What to avoid When Managing An Offshore Team

Managing an offshore team has its ups and downs. While there are several articles on the best way to manage a team, there isn’t a lot of information on what not to do with an offshore team. Wrong management practices cost businesses productivity and efficiency. Knowing these malpractices will help businesses plan out better management policies to get the best out of their offshore team.

Vague Instructions

When communicating instructions to offshore teams, businesses cannot be vague. Many companies fail to give clear instructions to their offshore teams, leading to misunderstandings in expectations, which leads to frustrating delays. Businesses give vague instructions because they assume the offshore team will completely understand the implicit instructions. However offshore teams may not understand implicit instructions due numerous factors, including cultural differences. They will however follow the explicit instructions better. If companies are not specific they will not get the results they want, to avoid this problem, businesses should give specific instructions and ask questions to assess if the team has fully grasped what was conveyed.

A single form of communication

Most businesses only use a single form of communication to keep in touch with offshore teams. Compared to the scale of advancements in communication technology email in particular has taken a back seat and therefore is one of the least effective means. It’s a more passive method of communication as it can take a long time to exchange information via email. Businesses must take advantage of the different mediums available such as; Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc, to maintain open communication channels in order to ensure effective and efficient communication takes place throughout the working hours. On another note, Verbal communication is just as important, because it enables the offshore team to clarify their doubts immediately and save time. Maintaining multiple forms of communication is crucial to get the most out of the offshore team.

Expecting things to go right the first time

Businesses expect offshore teams to integrate themselves into their workflow and start handling tasks on their own from the start. However, expecting your offshore team to work smoothly from the get-go is just not realistic. Offshore teams take time to get used to a firm’s unique work culture. Thus, the offshore team needs time to adapt to the requirements of their client. Therefore, when managing projects, it is important to plan for mistakes, delays and most importantly be Patient.

Different teams in different time zones

All members of an offshore team should ideally be in the same time zone. There are many companies that have tried to create different offshore teams with members in different time zones, which have turned into a nightmare for managing and coordination. Sticking to one time-zone not only makes it easier to schedule meetings and coordinate between team members but also improves operational focus and efficiency.

These are some of the common mistakes to avoid when managing offshore teams and if not addressed could result in an incapable working dynamic which would lead to an unsuccessful experience.


The article has been written by the EFutures team(
This information is our opinion, through our experience in the industry and other content sources.
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