How To Start Building A Remote Outsourcing Team – 5 Steps
What is a Remote Outsourcing Team?
A remote outsourcing team is an offshore team of skilled workers and professionals that work remotely, outside of the traditional office environment, to execute and complete outsourced projects or tasks. Offshore teams mostly collaborate with businesses or organizations. They have also been increasingly in-demand over the past few years. Offshore software development, HR, finance, and logistics are among the most popular projects and functions to be outsourced to offshore teams.
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work has become the new normal for a large percentage of businesses and organizations. Time Magazine has even dubbed this outbreak as the “World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment” given that remote work has moved from an advantageous business model to a necessity. Large corporations such as Apple, Twitter, and Facebook have already intimated that this work model might stay even longer than it is now.
Demand for Offshore Outsourcing Teams
The demand for remote work has been steadily increasing over the past few years, growing 44% over the past 5 years alone. Because of the changing times and business models, more businesses and organizations are intending to or already support remote work. Most retain a combination of in-house staffing and staff working remotely. While others, like Hubstaff, are fully powered by offshore teams.
According to the 2019 State of Remote Work, most remote workers find that a flexible schedule the top benefit of their work. Advantages like their freedom to work from any location, having more time with family, and work from home are also good benefits of the job. Interestingly, despite being able to work anywhere, most remote workers prefer to work from home.
Why should you choose remote work or remote teams?
- Augment organizational skills and manpower.
Hiring offshore outsourcing teams help supplement your current workforce and expand their skillset. This also helps attract more potential hires and retain existing remote employees of the organization.
- Increase focus on core goals.
Partnering with outsourcing companies or an established offshore development team allow for the organization to refocus their priorities. They can give more attention to meeting other goals and accomplishing core functionalities while having oversight of their outsourced projects.
- Improve workforce productivity.
Studies and surveys over the years have shown that remote teams and remote workers are more productive in their remote work environments compared to the traditional work environment.
- Reduce operational costs.
Competitive industries and challenging economic times have driven businesses to put more effort into cost efficiency and agile business models. Remote work allows for more flexible and scalable work and reduced capital and expenditures.
- Global coverage.
Hiring an offshore team, like an offshore software development team, opens up the recruitment to a global pool of skilled remote workers. There are more diversity and range in skills and experience to select from.
Build your Offshore Dedicated Team in 5 Steps
Step 1: Evaluate your current skills and competence
Evaluate your organization or project. This will help you better understand the resources and skills that you have and can utilize. Knowing what you already have can help you plan your projects and work better. Running an organization requires efficient collaboration and communication among different departments - HR, Operations, Finance, Logistics, Senior Management, and project-specific sub-departments.
Having this knowledge also aids in identifying the skills and resources that you will need. Questions such as the following will definitely help guide your self-evaluation:
- What work, projects, or tasks can we outsource to an offshore team?
- What technology stack do we need to implement for remote work?
- What technology stack do we need to implement to accomplish our outsourced work?
- What skills do we need to have to effectively work with a remote team?
- What experience are we looking for in a values remote team member?
- What would be the cost of employing offshore outsourcing services for our projects or tasks?
Establish an in-house team or project manager that will oversee and manage the outsourced work and the remote team. Having a point person, the project manager, streamlines communication information flow between the organization and the remote team.
Step 2: Be smart in your recruitment process
There are several ways you can go about hiring a remote team. Locally hire, posting on online job boards, or reaching out to outsourcing companies to employ their expertise. Different avenues have different benefits.
Hiring local teams ensures that customs and cultural differences are minimal and that the organization will be familiar and recognizable to the potential hires. Having local hires also allow for fewer resources needed for communication and regular follow-ups. Going to online job boards like, Indeed, Freelancer, LinkedIn, Upwork, or GlassDoor expands the hiring pool to a more global scale. Through job boards, you will be able to screen and hire offshore team members individually from different parts of the world with a wide range of skills and experiences. The optimal of the 3 options is to get in touch with an IT outsourcing company that will work with you and shoulder the majority of the recruitment process.
Working with IT outsourcing companies enables your organization to collaborate with a company that has the resources and the capacity to screen and build a prospective team according to your specifications. They are also equipped with the resources to help manage and oversee the majority of the project, leaving you with more time to focus on the deliverables and project timeline.
Step 3: Plan and establish project workflow
While you are completing your recruitment of your offshore dedicated team, you can complete your project workflow. The project workflow can be built off of your identified project goals and deliverables, as well as the general timeframe for completing the said project. The workflow will also contain all the relevant stakeholders of the project. Outlining the flow of how work schedules and deliverables are essential in a project workflow. It is necessary to have as much detail regarding the objectives and the expected deliverables and final output for the project to provide structure to your collaborative project.
Step 4: Plan and prepare for differences
A significant aspect of working with an offshore dedicated team is working around differing timezones, productive times, cultures, and work ethics. Having a global offshore development team requires working with peoples based on different countries or regions and working on different timezones. It is best to have a plan or working timeframe for when to conduct meetings, checkups, and expected deliverables.
There may also be differences in work ethics with the team. Establishing a framework for the team to work upon will help address the majority of these differences. This provides structure and establishes a common understanding of the overall goals and specific milestones or deliverables of the project. The project manager will also be able to plan and have clear expectations of the scheduling.
Offshore outsourcing teams can also be comprised of individuals with different cultures and cultural norms that impact their work and team dynamics. Respecting these differences and accounting for them goes a long way into sustaining the team dynamics, improving communication, and diversify the team environment.
Step 5: Establish communication and collaborative platform
Communication and collaboration are necessary for the success of working with an offshore dedicated to your project.
With the differing timelines and remote setup, communication can be a challenge for all team members. It is best to identify and establish a communication platform and protocol for your team. Great examples of team communication platforms are Slack, Google Meet and Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom. Having a common platform ensures uniformity and consistency in the technology, terminology, schedules, and communication channels that the entire team will be using for the duration of the project. A uniform set of communication tools and protocols streamlines communication and minimizes technological glitches and miscommunication.
A collaborative platform has all the necessary tools to complete the work for your project. At times, you would need more than 1 platform, but the core is to have a uniform set of platforms where you can track work progress, provide feedback, store necessary documents and notes, and have a consistent data and information format for your work. Platforms such as Trello, Jira, Confluence, Google Suite, Microsoft Teams, and Asana have been popular and noteworthy examples of such collaborative platforms. Most of these collaborative platforms have their own communication channels or can addon third-party communication platforms to make your communication and collaboration easier and more manageable for the project team.
Outsourcing Companies Ease the Process
If you are looking to work and function during this challenging time and adapting to future work and business model changes, employing remote outsourcing teams and implementing outsourcing models are a definite way to go. The best way to ease the process of adjustment to the process is the collaborate with outsourcing companies capable of providing remote services, like Operations and IT outsourcing, and management of offshore teams. It does not have to be difficult. It is a matter of planning, research, and having the structures that ease the way of things.
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