A lot has been said about remote work lately: with the hit of the Covid pandemic, we all turned to work-from-home and tried to find the best of that world. Many offices are now turning the lights on, while others have found that staying at home has many benefits.
Sud Creative was born during the pandemic, so our approach to this methodology was forced by the circumstances –and we learned to love it. But, besides remote work, we also added a multicultural factor to our team, and that is part of our power.
Our home country is Uruguay: a Southamerican, Spanish-speaking, mate-loving country. We look tiny surrounded by Brazil and Argentina, and we’re literally at the other end of the world to –everything. Taking a 9-hour flight it’s considered not that long.
From the start, we’ve worked with clients that live in other places: our very first client was English. This means, we’re used to changing the language for every business transaction; we also adapt to daylight saving time while it’s our winter, and more than once we’ve had to explain that our yerba mate is not pot.
Working with people from different cultures is always enriching. Of course, the first few words from another language that we learn are the bad ones, but that’s just part of the fun (and no, it doesn’t change once we grow older).
As millennials that we are, most of our previous jobs have taken us through planes and ships to far-away-lands, we’re used to getting acquainted with different cultures, and ways of seeing life and we’ve come to manage expectations accordingly.
As for now, all of Sud Creative’s crew lives in South America: Uruguay + Argentina + Ecuador.
While we all share some sort of cultural background, and the fact that we all speak Spanish is a great help, funny things still happen:
We still get lost in translation: slang is still unique to each of our countries.
Most of the time we have to explain what the national holidays are about.
With Uruguay and Argentina, the differences are tiny, but when one gets raised by the border, the influences are huge –for both sides.
Food and music might be what sets us apart the most. But also the landscape sets us apart: Uruguay is a flat country, Ecuador has magnificent highs and lows, and Argentina has everything: from desert to mountains and glaciers.
And the rest of the world
Yes, for the rest of the world South America moves like a block and what happens in one place, happens in the other. We find the differences because, well, we live here.
To the Southamerican countries, we add team members from the United States and freelancers from Eastern Europe.
So what happens when we add people from other continents? We’ve done so. Opposite countries, completely different countries including religions –and it all comes down to the same: with respect and understanding, we all get to share our stories, brainstorm ideas, and be heard.
When I was eighteen, I went to a Highschool in Michigan, with an exchange program. One of my new classmates and fellow exchange friends was Hubert from Hong Kong. Many differences were amusing and gave us a quick laugh, but there was this one night when we were walking back from pizza night: he started talking about how his mother was always so demanding on his studies, always telling him that he had to study to be able to do whatever he wanted in life –word less, words more, my mother, at the exact opposite of the world, used to say the same to me. If mothers are the same, then we’re all the same.
Being part of a multicultural team keeps us awake at every moment: words might be misunderstood; reactions, too. But this is also part of our gain: with so many and so different cultural inputs, our creativity never lays flat.
There is always a new idea, a new reference, a news story that lights up creativity.
We are continually learning about each other, about what’s perceived as right and wrong in each of our cultures, and that is reflected in the work we deliver.