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Globalisation is forcing business practices to evolve

By Kace O'Neill | |6 minute read

Aussie workers are collaborating with employees from other countries at a higher rate than ever. As workplaces extend beyond borders, business practices are changing.

A study by Capterra revealed that 60 per cent of Aussie workers collaborate with employees from different countries at least once a month during their job roles. As business practices adapt to the constant enhancements of technology, countries’ borders have increasingly become blurred over the years as globalisation takes effect.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, globalisation means different things to different people, but a key economic dimension of it is undoubtedly the opening up of economies to international competition, allowing goods, ideas, capital and some people to move more freely between countries.

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According to the Capterra survey, 19 per cent of respondents worked with people abroad once a day. More insights showed that 25 per cent of Aussies collaborated with international workers at least once a week, with only 28 per cent revealing that they never do, meaning that 72 per cent of respondents work across international borders.

Over recent decades, Capterra noted that countries have significantly increased imports and exports. In growth economies, the increased exchange of knowledge and technology and increased rates of international cooperation boosted the share of global exports from 34 per cent to 47 per cent and the share of imports from 29 per cent to 42 per cent between 1980 and 2011.

HR Leader recently spoke to Trena Blair, global business expansion expert and founder of FD Global Connections, who has directly experienced the benefits of a globalised workforce. Blair outlined a number of positives that a globalised workforce offers:

Accessing talent: I can tap into a diverse pool of talent from around the world, finding individuals with specialised skills and expertise that may be scarce in my local area.

Cost efficiency: Hiring globally often proves more cost-effective than relying solely on local talent, as I can take advantage of lower labour costs in certain regions.

24/7 operations: With teams spread across different time zones, I can maintain operations around the clock. This “follow-the-sun” strategy increases productivity and capability to deliver projects efficiently and is locally responsive to customer needs.

Cultural diversity: A global workforce brings together individuals from various cultural backgrounds, fostering creativity, innovation, and a broader perspective on problem solving.

International expansion: Having employees with local knowledge and language skills in different regions facilitates market expansion efforts and helps better understand and serve diverse customer bases.

Risk mitigation: Diversifying my workforce across different regions helps mitigate risks associated with geopolitical instability, natural disasters, or other local disruptions.

Flexibility and agility: My global teams can adapt quickly to changes in market conditions, regulatory environments, or technological advancements.

Learning and development opportunities: Employees working in my globalised environment can collaborate with colleagues from different backgrounds, leading to personal and professional growth through knowledge sharing and cross-cultural experiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how paramount an understanding of globalisation is for business leaders, given it has significantly altered the intertwining dynamics of overall business outcomes. Blair stressed the importance of leaders having that knowledge of the globalisation aspects when it comes to business.

“Firstly, while global markets remain accessible, the pandemic has reshaped consumer behaviours, disrupted supply chains, and introduced new regulatory challenges, requiring leaders to adapt swiftly to evolving conditions,” Blair said.

“Secondly, the pandemic has underscored the importance of resilient supply chain management, as disruptions highlighted vulnerabilities and necessitated agile responses to maintain business viability.”

“Thirdly, remote work trends and travel restrictions have impacted talent acquisition and management, prompting leaders to innovate in virtual collaboration and cross-cultural communication. While the crisis initially hindered cross-border collaboration, it also accelerated digital transformation, enabling new forms of global networking and innovation.”

The complexities that have arisen due to the pandemic have required organisations to alter their mindset. Additionally, it has also heightened the awareness of global risks, from health crises to economic volatility, which has reinforced the need for risk management strategies.

Adopting such practices could become a trend, as new technologies and enhancements will only drive the reach of globalisation, especially when businesses are benefiting both economically and culturally from it.

Overall, understanding globalisation could prove it to be crucial for business leaders to navigate the complexities of the global economy, capitalise on opportunities, mitigate risks, and drive sustainable growth and innovation.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.