Digital Crew on cross cultural crisis management
In this episode, we catch up Ophenia Liang from Digital Crew who are a cross cultural marketing agency with offices in China, India, the United States and Australia. Ophenia shares what happens when your offshore interests are capsized by a global pandemic and how to stay connected when borders are closed, flights are grounded, and people are more distant than ever.
Listen for tips about ramping up engagement with your customers and team, recalibrating what you can offer, and then delivering on it.
It wasn't much of an adjustment for the team at Digital Crew when countries began going into lockdown. Ophenia said of the transition: "The team are used to working this way and everyone's on laptops, so there's no problem with working from home at all.
"But we do miss the face to face collaboration with the team and clients as well. So even though remote working or video conferencing is a big part of our business, our business is still about people, so we do miss the human interaction face-to-face."
"It's the human touch," Ophenia continues.
"Because we come from very different cultures and we're in different time zone, so sometimes even though written communication could be very clear, it could still cause miscommunication, it could still [get] lost in translation.
"If we increase the frequency of video conferencing, it's not just a call, but you see someone's face and you start relating and connecting to them better and the collaboration is much better. And it decreases a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding."
We know a lot of businesses are struggling with revenue right now and one way they're managing is by standing down employees. This wasn't an option for Ophenia and Digital Crew, they wanted to offer flexibility instead.
"From day one, we know our objective is to get through this pandemic, this situation with the whole crew. So we did not lay off any staff," she said.
"However, our workflow has changed. So we offer them different work arrangements, for example, at a part-time base or at a lower base of work capacity. So we give them the options and they have been taking all those options actually greatly. They understand because we communicate why to them, why did we do this? Why do we have to do this?
"We didn't even lower their salary, we give them options and they have been very responsive and understanding."