How To Motivate Your Offshore Employees

Hiring offshore employees can be a disaster if you don’t know how to properly manage them. A common misconception is that remote employees overseas work similar to outsourcing models where little to no oversight is required. Those new to offshoring quickly discover that motivating people not physically working with you will require a little more effort than you might be used to.

Some managers falsely think that money is the only tool needed to get anyone motivated to do what they need. Yeah money is a key motivator for people to search for jobs but once they land the job money will lose its value over time. Your offshore employees will be quick to quit their job if they feel uncomfortable with the working atmosphere with no regards to their salary.

It is super important for you to have a vested interest in making your offshore employees feel valued and part of the team in order for them to be as productive as possible. The output they provide is going to be directly linked to the satisfaction they have in working for your company. Your success in offshoring is going to heavily rely on the morale of your remote employees. The trick is to make them feel as if they are an integral part of the team and not just some overseas worker.

Ways To Motivate Your Offshore Employees

motivated offshore employee

The limits of what can be accomplished with offshore employees is endless as long as they are motivated. The recommendations in this article are not going to result in overnight motivation but with consistency will have overseas employees eager work each and everyday. Money alone is not going to be enough to keep offshore employees excited working for you so make sure you are proactive and creative in applying different motivation techniques.

Please leave comments and suggestions about how you can motivate offshore employees:

Expand Your Business With Offshore Seat Leasing

Expanding your business often means investing in additional resources like more employees, increasing research development and purchasing extra office space. Large corporations handle these types of business moves with almost no regards to the added costs and can do so with little to no disruption to their current operations. If you are running a startup or SME then your budget is probably extremely limited and need to partake in cheaper and less risky options. Offshore seat leasing can be a viable option if you are looking to expand your business in a quick and easy way without breaking the bank.

What is Offshore Seat Leasing?

Offshore seat leasing is a business model where a you rent fully functioning workspace from a BPO service provider overseas. The workspace can be as little as a single seat and scale all the way up to thousands of seats depending on the needs of your business. This business model is super common for those companies that outsource business processes like customer service, IT support, web development or use virtual assistants to help grow their business.

Seat leasing is a great way to get your feet wet for experimenting with offshore business solutions for your company. The cost to rent a single seat is only about $300 per month and can be leased on a month-to-month basis. This makes seat leasing a lot less risky and obviously a whole lot cheaper than renting an office space or even outsourcing processes a BPO company.

What is Included With Offshore Seat Leasing?

A fully functional workstation is exactly what it sounds like. Your employee will have an assigned ergonomic chair, modern desk and high-performance computer/laptop. Seat leasing also gives you access to a number of different types of private spaces and conference rooms that can be reserved when needed. IT support will be available 24/7 to provide immediate assistance in resolving any problem encountered by your employees. Administrative support can also be provided along with direct oversight and management depending on the needs of you and your employees.

Maintaining full control over your employees with seat leasing is a key difference compared to old school outsourcing models. Normally seat leasing is just providing a place for your employees to work out of but offshore seat leasing provides a lot more than that. The seat lease provider can provide recruitment and training services for you in addition to the workspace that you are renting.

Types of Offshore Seat Leasing

Flexibility and convenience are the main selling points for using offshore seat leasing to expand your business. The money and time you will save from not having to lease and setup additional office space  on your own will open up new exciting opportunities for expanding your business. Offshore seat leasing is truly a one-stop-shop to not only acquiring more workstations but also increasing your number of employees.

BPO’s Reaping The Benefits Of RPA

For years now many columnist thought Robotic Process Automation (RPA) had the potential to replace Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies. RPA was supposed to be the next best thing when it comes to businesses getting more done for less money. Having computer software performing repetitive tasks that previously required an administrative employee has impacted the BPO industry in a surprisingly different way.

