When the pandemic began, hiring offshore development teams from overseas countries which are safe and have a much lower cost seemed like a temporary solution. Now it’s a permanent fixture. Today, there are various methods and mediums to lead and manage offshore development team efficiently.
The development of mobile applications and computers enables staff to do their jobs outside of a physical office; communication has become faster and more instant than in previous years. We see more and more platforms develop to further assist and make it easier to connect with colleagues without sitting in the same country.
Here are 7 tips to help you master keeping your dedicated team motivated and productive at a distance.
>> Related article: Structure an offshore team
What is an Offshore Development Team?
An Offshore Development Team is a team of talented developers from a software company located in an offshoring country like India, China, the Philippines and Vietnam where the cost of living is much lower. They are just like the regular employees; the only difference is that instead of working locally with your in-house team, they are based elsewhere.
Tips to lead your Offshore Software Development Team efficiently.
1. Not being too rigid
What’s the best thing about hiring an offshore development team? It’s the ability and flexibility to work whenever is best for you and your team. For example, some of your team members may be the most productive first thing in the morning, while others are later in the day.
Also, according to a 2020 Deloitte study: nearly all respondents say they would benefit from work flexibility (94 percent). The top advantages are being less stress/improved mental health (43 percent) and better integration of work and personal life (38 percent). As a consequence, you’ll have a happier, healthier, and more productive team.
2. Setting expectations and boundaries
It is important when working with a team to set clear deadlines and boundaries when you can be reached. Offshore teams often need some boundaries to outline their work and personal life.
Clear lines of accountability can be established by setting regular performance goals, checking in now and then to see what the progress is, and lending a hand if something is not going as expected. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering what everyone was doing.
If there’s a drawback to working with offshore development teams, it’s that communication can be a problem. Instead of leaving your team to their own devices, make sure that you schedule regular check-ins with them. You may have to put in a little more effort here instead of just stopping by their workspaces or holding problem-solving sessions, but it’s not impossible. Thanks to email, Slack or virtual meeting tools like Zoom, you can achieve this.
4. Respect everyone else’s time
Let’s say that you live on the east coast and want to plan a meeting at 9 a.m. At first, that might not seem like an unreasonable demand. But, if you have team members who reside on the west coast, you’re now asking them to have a meeting at 6:00 a.m.
Even if all the attendees are in the same time zone, you may also schedule virtual meetings at inopportune times. Employees may be watching their children or focused on deep work. Remember, everyone has their own peak productivity hours and their personal lives that need attending.
The easiest solution? Poll your team with a tool like Doodle or share your calendar with them to find a suitable slot. If they’ve allowed access, you may even have permission to view their online calendar. Or, you could use scheduling software, like Calendar, that used machine learning to make smart suggestions on when to plan events — it even considers time zones.
Other ways you’re disrespecting your team’s time? If you arrive late to a scheduled event — or a team member arrives late — that is disrespecting time. Even worse, keeping them longer than initially allotted.
And, make sure that you aren’t sending them digital messages all hours of the day. Just because you’re awake at 4:30 a.m. doesn’t mean that they are.
5. Giving feedbacks or learning opportunities
Know Your Team’s data shows that 80 percent of the 1,468 employees surveyed wanted even more feedback regarding their performance.
Beyond that, your remote developers demand learning opportunities. It’s one of the most effective ways to motivate them and keep them engaged. Let’s offer plenty of career growth opportunities for your team members.
6. Social connect
Your offshore team needs to socialize. In fact, because of recent events, more and more studies are examining the consequences of isolation. And, suffice today, it’s just not good for anyone’s health and wellbeing. Besides, encouraging your team to socialize with each other builds rapport and improves collaboration.
That may seem like a challenge. But, even quickly checking in with your team every day can make a huge difference. You could also socially spend time together via virtual happy hours to celebrate milestones or birthdays. You could even plan something fun like an online game tournament or movie night.
7. Focus on outcomes, not an activity
Measuring your team’s performance is a difficult thing in any organization, regardless of whether it’s remote or not. Many companies take the road of measuring hours worked as the main indicator of performance. Hours worked are irrelevant to the outcome. Showing up to work is simply not the same as getting work done. If you have agreed on certain goals and your team delivers, then who cares if they work eight or six hours a day, or which hours of the day they are.
Trust is important. Being able to trust your team members to have a large amount of self-discipline and get things done is an integral part of remote teams. If your team members feel like you don’t trust them, or that you’re constantly hovering over them, they’ll start to resent their work after a while.
Smart teams spend time on what actually matters. As long as a developer is delivering quality work, hitting deadlines and goals, and being productive, it doesn’t matter when or how long they actually work. Each team and position should have some trackable metrics that indicate the level of productivity achieved.
Hiring the best Offshore Development Team in Vietnam
In recent years, Vietnam has been the destination for hiring an offshore software development team thanks to the competitive labor costs compared to other countries, a large pool of IT talents with foreign language proficiency and open policies regarding foreign companies of the government.
- Ho Chi Minh City in Top Outsourcing Cities in 8 consecutive years (Tholons, 2009-2016)
- Vietnam is ranked 1 in pioneering location and cost environment (Cushman & Wakefield business process outsourcing and shaped service location index, 2016-2017)
- Top 10 countries with the most engineering graduates (Forbes, 2015)
There are many software development companies in Vietnam offering offshore development teams and InApps Technology is proud to rank:
- 1st for Top Mobile App Development Companies in Vietnam 2020
- 2nd for Top Software Development Companies in Vietnam 2020
- 4th for Top Web Development Companies in Vietnam 2020
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Let’s create the next big thing together!
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.