Overcoming Offshore Challenges
It is a fact that businesses outsource their operations to back offices or third-party offshore teams as they entice these businesses with their sensational benefits, including cost savings and faster turnarounds. Everyone from startups to corporations makes offshore arrangements including hiring freelancers and partnering with digital agencies.
Offshore development is a commonly used cost-saving strategy, as 45% of public companies outsource some part of their operations. While a common practice, offshore development comes with its own set of challenges that require some attention in order to make operations run smoothly. Below are some common challenges the businesses face while working with offshore development offices.
Cultural differences are unavoidable because companies have to work with people who live in a totally different environment and have their own set of principles and values. Cultural differences are one of the main things businesses need to consider when looking at offshore options.
To overcome cultural barriers, companies need to conduct a cultural training session for both teams of employees so they can learn each other’s values and beliefs. Cultural training sessions also help reduce gaps in communication.
Time Zones and Holidays
One of the most prevalent challenges a company faces when coordinating offshore offices is a mismatch of office hours. The one or two hours of overlap are usually early in the morning or late at night, which means coordination calls are scheduled at inconvenient times for the customer.
In order to resolve this issue, offshore businesses tend to change their working hours to accommodate the hours and time zones of their clients. In addition, different countries celebrate different holidays, and the location of an offshore team will determine which days they may not be available.
Barriers in communication can be difficult and lead to frustration if they are not addressed early in the working relationship. In order to have a smooth partnership, companies and offshore offices need to implement numerous communication channels and practices that encourage positive outcomes. These may involve a system of clear instructions and feedback or other approaches that foster understanding in both teams.
As mentioned before, cultural differences and understanding are important to successful communication. Times that both teams can talk and learn about each other can be hugely beneficial to the ease of communication.
A local team leader or manager is essential when working with offshore teams, so someone has their eye on deadlines, keeps employees motivated, and ensures quality work.
In a traditional workplace, all these needs are met by employees in the office; however, offshore teams can feel excluded from the work being done. To avoid feelings of frustration and detachment, it’s best to have local leadership for the offshore offices or schedule a visit to ensure they feel included.
While having an offshore development office can be challenging, these problems are easily solved if they’re given the right attention. To build a strong and united team, pay attention to communication and cultural awareness. A successful team will lead businesses to high productivity and cost savings that prove the effectiveness of offshore offices.
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