Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Success in Multicultural Teams

by Mohamed Elgharabawy, Head of Composable Technology

At LEVO, we take great pride in the diversity of our team, which spans across continents, from Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, to France, Brazil, Poland, China, Indonesia, and India, among others. In this article, I aim to delve into how LEVO not only celebrates this remarkable diversity but also navigates the challenges and embraces the opportunities it presents.

Time Zones

Navigating different time zones and locations is undoubtedly one of the most significant hurdles we encounter. Coordinating meetings and deadlines across multiple time zones requires meticulous planning and adaptability. However, rather than viewing this as a barrier, we've learned to embrace it as an opportunity to enhance flexibility and efficiency in our communication and project management. We have learned that not everything needs to be a meeting. Encouraging a note-culture can go a long way in eliminating unnecessary meetings and keeps work flowing smoothly. 

Additionally, we've found that allowing team members to start their days early or late to get a better crossover with their teammates enables more productive and easier communication. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for working parents who may need to adjust their schedules to accommodate family responsibilities during the day, ultimately promoting a healthier work-life balance for all team members.


Effective communication lies at the heart of our multicultural team. With team members representing diverse cultural backgrounds and linguistic fluencies, it's essential to be mindful of potential language barriers and communication styles. We've discovered that fostering a culture of open communication, active listening, positive assumptions, and empathy is key to ensuring everyone feels heard and understood. Regular team check-ins, one-on-one meetings, and language exchange initiatives have enabled us to build strong relationships and foster mutual respect within the team.

Moreover, we've leveraged screen recording apps to facilitate handovers between developers, reducing the need for lengthy meetings and ensuring clear and concise communication of project updates. This approach has proved particularly beneficial for team members where English is their second language, allowing them to review instructions at their own pace and refer back to them as needed. Additionally, we place a strong emphasis on ensuring requirements are clear and well-defined before team members start working on tickets. By setting them up for success from the get-go, we minimise the risk of misunderstandings and rework, ensuring efficient project delivery and maximising productivity.

Cultural & Religious Sensitivity

At LEVO, we deeply value and respect the diverse backgrounds, religions, customs, and traditions of our team members. We actively incorporate this awareness into our everyday interactions and decision-making processes. For example, recognising the significance of cultural and religious holidays, we encourage team members to share their cultural practices and traditions with the rest of the team. Our teams also have the freedom to swap any public holidays they don’t celebrate with ones that are more significant to them. This not only fosters a sense of belonging but also promotes cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

On a personal note, as a Muslim member of the LEVO team, I appreciate the flexibility to block time for my Friday prayers and then replace that time later. This accommodation allows me to honour my religious obligations while ensuring that my work responsibilities are met. Additionally, our company provides prayer rooms that are available for use by anyone from any faith during working hours, further demonstrating our commitment to inclusivity and respect for diverse religious practices.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can pose a challenge, particularly when team members are spread across different time zones and cultural contexts. To address this challenge, we prioritise flexible work arrangements and encourage team members to set boundaries and manage their time effectively. Providing access to resources for mental health support and promoting wellness initiatives, such as our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), further contributes to fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment.

As a service organisation that delivers projects, we understand the importance of meeting deadlines while also ensuring the well-being of our team members. Sometimes, the workload can be demanding, and we have to work hard to hit deadlines. However, we strive to strike the right balance between productivity and personal well-being. Encouraging open communication and transparency, we collaborate with our clients to establish realistic project timelines and manage expectations effectively. This approach not only enables us to deliver high-quality work but also ensures that our team members feel supported and valued throughout the process.

Using Diversity To Our Advantage

So far, we have talked about some challenges and discussed how we have made it work. However, embracing workplace diversity isn't just about navigating challenges; it's about harnessing the unique strengths and perspectives of each team member to drive innovation, creativity, and success. By leveraging our differences as assets rather than obstacles, we can create a dynamic and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their best. Together, let's continue to celebrate diversity, champion inclusion, and reap the countless benefits of working in a truly diverse and vibrant team.

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