Are Multilingual Employees Smarter and Better At Multitasking?
March 22, 2023 9:00 AM EST | 3 min read
Multilingual employees have many advantages, including:
- it’s easier to switch jobs
- communicate with peers
- understand people around you
While these are all practical, everyday matters, studies have shown that bilinguals are quicker, better at multitasking, and actually smarter than monolingual people.
The reason is that the development of the brain undergoes different processes when it learns to speak more than one language.
Speaking different languages technically means remembering twice as many words, understanding different language patterns, grammatical sentence structures, and pronunciation nuances unique to each language.
This is especially true when the two languages share the same alphabet.
To deal with this efficiently, the brain has no other option but to use more focus, energy, and resources to change between the two languages.
In science, this process is called exercising the executive functions to decipher all the multiple codes within each language.
Multilingual people typically have several advantages compared to monolinguals:
Are you great at multitasking?
Enhanced problem-solving abilities
Because of having a more cognitive brain, bilingual/multilingual people are more adept at looking at a problem from a broader perspective.
This allows them to approach it from multiple angles and find a reasonable solution much faster.
This has a lot to do with the brain being used to switching between two languages, each requiring a different approach.
Therefore, it’s easier for bilinguals to look for new ways of dealing with problems.
Better multitasking skills
Multilingual people are used to switching between different speech, structure, grammar, and writing systems.
According to research by Pennsylvania University, this ability allows them to switch between multiple tasks faster and allows better attention shifting.
Since it’s important not to make any mistakes when using different languages, the bilingual brain tries to minimize the number of errors when switching between tasks.
This means that bilingual people multitask better and make fewer mistakes when switching between tasks.
More productive workers
The ability of multilingual brains to multitask better and solve problems quicker and more efficiently leads to better productivity.
Because of this, every business should hire multilingual employees to enhance the productivity of its everyday actions and increase revenue and profits.
Speaking multiple languages essentially means remembering more words, grammar rules, sentence structures, etc.
We can perceive this as a constant exercise for the brain, just like lifting weights for your muscles, for example.
It makes memorizing lists, sequences, numbers, and directions easier.
Every employee that works for a business has to make several decisions throughout his or her career.
A study performed by Chicago University revealed that bilinguals are more likely to make the right decision because of their ability to think about the matter in different languages.
Processing thoughts in different languages helps understand the issue better and see the bigger picture, which leads to making the right choice (often, the best possible choice in the scenario).
Why you need multilingual employees
While multilingual employees can make great additions to business teams, it doesn’t mean that having monolingual team members is bad.
There are certain areas where monolinguals can beat bilinguals, like fully focusing on a single task and dedicating attention when it’s most needed.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to have the best of both worlds!
Try to attain the perfect mix of multilingual and monolingual employees.
This will help maximize your potential and achieve business goals and objectives.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
If you found this article interesting, please click the share button.