Best Practices for Managing Remote Offshore Teams

Best Practices for Managing Remote Offshore Teams

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Every industry is seeing a rise in the use of remote work, and businesses always need remote Offshore teams to handle multiple projects. Using the outsourcing model as a business development strategy has become more appealing due to the industry’s explosive growth in the last ten years, particularly in the digital domain.

The U.S. outsourcing industry employs 300,000 people annually on average, and in 2018, it generated $86.6 billion in revenue worldwide. Increasingly, companies and agencies set up their offshore teams in popular outsourcing hubs like China, India, and the Philippines. 43% of US IT companies currently use offshore teams for outsourcing. However, managing remote offshore teams is a complex task. Rather, it calls for extensive project management expertise and experience. Let’s examine in this blog the challenges, pros and cons, as well as the best practices for managing remote offshore teams

Challenges of Remote Offshore Teams

Businesses should be aware of the challenges associated with managing an overseas workforce in addition to the many advantages that offshoring software can offer.

1. Cultural barriers:

Conflicts between cultures are unavoidable, particularly when you collaborate with people who were raised in different circumstances and had different viewpoints than you. Therefore, it is critical to identify cultural boundaries as soon as possible. Workflow can be significantly impacted by even the smallest cultural differences, ranging from professional ethics to basic etiquette norms.

2. Communication issues:

Supervising an offshore or onshore team usually involves communication problems. People can misinterpret business objectives when there is unclear or inconsistent communication, which can cause errors, delays, or conflicts in the software development project. Ineffective communication can also lead to a lack of openness and trust, which makes it more difficult for participants to work together productively and share their expertise. 

3. Language barriers with offshore teams:

Communication problems may worsen if offshore teams are not fluent in English or your native tongue. Misunderstandings may become more common and teamwork may become more difficult. When your attempts at explanation are not understood by the offshore team, it also affects the onboarding or knowledge transfer processes.

4. Different Timezones:

The offshore development centre is most likely located in a different time zone and on the other side of the planet. Problems might still occur even though some teams are willing to adjust their working hours to accommodate your schedule.

5. Control measures:

Consistency in schedules and evaluation criteria can serve as a basis for measuring progress. The offshore team members might not meet the pre-established deadlines and standards if the progress tracking is not done regularly. Additionally, the outputs’ consistency and quality could decline, which would harm the company’s reputation in multiple ways.

Importance of managing an offshore team

There are very obvious benefits to maintaining an offshore team well instead of simply leaving them to their own devices after just communicating details about the project.

1. Developers stay informed and motivated: 

The team is more driven to design the product to the highest standard when they observe the end client’s high level of engagement and recognize the value of the project. Monitoring the status of development has a good effect on developers’ sense of purpose and raises the calibre of the final product.

2. The finished product can be anticipated already:

You are aware of the features, interface, and technical constraints of the software if you participate actively in the decision-making process. When the finished product is ready, there won’t be any discrepancies between expectations and reality.

3. Simpler to maintain the product internally:

The primary company is more knowledgeable about the front-end and back-end details and the technologies utilized for development.

4. Knowledgeable team:

Providing the offshore team with valuable product knowledge and insights and overseeing the process keeps the team dedicated and fit for the task.

Best practices for managing remote offshore teams

In-house and offshore teams need to work together harmoniously for your offshore software development to be successful. Some of the best practices to help firms manage remote offshore teams are:

1. Definitive vision of work:

Businesses frequently make the error of merely assigning urgent tasks without outlining the goal or the overall project picture when working with committed offshore teams. For instance, team members may become disengaged from their work and perform poorly if they are not given clear instructions regarding the project’s objectives. 

As a result, offshore teams must comprehend the scope of work, including deliverable schedules, priorities, milestones, and anticipated results in addition to the project’s vision and direction.

2. Proper communication methods:

Since voice or video calls are used for all interactions, you should give careful thought to the communication tools. The following communication apps are some of the most crucial means of communication: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Outlook. It’s also a good idea to simplify your communication strategy for an offshore team to reduce the likelihood of language barriers. This implies that in your daily work, you should steer clear of metaphors, utilize simple language, and be direct.

3. Building a diverse work culture:

The need to cultivate an environment where your offshore team’s diversity and individuality are valued and accepted is paramount. One way to achieve this is by developing training programs and initiatives for your internal and offshore teams that focus on cultural awareness and mutual education

4. Using the Agile Methodology:

The agile development methodology is a useful tool for overseeing offshore development teams. This approach offers a transparent framework that encourages incremental and iterative approaches and adjusts to any extent to feedback or market conditions.

5. Better Leadership:

Bringing in individuals possessing robust leadership attributes to your offshore team can significantly enhance operational cohesion.  These executives represent your company to the offshore team. By fostering smooth interactions between in-house and offshore teams, they aid in the construction of a bridge that ensures increased productivity.

6. Information Transfer and onboarding:

Ensuring that overseas teams comprehend the goals and expectations of the project, along with the organization’s work procedures and culture, can be achieved by focusing on onboarding and the knowledge transfer process.

7. Overlapping work schedules:

The offshore team may frequently operate in a different time zone. While it is unrealistic to expect your offshore team to work around the clock, you can address this by periodically scheduling overlapping work windows for team meetings, feedback sessions, and scrums.

8. Know the team and their work:

A firm should do their due diligence first, find the right team for the work, know the people on the offshore team and then use their skills smartly.

Also Read: Nearshoring vs Offshoring: – Which is the right choice for your business?


In conclusion, careful procedures, honest communication, and a dedication to building a solid team culture are essential for remote offshore teams to succeed. A successful virtual workspace can be created by embracing the appropriate technologies, setting clear expectations, and making team-building investments in addition to bridging the physical gaps. The ability to manage and maximize remote offshore collaborations will surely become a critical differentiator for companies hoping to thrive in the fast-paced, globally interconnected workplace as the professional landscape continues to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is managing an offshore team difficult?

Leading an offshore team is difficult because working with developers from other nations often presents communication barriers because of cultural and linguistic differences, which can lead to miscommunication and delays.
the time zones in which your offshore teams operate make it challenging to coordinate work and can lead to missed deadlines.

Can the quality of work be maintained with Offshore Teams?

Set up communication channels and project management tools, comprehend project scope and delivery deadlines, hold regular meetings to make sure development timelines are met, and define quality work from offshore teams. This can ensure the quality of work is maintained.

How to handle a diverse workforce since offshoring would entail workers with different backgrounds?

Celebrating diversity is very important in a work environment. Training programs, cultural education and fostering an environment where each view is heard is important.

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