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Working With An Offshore Counterpart

With today’s business world rapidly changing and outsourcing and offshoring becoming common practice, at some point of your life you are bound to come in contact with such a firm and situation and would be required to work with a counterpart halfway across the world. The global economy now demands it that you get used to the idea of working from home at 1 a.m. and here are a few tips to pull you through it.
Time Difference: Blessing or Curse?
Let’s look at the blessings first. The main advantage is that the operations of the company can run 24*7 as while one corner of the world sleeps, the other can continue the work, thus finishing work double time. However, this also requires significant levels of coordination and communication. If it is a daily routine where one is transferred to the other and is homogenous work as seen in a contact center consultant, the problem is minimized. However, in the case of specialized tasks within a specific part of a project’s life cycle, the time difference and communication can become a significant burden. The most common way in which companies mitigate this issue is by shifting the work hours to have at least an hour’s window between the two regions. This way, issues that arise at the end of the day on one end can be communicated and resolved before the other starts their work day, thereby reducing lead time on problem solving by a whole day.
Cultural Differences
It is openly known that the East and West have very different cultures and while the language may be the same, the way in which it is comprehended may be very different. A simple ‘yes’ in China would not mean the same in India or California. It is vital to understand the subtle differences in culture and language in order to understand and ensure effective communication. Continuous contact center assessment is also important to ensure that calls and messages are being transferred on time and reaches its intended recipient as soon as possible.
It Is Not Slave Labor
Just because your counterpart is across the world does not mean they have no life and is here to do your bidding. For all you know they may be far more qualified and be leading a much better life than you so it is important to conduct business in a respectful manner and treat them as you would do a team member from home. Having a good relationship with your offshore counterpart will ensure effective communication and better collaboration of work.

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