BPO companies by no means feel to be in competition with RPA and are actually reaping the benefits of the technology. Automating back office processes is what outsourcing is all about and RPA technology allow BPO’s to handle a much larger workload. RPA can not replace the BPO industry because outsourcing is an exchange of business services where one company pays another to do something. RPA can however assist companies in completing those processes that may or may not be outsourced.

BPO’s Reaping The Benefits Of RPA

Outsourcing companies are well known for their expertise in managing people and processes. Handling massive amounts of transactions in the most efficient way is how the BPO industry has become so successful. RPA addresses the need for BPO companies to continuously seek innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage by completing processes more accurately, in less time and at less cost. BPO companies have greatly benefited by using RPA technology to create their virtual workforce.

How BPO’s Benefit From RPA

BPO’s will continue to implement RPA technology into their available services and reap the benefits. Outsourcing is all about cutting costs, freeing up in-house employees and increasing efficiency so RPA was really a no-brainer for the BPO industry. While RPA has definitely made some changes in the outsourcing industry it has so far been quite welcoming by BPO companies.

Please leave comments about how the relationship between BPO’s and RPA:

Hiring Virtual Employees From The Philippines

With all of the advances in technology and the increasing trend of globalization is causing an increased number of small businesses and start-ups looking to hire virtual employees. Companies are attracted to the decreased costs combined with the boost in productivity they experience when going the virtual employment route. Those looking to maximize these benefits should consider hiring virtual employees from the Philippines.

The Philippines have made tremendous strides over the past 15 years in the outsourcing industry. Initially the country was just a low budget option for obtaining an overseas call center but today things have definitely changed. The country’s BPO industry has now evolved into handling virtually any business process or task. This evolution and expansion could not have been possible without the wonderful traits and characteristics that exist in Filipinos.

Filipinos are known to be hard working, dependable and maintain a positive outlook during the toughest situations. The Philippines has almost 2 million people employed in the BPO industry so working remotely for clients comes as second nature to them. In fact, they have mastered the art and strategies of being the best virtual employee for any business. Rest assured employees from the Philippines will be self motivated, trustworthy and highly-skilled.

4 Tips To Hiring Virtual Employees From The Philippines

Hiring virtual employees from the Philippines can be a game changing investment for any small business or startup company. An overseas employee can perform all of the duties and functions of in-house staff for a fraction of the costs. With popular business models like seat leasing and flex-space it is now easier than ever to hire virtual employees in the Philippines.

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Acquiring Overseas Employees With Co-sourcing

Startups and other small businesses often have a hard time acquiring the necessary resources needed for growth and expansion. Whether it be for lack of funding or lack of managers, hiring more employees in-house is usually not a reasonable option. Outsourcing overseas can mitigate the funding and management issues but then companies will be losing complete control over the outsourced process. So now the question becomes how do businesses maintain control over their overseas outsourced work? The answer is by using a co-sourcing business model.

Co-sourcing gives businesses the ability to take advantages of having overseas employees without having to completely give up internal control over business processes. This is done by having assigned employees from an overseas provider perform certain roles rather than outsourcing the entire business process to the provider. The company will provide the day-to-day guidance to their staff while the overseas provider takes care of all the HR related needs of the employees. The company gets to manage the duties of their overseas employees without having to worry about any administrative requirements.

Co-sourcing Advantages

Companies are often left with having to make the choice of either using outsourcing or co-sourcing models to acquire their overseas employees. Co-sourcing is the more cost effective way to getting secretarial and back office tasks completed while boosting efficiency and profitability of the business. Compared to outsourcing this model creates a more motivated workforce since there is constant interaction between the company and their overseas employees.

Co-sourcing gives small businesses and startups employees when they need them without having to worry about the costs associated with a new hire. Combining the reduced costs and options to choose very short term contracts co-sourcing is the best way to acquire overseas employees.

Seat Leasing Is The Cheaper Alternative To Outsourcing

Whether your company is a start-up or you are part of a growing company you obviously need to hire outside help. Outsourcing internationally has been one of the easiest and most popular options of expanding business operations. The main reason for expanding business to say the Philippines or India is the amount of money you save compared to hiring in-house . A cheaper and more viable alternative to outsourcing would be to seat lease overseas.

