If you can do your job from anywhere, does it mean anyone can do your job?
Does work from home mean outsourcing yourself?
Should you outsource to freelancers?
Manager: “Most of our support staff is working from home for over 6 months now and pretty much getting the job done.”
CEO: “Though it sounds good, but our sales are down due to the pandemic and we’ll be forced to cut costs further. I wish we can increase our productivity within a restricted budget.”
Manager: “I understand. We’ll stay on budget and will consider exploring offshore staff to increase productivity. This will increase our workforce, thereby bringing down our office costs and we can also train the offshore team to follow our protocols.
If there is any mega transformation that has happened post the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that companies have realised that offshoring is more cost effective than working-from-home. The ability to hire and engage skilled professionals globally at fraction of the costs is going to be the key driver.
Thus, the big question the companies might have is that does it make sense to employ freelancers or choose a reputed offshore vendor. There are pros & cons to hiring freelancers versus choosing an offshore vendor. Thinking of the long-term scenario, you need to create a social offshore space where professionals have similar goals to that of your company’s. Thus, a vendor offers:
Increased employee engagement under a single roof. If you are looking to employ a few members or multiple teams, it is important they coordinate under a single roof, unlike onsite individuals who need to schedule meetings based on the various time zones.
You access a larger workforce, select within a pool of available resources, share skills and knowledge within the same company.
The offshore managers have the oversight to track your staff productivity, efficiency and have a better time management.
Data security & privacy. If your offshore vendor has contracts with reputed companies, it is easy to verify their credentials which ensures your data is protected.
By paying a little more, it is an advantage to have that extra peace of mind to engage with reputed offshore companies that provide the required service. Apart from the many benefits of establishing an offshore team, these steps could help you create the right setup.
Finding the right vendor who is more like a partner
Find a partner who believes in aligning the offshore team with your business goals. Create a checklist to find the right offshore vendor.
Freeze on a business model that fits your requirement
Do not complicate things but focus on the model that would suit your requirements.
b. Dedicated offshore team setup
c. Build operate and transfer
List down the tools, processes & documentation required for your project
The right tools enable you to manage, track team members, organise workload and schedule tasks. Some great readymade tools are Basecamp, Zoho, and Hubstaff. Filesharing tools like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. can help make things easy. Additionally, it is important to have good documentation protocols for team members to follow for ongoing reference.
Remote monitoring and ongoing discussions
Visual communication is the best…always! Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype are a few to consider. Make it clear from the beginning if you prefer your meetings to be daily, weekly, or fortnightly.
Communication is vital at offshore and your priority should be to encourage everyone to be HOT (Honest, Open and Transparent). It is common to consider collaboration platforms like Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Asana, or similar. Their mobile apps are designed to complement the desktop experience, and anyone connected to the project can follow schedules, even on off days.
Selecting offshore staff for your team
Once you have zeroed down on your required skills, it is good to ask your offshore vendor to create a pool of candidates for a short interview. At times, it is not only the required skill but also the candidate’s background that helps you achieve your business goals.
Good vendors have simple billing standards
The traditional way of raising monthly invoice, all inclusive (without any hidden charges) is the best approach. A breakup of items to create easy and manageable overview always helps. It is best to stay away from vendors who complicate their invoicing or include charges without your consent.
Treating offshore team members like your employees
Trust and empathy is the heart of successful offshore team. As a global company, you want to identify and handle this right from day one of your offshoring journey. If you get the opportunity to travel to your vendor’s office, having some team building act as effective culture breaking barriers. The staff get a chance to personally meet the colleagues who they have known through emails and screens only.
Finally, it takes time for a new employee to settle in your team, and the same is true for an offshore partner. Successful projects have good onsite and offshore Project Managers who ensure all teams stay on track and adhere to short delivery timelines.
Smaller offshore companies you might never hear about.
ComCrowd, a Glocal Australian company has developed a unique model of addressing its customers who need offshore software development and business process outsourcing services. This little known company has built domain expertise in selected industries before focusing on technology. With 500+ onsite-offshore staff and centres operating 24 X 7 X 365, locations in India and Australia, employees are encouraged to behave as extensions of their client organisations. In fact, if you ask their employees, “Who do you work for?”, they will name the client they are representing.
Their specialist arm Zenith ComC focuses on travel, leisure, and hospitality industries. With strong domain knowledge, they are consultants and support partners to 50+ global companies which include Airlines, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), tour operators, hotel chains, GDS operators, car rentals, food ordering services, restaurant bookings, cruises, and leisure travel operations.
The company believes in having an open pricing model and displays their hourly rates on their website.
The future is near
Today, remote working is outsourcing jobs every minute to any cost-effective part of the globe. If you haven’t noticed it, the service sector is full of jobs that can be done from any location, any time, by anyone.
If your work involves using the internet from any location, it means you can get it done more cost efficiently from anyone globally.