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Bridging cultures

af nov 27, 2019it-outsourcing

As a Danish Cross-Cultural student in an IT-outsourcing company in Cairo, I often get the questions “What on earth are you doing there”?

Being a Danish company in Cairo and having clients from all over the world, cultural aspects are important to work continually with. Therefore, I became part of CrossWorkers to get an insight into the company´s culture as well as learn more about how they manage to work successfully across borders.

Walking around the office you will not find an entirely Danish nor Egyptian office. You will experience a mix of cultures. For example, the names of meeting rooms being a mix of Danish and Egyptian cities. You will also hear a mix of English, Arabic, some Danish and maybe even a bit of German or French sometimes.

It is impossible to figure out when Egyptians eat lunch and most probably you will be offered food more than once during the day. Because a thing about food in Egypt is, that it comes in big sizes and that saying “no” to it is not really an option. I am not only stressing this to justify the fact that I have gained 2 kg after moving to Egypt but because it is one of many examples of how I everyday experience the openness and generosity of my colleagues.
During my internship I have come to know Egyptians as very open, welcoming and curious. They are curious about Denmark, and Europe in general, and interested in sharing their opinions, thoughts and of course their food.

Not knowing the lunch time is certainly not the only challenge that will occur when working across borders and with many different cultures. So how to work and navigate with all these different ways of doing, seeing and communicating things? It does not seem like an easy job! And yet, CrossWorkers makes it work every day. Their role is basically to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation between the employees and the overseas clients. Having in-depth knowledge about Danish and European culture as well as Egyptian, CrossWorkers is able to function as cultural translators of both employees and clients.
The cultural translation already starts in recruitment. They are trained in handling the cultural differences and knows exactly what the clients are searching for. Thereafter, the new employees are introduced to Danish and European cultures as well as CrossWorkers values to make sure that the collaboration is smooth and beneficial for all parties.
However, in CrossWorkers it is not just about imposing a Danish culture on an Egyptian workplace. It is about bridging between different countries and ways of doing things. About learning and consent development in order do find the best possible way. Therefore, the foundation for CrossWorkers´ success, as I see it, becomes communication and a cultural understanding together with a mutual respect between management, employees and clients.

With the generosity, care and skills of Egyptians merged with a general Danish way of doing business, at CrossWorkers you are getting, as cheesy as it sounds, the best of both worlds.

 

About Amalie Lykke Rasmussen:
Second year master´s degree student of Cross-Cultural studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has obtained a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies with Arabic language from the University of Copenhagen in summer 2018. During her studies, and previous work experience, she has had a main focus on cross-cultural communication and cultural differences in business and society. Both academically and personally she has a special interest in the MENA-region where she has both studied and traveled. Currently, she is an academic intern at CrossWorkers in Cairo. 

 

Bridging cultures

af nov 27, 2019it-outsourcing

As a Danish Cross-Cultural student in an IT-outsourcing company in Cairo, I often get the questions “What on earth are you doing there”?

Being a Danish company in Cairo and having clients from all over the world, cultural aspects are important to work continually with. Therefore, I became part of CrossWorkers to get an insight into the company´s culture as well as learn more about how they manage to work successfully across borders.

Walking around the office you will not find an entirely Danish nor Egyptian office. You will experience a mix of cultures. For example, the names of meeting rooms being a mix of Danish and Egyptian cities. You will also hear a mix of English, Arabic, some Danish and maybe even a bit of German or French sometimes.

It is impossible to figure out when Egyptians eat lunch and most probably you will be offered food more than once during the day. Because a thing about food in Egypt is, that it comes in big sizes and that saying “no” to it is not really an option. I am not only stressing this to justify the fact that I have gained 2 kg after moving to Egypt but because it is one of many examples of how I everyday experience the openness and generosity of my colleagues.
During my internship I have come to know Egyptians as very open, welcoming and curious. They are curious about Denmark, and Europe in general, and interested in sharing their opinions, thoughts and of course their food.

Not knowing the lunch time is certainly not the only challenge that will occur when working across borders and with many different cultures. So how to work and navigate with all these different ways of doing, seeing and communicating things? It does not seem like an easy job! And yet, CrossWorkers makes it work every day. Their role is basically to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation between the employees and the overseas clients. Having in-depth knowledge about Danish and European culture as well as Egyptian, CrossWorkers is able to function as cultural translators of both employees and clients.
The cultural translation already starts in recruitment. They are trained in handling the cultural differences and knows exactly what the clients are searching for. Thereafter, the new employees are introduced to Danish and European cultures as well as CrossWorkers values to make sure that the collaboration is smooth and beneficial for all parties.
However, in CrossWorkers it is not just about imposing a Danish culture on an Egyptian workplace. It is about bridging between different countries and ways of doing things. About learning and consent development in order do find the best possible way. Therefore, the foundation for CrossWorkers´ success, as I see it, becomes communication and a cultural understanding together with a mutual respect between management, employees and clients.

With the generosity, care and skills of Egyptians merged with a general Danish way of doing business, at CrossWorkers you are getting, as cheesy as it sounds, the best of both worlds.

 

About Amalie Lykke Rasmussen:
Second year master´s degree student of Cross-Cultural studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has obtained a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies with Arabic language from the University of Copenhagen in summer 2018. During her studies, and previous work experience, she has had a main focus on cross-cultural communication and cultural differences in business and society. Both academically and personally she has a special interest in the MENA-region where she has both studied and traveled. Currently, she is an academic intern at CrossWorkers in Cairo. 

70 27 20 40
info@crossworkers.com

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