The remote team model has gained traction over the past few decades. Remote teams are starting to become a critical part of in-house operations by working towards shared objectives. As a result, the general perception about remote teams is shifting. The growth in outsourced operations has demonstrated that good, productive work can be done anywhere and at any time.
Despite their growing popularity, there are a lot of myths surrounding the remote team phenomenon. Let’s bust a few of the most common myths about remote teams.
Myth #1: Anyone can work remotely
The biggest barrier to clients scaling themselves through remote outsourcing is the perception that remote workers do not have any special skills or expertise. This leads to another fallacy – the perception that remote teams are only good for entry-level tasks. As a result, most clients do not even realize that remote teams can, in fact, handle very specialized operations.
Remote workers can – and very often do – possess a highly specialized skill set. At mature outsourcing organizations, it is very common to find specialized, highly-trained teams that work on specific verticals. Everything from IT operations to video surveillance can be handled by your remote team.
Myth #2: Communication will be a problem
Your remote team may be located a thousand miles away from you but gone are the days of communication problems cropping up due to a lack of english-speaking personnel in your outsourcing partner’s country. You may be worried that your assignments and communication will get lost in translation. You may worry that the language barrier will prevent your remote team from delivering top performance. These are valid concerns – but may not always be true!
With virtual teams cropping up all over the globe, the use of video conferencing, project management software and communication tools like Skype, Slack, Basecamp, Asana and Trello makes it easier than ever to ensure direct and accountable communication with your remote teams.
Myth #3: Remote workers work less
There is a perception that remote workers are thousands of miles away and their time is not accounted for. You may have been told that remote workers do not use their time wisely and may even miss important deadlines. This may have been the reality a couple of decades ago. contemporary studies show that remote teams are actually more productive, not less!
In a national survey posted on Sure Payroll, 86% of people working remotely stated that they were able to achieve maximum productivity even though they may not be monitored constantly. Hiring reliable staff, setting clear expectations and accountable reporting are the true antidotes to remote worker productivity problems. By evaluating your team based on the results they deliver rather than the number of hours they put in, you will be able to ensure productivity with the least amount of hand-holding from your end.
Myth #4: Remote workers are only available at certain times
Most clients believe that remote teams are only available during working hours. Then, they worry about hiring staff for odd shifts such as afternoon and night shifts – or for weekend coverage. Often, they may not even be aware of a much simpler solution that is right under their nose – hiring out-of-hours staff through their outsourcing vendor.
The advantage of hiring staff overseas is that the money you hiring affordable staff can be channelled towards supporting your operations 24/7 by hiring out-of-hours support. Many established outsourcing firms will offer out-of-hours coverage for industries which need that sort of thing. These include healthcare, IT support, video surveillance, alarm monitoring – and many more!
Myth #5: Remote teams ruin company culture
The only time when company culture suffers with remote teams is when there is a lack of regular reporting rhythm and periodic communication between you and your remote teams. Then again, a lack of regular reporting and communication is bound to ruin the company culture at an in-house team as well, don’t you think?
Remote collaboration does not diminish corporate culture. In all our years of experience as an outsourcing firm, collaborations have enriched both our own company culture as well as that of our clients. Healthy interdisciplinary, intercultural conversations have been the cornerstone of our lasting client relationships.
With diligence, patience and a strong reporting structure, remote teams can actually improve your operations.