Offshoring, or the use of remote employees in a far country, has been used as a strategy for decades. It started with Fortune 500 companies offshoring their manufacturing plants to remote countries, taking advantage of global talent and wage levels. Decades ago, this was available only to big companies, as it was expensive to have the connectivity needed to work remotely as well as the infrastructure to manage and comply with local laws. With current technology and staffing solutions, startups and small businesses can take advantage of nearshoring, or the use of remote employees in a neighboring country.
Unlike outsourcing or business process outsourcing, in which remote employees report to a third party, nearshoring and offshoring allow your team to report directly to you, regardless of their location, via a staffing firm compliant with local laws.
Using Nearshore Staffing to Scale Up
When a startup or business is in its growth stages, the budget will be tight; many people on staff will have to wear different hats to be able to do the work. Using nearshore or offshore staffing is a great way to scale your team without using as much of the budget. In addition, since the nearshore or offshore staffing firm will handle law compliance and payroll, using this resource can also give you more time to focus on your core business.
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How to Make Your Remote Team Work For You
To take full advantage of your nearshore team, make sure you do the following:
- Make them feel part of your company. These are not virtual employees; this is your team, part of your staff and company. Make an effort to get to know them as you would your onsite employees, and include them in company activities and meetings. If possible, invite them to your offices annually to meet the team in person.
- Have the correct tools in place. This includes communication, project management, and in some cases, time-tracking tools. Here are some examples of tools for managing remote teams.
- Communicate. Communication is essential with your remote team, as it is not as easy for them to get a hold of you. Be clear when you communicate in order to remove any doubt or confusion. Also, make sure both your onsite and remote teams correctly understand what they discuss together.
- Clearly define your process, goals, policies, and expectations. Your remote team needs to know precisely what is expected of them and how to do it. We recommend giving this information to your remote team in writing.
In part two, I will describe the importance of choosing your own employees and what to look for when selecting a nearshore provider.