Outsourcing is more expensive than seat leasing because you are essentially hiring a provider to complete a business process. The number of employees or man hours or even how the process gets completed is not your concern. This may sound inviting at first but you must consider the risks compared to the cheaper seat leasing option.

3 Main Outsourcing Risks Are Not Applicable In Seat Leasing

Seat leasing lets you take advantage of the benefits for having employees overseas while still maintaining control over your business. Most BPO companies offering outsourcing also offer seat leasing services which means your employees get to work out of world-class facilities.

How To Hire Seat Leasing Employees

Your seat lease provider can provide you a list of applicants to interview and then you can choose the right person. This makes it extremely easy for you to scale up employees quickly if your business requires it. Expect to pay no more than $250 for each workstation you need. Keep in mind these are ready to use fully furnished workstations connect to fiber internet. The seat leasing provider will even provide administrative/HR support for your remote employees for little to no extra cost. Whether you need an office full of staff or just a single employee a couple of days a week, seat leasing is the cheaper and more viable alternative to outsourcing.

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Is Your Startup Ready For Coworking Spaces?

Getting your company moved into an office space will be very costly and just like most startups, you are probably a little tight on cash. Not only do you have to plan for mortgage or rent fees but also consider the utilities and maintenance fees that come with operating out of a business complex. Coworking spaces could be an option to getting you the needed office space with little cost and no commitments.

Whether you actually need an office space or coworking space is the first thing you need to figure out. No shame in running your business from your garage as there are many great companies that started the same way. The time will come when your company is too large and complex to operate completely online out of your home.

One of the main  drawbacks of working from home is the potential for distractions. If your startup doesn’t seem to be growing then a coworking space could provide you that needed boost. Getting you and your employees setup in an office is guaranteed to increase everyone’s productivity. Coworking spaces are known for their positive and collaborative environments. This type of atmosphere might not be the best setup for all type of startup companies.

Coworking Spaces Explained

Coworking spaces are rented office space that are shared with other freelancers or remote employees. These facilities are fully furnished with high speed internet just like a up and running business office. Coworking spaces differ from normal incubator setups in that they have a more socializing aspect where people are sharing their ideas as they work towards their own specific goals. It is common for coworking companies to facilitate social interaction and brainstorming activities.

Pricing structures for these coworking spaces can vary depending on numerous factors. Do you want a dedicated desk or do you not mind just finding a new spot each day? Are you going to need private conference rooms for meetings or video calls? Depending on the answers to these questions and location, you should expect to pay somewhere between $300 and $1500 per month. Coworking spaces can be rented out daily, weekly or monthly.

Reasons You Are Not Ready For Coworking Spaces

  1. Innovation. Working in a shared space on a shared network with a bunch of unknown people could cost you a lot more than the cost of leasing your own office building. Someone stealing your idea could be detrimental to your businesses success. If your startup is producing some super secret soon-to-be-patented product then coworking spaces are not an option.
  2. Concentration. Most coworking spaces consist of shared desks in large open style rooms. This can obviously get very loud at times which could make it very difficult to take calls at times. If you are a person that gets easily distracted or annoyed then coworking spaces might not work for you.
  3. Rapid Hiring. Coworking spaces are a lot cheaper than leasing an office but only up to a certain point. Keep in mind that it will cost about $800 for each employee you assign to the coworking space. If you are looking to hire several additional employees in the near future then it could be cheaper to lease your own office.

If any of the above conditions apply to you then your startup probably won’t benefit much from coworking space. The great thing about coworking spaces is that you can rent a space for a week to see if the vibe fits you. I suggest everyone to visit a coworking space before committing to a long term office lease. The flexibility and resources available just can’t be matched by any other office model.

