What is an Offshore Team?
Nowadays, businesses take advantage of offshoring and its benefits. So let’s define the offshore team meaning is. We’ll also see how entrepreneurs can ensure productivity even when operating in another country.
Since the advent of technology, companies have seen the advantages of telecommuting and offshoring. Qualified professionals from all over the world can work away from the traditional corners of the company headquarters.
The person only needs a stable internet connection and digital resources to become part of a remote team. And, it has been helpful for many international organizations who find it hard to find local talents.
This is especially true for industries looking for specific qualifications, such as software development or data management. Thus, it is not surprising that business owners choose to hire an offshore team when doing expansions. Aside from access to a wider pool of talents, it significantly reduces your overhead costs.
But when you say “offshore team meaning,” what does it entail? How do you ensure that they are efficient and productive away from the headquarters? Take note of the key facts discussed in this article.
What Is An Offshore Team?
There is an increasing trend of companies partnering with offshore service providers in leading countries, such as India, China, and the Philippines. But before you delve into choosing a team, it’s better to understand what an offshore team is first.
The word “offshore team” means hiring a group of professionals from faraway locations from your headquarters. Because of a considerable time difference, the team may also work in a different time zone. Or if necessary, they have to adjust their shift according to your requirements. For instance, the Philippines is an offshore development hub for business clients from the United States and other countries.
However, offshoring should not be confused with the term “outsourcing”. The latter means employees from a partner company take care of your business processes. On the other hand, an offshore team is employed by your company but they just don’t work in your main office.
Onshore vs. Offshore vs. Nearshore
The differences among the three terminologies are simple. Their definitions are straightforward, so it makes any business decision easier to process later on.
As mentioned previously, an offshore team is composed of company employees working in another country. Businesses of all shapes and sizes from various industries can take advantage of offshoring. This is viable when there’s a talent shortage in your country—which is especially immense for the software industry.
But when you say “onshore,” it means you’re hiring employees to handle business processes and other tasks within the same country. You don’t need to adjust to any time zone or cultural differences since you’re within the same region, so to speak.
Now, when you think about a “nearshore team,” it involves delegating some of your business processes to employees from a nearby country. The team usually works in the same shift as your main office staff since you’re in a similar time zone. Due to geographic proximity, you can easily conduct onsite visits and other collaborative efforts.
Increasing the Productivity of An Offshore Team
Hiring an offshore team has its pros and cons. Are you thinking about how to counter the challenges of managing a team far from you? Then here are some tips to keep them efficient and productive.
1. Talk about clear project goals and milestones
Guide your offshore team towards success by discussing your project goals clearly. Let them know how you want the results to look like.
Set proper expectations at the start of the project, so that everyone is on the same page. Most importantly, define project milestones to measure the progress of the project.
For example, you want to hire an offshore development team in the Philippines. In doing so, you need to provide a full product brief—it should detail the necessary functionalities and deadlines. Moreover, you should define other specific requirements, such as the schedule of deployment and testing specifications, among others.
2. Set a scheduled touch base with the team
To ensure better collaboration, schedule regular meetings with the team. Set the schedule ahead of time, so everyone can also manage their tasks accordingly. And, find a time that is both convenient for you and the team.
Before the meeting, it is ideal to send an agenda, too. This way, if you need any reports or other updates, you can discuss them during the meeting instead of putting them off until your next call.
Remember that regular effective communication is the key to managing your offshore team better. It helps you fend off major problems and enables you to resolve existing ones as soon as you can.
3. Hire a local project manager for the team
As much as possible, try to assign a project manager for your offshore team at the chosen location. Look for someone who has excellent project management and communication skills.
This will help you solve most challenges in working with an offshore center, like language barriers, cultural variations, and time differences. And when it comes to project updates, you have a specific person to turn to.
4. Establish clear roles and designated tasks
It is advisable to set clear expectations and requirements for each member of the team. It enables them to focus on their specific responsibilities and prioritize their tasks accordingly.
Moreover, it will also help them narrow down their concerns and look for possible solutions to problems surrounding their scope.
5. Organize an efficient workflow
Planning, creating, and improving a workflow will save you from headaches and stress along the way. When you’re working with a team operating far away, the workflow will serve as their guide on how to accomplish things.
This way, it won’t be time-consuming for you to explain how each task is related to the other one. And how one member of the team can proceed from one phase to the next. It will also demonstrate how the feed is provided, so both you and the team meet eye-to-eye when it comes to the expected results.
6. Make use of project management tools
Take advantage of project management tools available instead of using a manual tracker. Tools, such as Asana, Monday, or Trello are very helpful when it comes to assigning and monitoring tasks. It is also handy when it comes to setting priorities and deadlines for each task.
Most of all, every step of the process can be automated, so the team can just click and drag. It’s an efficient way of managing each of their activities.
7. Build a good offshore workplace culture
Treat your offshore team as if they are also working in your main office. With that said, make sure that you’re building a supportive and open workplace culture offshore too.
Encourage the team to build good habits that elevate better collaboration and communication. You can also organize fun activities that promote teamwork between your onshore and offshore staff.
If you can, provide continuous knowledge sharing and other professional development opportunities too. In addition to that, when providing feedback, consider your cultural differences and compromise on a style that fits both you and the offshore team.
What’s more? Remember to encourage work-life balance to everyone in the organization, whether they work in your headquarters or in an offshore location.
Learn about offshore management
Offshoring is a rising trend among businesses, especially in software development and other tech-related industries. And after being familiar with offshore team meaning, you can make better business decisions when it comes to recruiting more talents.
You can also take note of the tips on how to manage the team effectively. This way, you can lessen your worries about the challenges of managing an offshore team.
Now, do you need the services of a software development company?
Full Scale has a team of highly skilled software development and digital marketing professionals at your disposal. We can customize our solutions based on your business requirements and needs. With our efficient workflow in place, working with our leading offshore team will be a productive and effective process.
Get in touch with us today!