It’s hard to argue with the statement that cultural particularities play an important role in building effective communication between you and your remote Dedicated Development Team.
Some behavior patterns that seem normal to you in your country can be very different from those applied in the CEE region. To help you understand what to expect from your Eastern European colleagues and comprehend the mysterious Slavic soul, below we present a shortlist of interesting features.
👋 Answering the “How’re you” question
Expectation: Great, how are you?
Reality: Be ready to hear a colorful, comprehensive answer. And yes, lend your ears for a while.
Greetings “How do you do?”, “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” are perceived as an actual request for information about well-being, not just as an act of politeness. Usually you will not get answers like “Fine”, “Great”, or “Very well, thank you”. You will hear a story about what’s actually happening in the person’s life or what’s bothering them.
😀 Smiling to passers-by
Expectation: Smile to the world, and the world will smile back at you.
Reality: Don’t smile to strangers if you don’t want to look stupid.
Smiles are not meant for strangers. This does not mean that person is in a bad spirit, rude, unfriendly or doesn’t like you. It’s just that smiles are stocked up in abundance for close people such as relatives and friends. By the way, if you are smiling too much, this can be perceived as a sign of insincerity. However, you will notice that gradually your remote software developers will become more open with you and smile more.
Expectation: A firm handshake with a man or woman.
Reality: Shake that hand, man!
This point is the closest to meet your expectations. Handshakes are a norm between men, while it’s good to wait for a woman to offer a handshake first. For men although it is expected in business situations to shake hands at social events. Greetings like “Hello” or “How are you?” or even just “Hi” are not used without a handshake. Also, for men it is expected to shake hands upon leaving.
☝ Giving advice
Expectation: I know what to do.
Reality: Your remote team will always be happy to give advice. So be ready for a couple of good recommendations.
Your remote IT team will be sure to seize every possible chance to provide you with a comment or practical advice as to which technologies are better to use or how to implement a certain feature better. By giving such tips, your dedicated team is expressing genuine care and concern. Truly, they feel a sincere desire to bring the project to perfection. Note that some of these tips can help you streamline your project. Your software engineers will always give you honest and open feedback if you ask them.
🎄 Christmas and New Year celebrations
Expectations: Greet everyone on Christmas and get well-deserved rest.
Reality: Greet your remote software development team on New Year’s Eve Day and be ready for their January vacations.
New Year’s Eve remains the biggest winter holiday. It is widely celebrated and a lot of presents are exchanged during this festive time. Christmas is celebrated too, but for many it has less importance than New Year. Vacation time also falls after January 31st, not the week after Christmas.
🏡 Visiting your colleagues’ homes
Expectation: We’ll have some snacks and chat.
Reality: Are they millionaires to organize that dinner?
Generally residents of CEE region are very hospitable. So will be your developers or Outstaffing partner from Ukraine, Belarus or Russia. They will be pleased to invite you to visit and introduce you to their family. If you linger, you are likely to get an invitation to stay overnight, so that you don’t have to go to the hotel in the middle of the night.
🎁 Please note! Your host will surprise you with substantial meals and multiple courses. That’s why coming to visit without a gift is mauvais ton.
If someone from your Eastern European team invited you to visit, it is necessary to bring a small gift for the hosts. This can be anything from a box of chocolates, and/or flowers (odd number only) to a bottle of wine. Arriving empty-handed is not acceptable and considered as utmost bad manners.
✈ Leaving the house before the trip
Expectations: Off we go, the taxi is waiting!
Reality: Give it a minute. To think and reflect on the trip.
Before setting off on a journey, or even a short trip, be sure to sit down for a few seconds when visiting your remote dedicated developers. That is what they believe will help you calm down and give a moment of tranquility in the mess of packing and getting ready.
To sum it up
If you’re working with IT resources in Eastern Europe, it’s necessary to align your expectations, communicate and develop understanding with your remote software developers. This is especially the case when you use the Outstaffing model of software development, where you’ll surely need to foster relationships with your virtual software development team. This will help you work with maximum productivity and integrate your virtual team with your in-house team seamlessly.