Remotely, yours

Remotely YoursHere are a clutch of cool tools that enable you to manage your offshore team

Let’s start with a story: Ganesh works in a software development company in Hyderabad, where he has a proven track record of doing out-o-the-box thinking on complex problems and implementing solutions. His manager appreciates this and offers him a senior supervisory role with an offsite team in Silicon Valley, California.

Ganesh is initially ecstatic but later heartbroken. A reclusive nerd, he doesn’t have the social skills to settle down fast in the new work environment. Worse, as an offshore worker on the payrolls of a different company, he is treated as a second citizen in the US.

To complicate matters further, in sharp contrast to a typical American worker, his work style is more collaborative and less individualistic. Although he is the supervisor, at times he feels that the Americans in the team assigned to him make decisions over his head without consulting him, in the process, often settling for sub-optimal options, in his view. Very soon, Ganesh’s poor English speaking skills and lack of local networks further alienates him from the core team that he is supposed to manage.

This is a common problem at today’s globalized work places, where everything from people to software, to strategy, innovation to customer services is being outsourced, remotely developed and managed.

Labor laws vary from worksite to worksite (and vastly between developed and developing economies), sometimes irreconcilably, and personal attitudes to work and office politics further cramp up an otherwise good worker’s leadership style and undermine the operations of an offshore team.

One of the biggest challenges that corporates face as they expand is evolving and embracing a geography-neutral model for HR practices that is universal and location-redundant.

Companies operating in foreign countries struggle to understand and comply with different labor laws, work practices and HR norms, along with managing employees remotely, while serving customers and transacting business with suppliers and partners in multiple jurisdictions.

Managing human resources effectively in remote locations requires cultural awareness and the ability to respond quickly to dynamic changes. It also requires emotional intelligence for working in a collaborative workplace, and aligning the human capital with a global HR strategy carefully tailored to deliver business growth. It calls for a fine balance between the common, global structures, models and systems. HR systems and smart technologies are undoubtedly going to play a significant role in creating this kind of a global operations model.

Here are some software tools with which you can remotely manage your offshore employees, which staying within the local legal boundaries

Automate your payroll for offshore employees

If you can’t use PayPal for payroll, chances are you don’t meet regulations of the countries your employee is posted in. Managing international payroll requires juggling multiple currencies and compliance with diverse employment laws and regulations. EasyHR Payroll is our easy-to-use payroll software that allows you to manage and automate your whole payroll process. It’s recognized by HMRC and will keep you up-to-date with the very latest payroll legislation, including RTI and Automatic Enrolment. Wave accounting software is smart online software for help with invoicing, accounting and payroll.

Cross-cultural competencies

Have you tried Google Translate™ app? Or Culture ComPass? Or Global Mobility Portal, a new self-service from Living Abroad, a cloud-based mobility portal that allows administrators to consolidate information, links and forms for use by their assignees and families. OurWorldConnect that is the site’s NEW Business Traveler App gives city information on the go, so you never experience any surprises.

Anytime access, anywhere

These days, there are plenty of cool apps for employees who work on 24/7 platforms. Need to ask for a holiday at 3 am? The Easy HR Leave Module is available on every which device – laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone. Then there is NetIQ Cloud Manager that lets you manage your entire cloud environment—including business services, workloads and resources—from a single mobile interface.

Self-service for all employees

Then there is Easy HR Employee Self service that enables managers and employees to view and update their personal data (address change, emergency contact, etc.). It has remote management features, such as Online Leave Request and Approvals, Attendance Module for managing company timesheet management, documents, time off balances, benefits data, training, paid time off, and personal data. It’s extremely useful link between remote locations of small businesses, medium sized companies, whose employee base is spread around the world.

Alerting and automation

Alerts ensures you never miss the date when a new recruit completes his probation period and is eagerly awaiting his confirmation letter, or forget a colleague’s wedding anniversary or miss out on another’s mid-term review process.

International calling doesn’t have to cost a fortune

Besides the hugely popular free services, such as Skype and Google Voice, there are plenty of paid web-based international calling services, such as Vopium, a mobile VoIP app that redirects global calls as local calls to transform them into low cost international calling. Vonage Mobile® is another useful app that lets you talk and text worldwide with anyone who has the same app on his/her smart phone.

Connecting one-on-one

Have you tried Camfrog that enables chat sessions and is a hybrid between a social discovery app and video chat app. Cool isn’t it.