Working with an Offshore Team – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Business Success

Many big organisations that we see today have started in just a small room and chose outsourcing to build up their productive team and smartly move up the ladder of success. Having an offshore team to back up your firm can be very rewarding as it reduces the workload and overhead cost significantly. Hence, business owners who invest in outsourcing usually end up delegating not one, but multiple tasks to their outsourcing partners. This helps them take a sigh of relief as the extra work pressure is diverted to a team of specialized, experienced professionals. Considering the profitability of the outsourcing business model, the number of organizations adopting it is increasing every year.

But managing a remote team may not be as plain as it looks on the surface level. And it’s most certainly not like managing an in-house team. One must know how to fulfil his organizational objectives creatively by fostering teamwork and collaborating between professionals working in different domains. If you are willing to learn to efficiently manage your remote offshore employees, you must first explore about the most common mistakes in managing a remote team. Here are the mistakes you need to avoid to set up and manage an offshore team like an expert:

1. Treating in-house team better

Giving preferential treatment to your in-house team is probably the most common blunder in the list of mistakes in managing a remote team. When a business owner adopts offshoring and expands his in-house team to a hybrid team, he often makes the mistake of being partial with his in-house employees. But the outsourcing experts strictly suggest otherwise. They maintain that it is important to provide same treatment and opportunities to both your in-house and virtual employees.

For instance, if you are conducting a workshop or seminar for your in-house employees, provide the same training to your remote offshore employees. Similarly, if you are organising a party for your in-house employees, it will be great if you can balance out the celebrative zeal amongst your virtual employees by giving them a festive gift voucher. Do not forget to acknowledge or treat your offshore team whenever it accomplishes a milestone. These small steps can take you a long way in building up a culture of trust and loyalty among your offshore employees.

2. Not considering the time zone difference

There are different countries that offer outsourcing services and their time zones can be very different from yours. The 9 to 5 working schedule will hardly be the same in these different countries worldwide. Now when you are hiring experts from one of these countries, being considerate of the time zone that they’re working in, is only human.

While collaborating with your offshore team, remember to set a meeting time that suits both the parties involved. This might look like a lot of work in the beginning but if you go by the words of the industry experts, it will be an incredible practice to organise your regular team interactions. Another way for managing a remote team in this regard can be choosing to work with a team that is open and flexible to work as per your country’s time zone.

3. Blindly believing the sales team

While choosing an outsourcing partner, many business owners repeatedly interact with the team managers or the sales executives. While the sales teams everywhere are trained to exaggerate to crack leads, the managers or supervisors can be qualified enough to impress you, but not the entire team they’re managing. This might make the business owners believe that the offshore team that they are hiring possesses all the qualities they are looking for. Hence, they make the mistake of hiring remote offshore employees without validating their skills.

It is important for your remote employees to understand your organizational objectives if you want them to feel encouraged to fulfil them. They should possess the required expertise and professionalism, or else it will result in substandard deliverables and your investment will never prove to be fruitful. Therefore, you must not stop at the process of portfolio screening and go ahead to cross-check the skills of your virtual employees. For this, you can try handing over small projects to them at first. Once you are satisfied with the quality of the end-product, you can trust them with your full-fledged projects.

4. Avoiding excessive burdening and interfering

Acting as if your virtual employees are robots and trying to micromanaging everything critically can be a big reason behind the downfall of your outsourcing working model. It is very obvious that they will be expected to deliver quality work in time but remember that they are not work-producing machines. Rather than always talking about projects and deadlines only, you can sometimes discuss about creative things like their passion and interests. This will help you establish a sound relationship with them and they will be encouraged to contribute with their full potential.

Imposing your own ideas of perfection and trying too hard to control your offshore team can be a big blunder. Not only will this be unfair towards your remote team, but will also discourage them to discuss about their issues with you openly. It will frustrate your virtual employees and will also multiply stress and confusion at your end.

5. Lack of required infrastructure and technology

Most of the offshoring is facilitated by developing countries like India, wherein you cannot always expect the same level of modern tools and practices. However, appropriate equipment and technology are vital for delivering quality work. Hence, ensuring that your remote team is well-equipped with the latest technology stack is important to get the work done in the right way and at the right time.

Discuss in length about the work methodologies and tools that are being used by your virtual employees. Some of the major tools used formanaging a remote team today are Skype, Zoom, Loom, Slack and Dropbox. See if your chosen outsourcing partner is equipped with all these present-day technological advancements.

These mistakes in managing a remote team can be easily avoided if you want to enjoy a hassle-free and fruitful offshoring experience. If you go ahead with offshoring smartly, you can garner quality work consistently and earn a lifetime bond with your outsourcing partner.

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