If you’re now working or considering using offshore staff, you’re undoubtedly pondering or visualizing what the daily pace of work might be like. Fortunately offshore and onshore team members can work together to increase productivity, effectiveness, efficiencies, and ultimately profits at your company.
However, finding offshore talent can be a time consuming process. It’s a long-term task that, if not addressed properly, can lead to feelings of stress.
Stress is never a good thing, but the fact is that there is one system you can implement to ensure seamless engagement with your offshore staff, especially when they work directly with your onshore team.
In this article we are going to take a look at the best way that you can take advantage of all of the benefits of using offshore team members. This system is the buddy system!
Benefits of Utilizing Offshore Team Members
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, accounting firms have become so accustomed to using offshore staffing that even the smallest firms have begun to develop their offshore teams. Accounting firms have made a considerable shift toward engaging people from different nations.
Many small and mid-sized accounting firms, however, continue to struggle with onshore and offshore team collaboration. This is true even after embracing offshore staffing. You must develop a consistent culture for the Onshore and Offshore Teams to grow and perform. This will help the persuit of common goals, regardless of geographical barriers, time zones, or cultural variations. They’re always seeking new ways to foster strong teamwork and sustain peace.
The Buddy System
The “Buddy System” is one of the inventive methods that you should adopt in your business. You should “buddy-up” offshore staff with one or two (not more) onshore staff members. These employees will then together as one team.
Mapping too many onshore staff with one offshore employee creates confusion for offshore staff on who is their reporting supervisor. It can also create some difficulties for them when it comes to the prioritization of tasks, who should they should go to if there are any questions, and more.
This is where the buddy system really helps. The buddy system method includes an offshore buddy who shares at least 50% of the time zone with an onshore buddy.
Integrating offshore and onshore teams will also be determined by how you use overlap. Overlap occurs when the onshore and offshore teams’ working hours overlap and they are accessible to interact and have meetings. Overlap of 4-5 hours is required for the proper development of offshore relationships. This is the period when offshore and onshore teams may meet on a regular basis to discuss work. This is also a great time for onshore staff to train offshore team members, as they can communicate in real-time.
You may also want to consider scheduling larger employee training sessions to help develop employee potential during these overlapping hours.
Benefits of the Buddy System
There are many benefits of the buddy system. Not only does this system help reduce confusion and increase accountability, it can also lead to stronger workplace relationships between offshore and onshore team members.
Here is a deeper look at all of the great benefits of the buddy sytem.
Work as “One Team”
Onshore buddies would be responsible for both the quantity and the quality of the work done by offshore staff members. They work as “one team” because they both know that their performance is aligned together. Onshore buddies would always make sure their offshore buddies’ workflow is full for continuous output.
Delegates More Tasks Offshore
Another one of the many great benefits of the buddy system is that it can aid the transfer of additional tasks to the offshore team. As the relationship grows, the onshore staff moves more tasks and activities to their offshore staff.
Smooth Training and Onboarding
Onboarding and training become very smooth and seamless thanks to the buddy system. In addition to this, offshore staff members always have a “go-to” resource if they have questions regarding items or tasks they don’t understand. With the buddy system, prompt resolution occurs.
Reduces Confusion and Increases Accountability
When you map your offshore staff to 1 or 2 onshore staff members, it reduces confusion. This is true considering your offshore staff member is not reporting to 5 or 7 different people onshore. The buddy system enables the ability to hold everyone more accountable. It also streamlines reporting of the offshore staff member(s) mapped to them.
The Buddy System is Great for Offshore and Onshore Team Members Alike!
One of the Top 100 Accounting Firm says:
The buddy system encourages relationship growth over time. Each buddy is driven to understand the other since it will eliminate confusion, help everyday work go more smoothly, and make everyone happier in general. Because no one enjoys a tense or uncomfortable working relationship, each team member is organically motivated to foster a positive working environment.”
This company developed the work culture and treated their offshore staff as if they were their own. They truly developed team relationships so everyone was able to feel like they were part of the same team.
We are always seeking creative ways to onboard your new offshore staff seamlessly. With the idea to keep it scalable for your firm, the “Buddy System” is one of the best recommendations for best practices to integrate your onshore and offshore teams.