Company
Before any interview, it’s important to research and understand the company’s mission and values, and its product or service. This should not only help you answer specific questions about the company during the interview but also give you a better understanding of the company if you get the job.
Be mindful of cross-cultural differences and practices in the interview process. For example, in some cultures, asking personal questions might be considered invasive, while in others, this information is expected to be shared. Similarly, cultural differences around directness/indirectness in communication, active vs. passive listening, eye contact, dress code, punctuality, and tone can vary.
Time Zone Differences
Work out the time zone differences that you and the employer will be operating in before the interview. Confirm the date and time of your interview, making sure that it’s in your calendar and that you set a reminder.
Expectations for Working with Overseas Companies
There are different expectations when working for companies overseas compared to those in your home country. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Communication and Availability
Communication is key when you work with someone overseas. It’s important to make sure you and your coworkers are always on the same page. This might mean setting up weekly video conferences, using a messaging app, or sending frequent updates on project progress. With different time zones, be mindful of when it’s appropriate to communicate with people and check-in regularly to avoid misunderstandings.
Working hours can vary when working with overseas companies. Some companies might want you to work during their business hours, while others might offer more flexibility in scheduling. Regardless, it’s important to be clear about the hours you’re expected to work and to stick to them as best you can.
Culture and Etiquette
Culture and etiquette can differ across countries, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with your host country’s norms to avoid cultural faux pas. For example, in Japan, it’s polite to bow instead of shaking hands, while in the United States, a firm handshake is customary.
Payment and Compensation
Payment and compensation can be different when working for companies overseas. There can be variations in benefits, wages or taxes, and currency exchange rate. Some companies might prefer to pay in the currency of the country they are based in, which may require further research or investment in transfer fees. Make sure you understand the payment and compensation package before accepting a job.
Cross-cultural communication is crucial when working remotely with overseas companies. Here are a few tips to help make sure you’re doing it right:
When working with overseas companies, language barriers can make communication challenging. If English is not everyone’s primary language, it’s essential to keep conversations simple and clear. Use concrete language wherever possible, avoid idiomatic expressions, and speak slowly.
Being open-minded and non-judgmental in your communication style is critical. Different cultures have different communication styles, and they might interpret your tone or phrasing differently. Before making assumptions, take the time to understand their context.
Respecting cultural differences is important; when you work with someone from another country, make sure to understand their culture and appreciate it. Moreover, respecting your colleagues’ language, accent, and culture is imperative. This means avoiding jokes and stereotypes that could be viewed with suspicion.
Maintain professionalism at all times. It’s important to communicate clearly, respectfully, and professionally. Avoid using emojis, text and email shorthand, and acronyms unless they are universally understood.
Working remotely for overseas companies has its rewards and challenges. Finding international remote job opportunities requires a combination of research and networking, and preparing for interviews can often differ from working with companies within your home country. Once you’re hired, there are several unique considerations to keep in mind, such as communication, time zone differences, working hours, culture, and payment.
But with a little bit of preparation and flexibility, working remotely for companies overseas can be an enriching and fulfilling experience. Utilizing cross-cultural communication skills and building strong relationships with colleagues can make your job much easier and increase your chances of success in remote work.