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Leasing Flex Space For Your Filipino Remote Employees

The Philippines has become the top destination for overseas companies to find remote employees. You most likely hired a remote Filipino to cut expenditures and add to your workforce. I’m sure you have been enjoying the sincere loyalty and respect that comes with the Filipino culture. While I am sure you are more than happy with your employee there is definitely a way to get more production out of them along with improving their morale.

Most Filipinos would choose to work in an office space with co-workers over working at home alone. Filipinos love social interaction which is why there are so many successful call centers in the Philippines. Even Filipinos not involved call center work prefer to work around others so they feel apart of a group. Employees that feel part of a company will perform a lot better than if they are tucked away alone in their home office.

One of the most cost effective ways to improve the performance of your Filipino employee is to lease flex space for them to work out of. Flex space is a workstation in an open office that you pay per month to use. These open spaces can hold as many as 500 employees all doing different types of remote work for different companies around the world. It really is an intriguing sight to see the amount of creativity in the room.

Benefits of Leasing Flex Space for Your Filipino Remote Employee

  1. Productivity. Working from home will always have distractions that keep people from accomplishing as much as they could in an office. It is extremely unlikely that a house in the Philippines will have the technology resources available that an office would. This lack of IT services combined with the distractions can greatly reduce the production of your employee. Flex spaces operate 24/7 365 so your employee can work during any time zone and meet their deadlines. Getting your employee out of the house and into a co-working office will increase their focus and morale.
  2. Employee Growth. Big offices with lots of people working on different projects have a very dynamic and inspiring feel to them. Collaborating and interacting with other remote employees is great to share ideas and get advice. You will definitely benefit from their professional growth and newly acquired skills.
  3. Company Growth. Imagine all that you went through getting your Filipino employee up to speed. Eventually you are going to need to hire more people and that is where having a flex space is great. Getting all of your employees in the same office not only makes training easier but keeps everyone on the same page. Let’s face it, you decided to outsource so you wouldn’t have to worry about that task or business process.

Having an employee in the Philippines is the perfect time to try out flex space. Workstations can be leased for less than $200 a month so there is really no risk. Give your employee the opportunity to be more creative and focused at their jobs. They will have a stronger sense of accomplishment and be more productive. Everyone wins when you lease flex space for your Filipino remote employee.

Is There a Bubble in Commercial Office Space Prices in the Philippines?

What is going on in the Philippines with their rapid rise in commercial real estate prices? The easiest answer is that the shortage of product is pushing up the prices. Globalization is really taking off in the Philippines as foreign companies continue to open up offices at historical rates. The shortage is not going to last long though with the absurd number of business parks that have popped up around the country within the last 5 years.

Is there a bubble in commercial office space in the Philippines? The people most familiar with the Philippines economy would say no there is not a bubble in commercial office space. The nation will continue to be a top destination where companies outsource their contact center services.

The BPO industry is expected to have steady growth for at least the next 5 years at about 10% annually. As of now, good quality office space is still hard to come by around the country especially in the most well-known business districts. This lack of supply is what has caused the recent surge in prices.

Office Space Rate Increases Since 2011 for Top 8 BPO Destinations in the Philippines 

