Offshore workers may be a first-rate solution for your company’s dynamic needs. If you’re wary of offshore work, or have heard mixed reviews about hiring offshore teams, you may be surprised to learn that offshore work is skyrocketing worldwide - and we know why.
There are numerous perks of hiring offshore workers. Below, we’ll take a closer look at why offshore might be right for your company and what you should consider before taking your teams global.
Myths about offshore workers
When people think of offshore work, their minds often go straight to the negatives. Luckily, these misconceptions about offshore work are untrue. Let’s debunk some of the top myths surrounding offshore work.
Offshore workers underperform their U.S. peers: false. Skilled workers live all over the world. For example, there are IT hubs in both hemispheres, full of software developers who are wildly talented. Geography has nothing to do with it. Good work, regardless of location, is simply good work.
Offshore workers are high-risk hires: false. Offshore workers are just as trustworthy as in-office workers. Specifically, companies think that because workers live far away, they’re more likely to let the ball drop on a project. This is untrue, as remote workers stay competitive by creating high-quality work. They have a reputation for responding quickly and resolving any problems that may arise.
Offshore workers present a security problem: false. Security issues are best prevented by good protocols and contracts. Understandably, companies are concerned about the security of their products. They believe that because they’re passing a project to a third-party worker or team, their intellectual property rights could be at risk. However, security issues are easily resolved by ensuring that files are exchanged in a protected environment - which remote workers understand very well - and that contracts specify how technologies can and can’t be used.
Offshore workers are poor communicators: false. Remote workers are excellent communicators. In general, they use tools like Slack, Skype, Zoom and Gmail to ensure that clients know what they’re working on and when deliverables will be ready. While language barriers can sometimes exist, they usually aren’t a problem as long as communication is constant and the relationship stays strong.
Offshore work is bad for the U.S. economy: false. Offshore work always feeds back into the U.S. economy. According to McKinsey Global Institute, for every dollar spent on offshore work in India alone, the U.S. economy gains at least $1.12. This is the case on a global level. Offshore work only boosts the U.S. economy by allowing companies to take on more projects and create more revenue.
Top reasons to hire offshore workers
Now that we’ve talked about the misconceptions surrounding offshore workers, let’s explain the advantages in detail. There are plenty of good reasons why you should hire offshore workers for your next projects. Here’s why they might make a great addition to your team:
- Scale your business using offshore workers: Let’s say you’ve received an exciting new project proposal, but your in-office workers are overwhelmed with other work. Now you don’t have to turn down these projects. By using offshore workers - whether one worker to pinch-hit in a project, or an entire team to fill the gap in your needs - you can take on this new client and create a dynamic team to tackle this project.
- Stack your team with specialized skill sets your company doesn’t have: Sometimes you don’t have the right skills in your current team. By hiring offshore workers, you can get the specialists you need for a high-quality result. You can focus on what you’re good at and leave the rest to remote workers.
- Keep costs down: Generally speaking, hiring offshore means cost savings. This isn’t because of a reduction in quality, but rather because you don’t have to worry about logistics and administration costs, including onboarding processes, benefits packages, equipment costs and training programs. Instead, you can only pay for the work you need, and not have to worry about the rest.
- Maintain control of project: You can decide how much control your offshore workers or team have. Sometimes you may hire one worker, or an entire team. Either way, you can own the process by managing the remote team hands-on. You can keep your internal practices and quality control measures, but use offshore workers to help with a certain area of your project.
- Boost productivity in your project team: New studies suggest that remote workers are highly productive. They focus on the work that needs to get done and leave distractions behind. This can be especially useful for managing remote teams, as you don’t have to worry about offshore workers getting distracted by office politics or logistics.
Challenges of offshore workers
Of course, hiring offshore workers isn’t without its challenges. There are a few areas to keep in mind to make the most of your offshore workers or team. By thinking through these challenges, you can be better prepared to understand and manage your remote team to the maximum:
- Understand language and cultural differences: Whenever you use offshore workers, you may face diverse cultural perspectives. While studies by McKinsey suggest that diversity strengthens business, it’s important to recognize differences and communicate when there’s a cultural misunderstanding about expectations. By staying transparent and clear, you’ll win your team over - wherever they’re based.
- Be aware of different time zones: Different times zones could be a blessing in disguise. For some companies, it’s great to have workers in different time zones so that there’s constant progress being made. On the other hand, you must be aware of these time zones and know how to manage the project in order to take advantage of time lags.
- Clarify company practices: If you have internal company policies, it’s key to let your offshore workers know about them. By clarifying your expectations, you’ll set up your offshore hires for success - instead of waiting for something to go wrong. Try to clarify how the company works and what you expect from employees.
- Communicate constantly: When in doubt, communicate. Specify what communications tools you prefer to work with, and ask your offshore team to use them to collaborate more easily. Don’t hesitate to hop on a Zoom call, or message an offshore team member on Slack. There’s no such thing as over-communicating.
- Monitor and track progress with tools: Don’t just hand off the project and hope for the best. Try to monitor and track worker progress - whether in-office or offshore - by using tools like Trello, HubStaff or Toggl. Make sure your project management practices are clear and consistent so that everybody’s on the same page.
In the end, offshore work could be a lifesaver for your company in peak seasons. Offshore work has evolved in new and exciting ways, and the global talent out there could take your company to the next level. In addition, you can keep your costs down by using offshore work, while also getting the special skill sets your project requires. Just be sure to keep in mind common pitfalls and communicate clearly with your offshore team so that your project runs smoothly from start to finish.
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