  1. Makati, Manila. The capital business district in the Philippines has always lacked available space and the price of office space is the highest in the country. Prices here have actually been pretty stable since 2011 with only about 30% increase. Office space today goes for about $20 per square meter up from $14 per square meter in 2011.
  2. Taguig, Manila. The home to Bonifacio Global City district has also seen a minimal increase in office space since 2011. Up just 30% the prices went from $12 to $17 per square meter.
  3. Ortigas, Manila. The last major business district in Metro Manila is Ortigas which also has not seen quite the increase compared to other places in the country. Up just 20% since 2011 office spaces are now going for $12 per square meter compared to $10 seven years ago.
  4. Quezon City. Outside of Manila is where the commercial office spaces have really started to increase. Back in 2011 the prices per square meter were less than $8. Today the same type of space is going for $13 per square meter which is up over 60%.
  5. Clark, Pampanga. The fastest growing business district in the Philippines has seen an extreme increase in prices for commercial office space over the last 7 years. In 2011 office space was going for just $4 per square meter and now the price has more than doubled to over $8.
  6. Cebu City. This area has had a steady increase in demand over the last 7 years and office space prices have followed suit. In 2011 prices were at $8 and have now increased to $14 per square meter for a healthy 70% increase.
  7. Bacolod City. This is a new emerging business district in the Philippines and the popularity can be seen in its commercial space price hikes. In 2011 space was going for less than $4 and has now experienced a 100% increase to $8 per square meter.
  8. Davao City. Prices in this area of the Philippines are a perfect example of the office prices being determined by the demand. Vacancies have been increasing over the last couple of years which has caused the prices to go down. In 2011 office space was less than $4 and quickly reached $10 in 2016. Now prices have settled back down to about $9 per square meter and will probably continue to go down in order to stay competitive with other business areas in the Philippines.

The rapid increase in commercial prices of the last 7 years was due to the BPO industry increasing at 17% per year. As seen in the business districts across the Philippines the increase in commercial office space is not a bubble. Prices have just been flowing with the demands of the market.

Prices will continue to increase in Clark and Bacolod city for the next 2 years while other areas of the Philippines will become more steady and could drop in some areas like Davao and Cebu. It is safe to assume that 5 years from now commercial office space in Manila will be at about $20 per square meter and at about $12 per square meter in other areas of the Philippines. This projected increase will not be anywhere near what the commercial real estate has experienced in the last 7 years. There is not a bubble in commercial office space prices in the Philippines.

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Top 4 Qualities of a Great Call Center Agent

Top 4 Qualities of a Great Call Center Agent

Call center agents have a lot of responsibilities in their hands. No matter what account they handle, they must strive to satisfy their customers while reaching quotas. Needless to say, this job isn’t something that everyone can do.

Recruiting the right call center agent is just as important as choosing the right call center company for your business outsourcing needs. You, the business owner, must be involved in choosing the right persons that will handle the calls for your business. There are thousands of candidates out there, but you need to consider their skills, personality, flexibility, and dedication.

Choosing the right call center agent may be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Today, let’s take a look at the top 4 qualities of a great call center agent.

Quality #1: The ability to work under pressure

Over the years, the stress levels in a call center office have undergone a significant decline. However, a great call center agent must remain calm and graceful under pressure. Being discomposed can only exacerbate the situation.

When working as a call center agent, there is no way to avoid irate customers. These people may  yell, or even curse on the line, but the agent should know how to remain professional no matter how hot the situation gets.

Quality #2: They need to be versatile

Handling dozens of calls a day requires call center agents to communicate with people with different personalities. Interacting with such number of customers requires a high level of flexibility. When you hire a versatile call center agent, you’re giving your business a valuable asset because these agents can roll with the punches without taking them personally.

Moreover, some call centers require their agents to change shifts on a regular basis. When an agent is flexible, he or she will be able to work even on a challenging schedule.

Quality #3: A great communicator

Now, this one may seem obvious, but a great call center agent needs to have exceptional communication skills. Talking and interacting with your customers make up about 90% of their job. Because of this, you must hire agents with a solid grasp around the English language. Their mastery of the language should be top-notch.

However, talking isn’t the only skill that they must possess. Great call center agents need to be good at active listening. Understanding the needs of your customers is just as important as knowing what to say.

Quality #4: Exceptional efficiency

Great agents should know how to handle tasks quickly without the compromising the quality of their work. As much as possible, you should only hire agents with this characteristic. Why? When your team is made up of efficient workers, they can handle more calls in a shorter amount of time. This means that you will need to hire fewer workers, thus, reducing the amount of money you have to spend on labor costs.

The success of your outsourced call center campaign depends highly on the quality of call center agents that you hire. Partnering with the right company ensures that you only recruit the best persons for the job.