GETREMOTE Interview With Outsourcing4work
Outsourcing4work combines the advantages of offshore Outsourcing with the security and quality of a German contractor. Since Outsourcing is extremely promising: flexible, time and cost-saving, and above all — risk-free.
IT Outsourcing offers enormous potential for companies. While many companies are already Outsourcing tasks within Germany, some companies still shy away from Outsourcing to countries outside Europe.
Outsourcing4work has been active in this area for over 25 years. Thanks to our many years of experience, we know what is important in IT OOOutsourcing and how we achieve goals together with and for our customers.
Company: Outsourcing4work GmbH
Number of employees: 100+
Working model: Full Remote
Interview partner: Sandra Hand, CHRO
How exactly does your flexible working model look?
Our employees are not tied to one company location – instead, they decide for themselves from where they want to work. In this way, we are able to employ dedicated and self-driven professionals worldwide, regardless of where they live.
For our more than 100 employees from 17 countries, a Remote Guru working model means that their work and contact with the company are completely performed online. This also includes communication between colleagues: we exchange ideas every day during virtual coffee breaks and organize virtual after-work events.
What tools do you work with?
We work with cloud-based tools and for the most part with Microsoft products. For example, we use MS teams for our daily communication in different departments. Mainly, we manage our tasks in MS Planner, as well as in other tools, and for larger projects we use AzureDevOps.
Every employee can organize his/her day with MS ToDo, this tool also forms an interface to MS Planner, so that tasks are not lost for us and for each individual.
For employee management, we work with Personio and Recruitee.
Why did you choose to work with your team full remotely?
For our company founder K. Nadeem Arif, remote work did not begin voluntarily first.
In 2007 he became seriously ill with a rare disease (CFS). This severely restricted his mobility, and, he did not want to allow this to happen due to 20 years of martial arts experience.
He was working more and more from the home office and was increasingly enthusiastic about the possibilities of this work model. Due to the advantages and strengths of remote work, he decided to rebuild the entire company into a Remote Guru company.
Do you work independently of location or time, as well?
Flexibility is one of our corporate values and is therefore very important to us in the company. It doesn’t matter when the employee works, for us it’s more important that results are achieved.
We have grown a lot in recent years and have agreed on flexible working hours. That means, as a rule, every employee should work at least 6 hours in the CET timezone (German office hours).
If this is not possible, we have a so-called “FlexDay” that we manage via Personio. The employees register a FlexDay when they know that they will not be able to work at the agreed communal working hours and also indicate when they will be available. Every employee can view this FlexDay calendar and is thus informed when a person can be reached.
In addition, we utilise the status in MS Teams which informs each employee whether someone is currently available and e.g. has time for a team meeting.
What should companies pay particular attention to when they are newly establishing home offices and remote work?
At Outsourcing4work we have slowly been able to establish our decentralized corporate structures and have continuously optimized them over the years. Anyone who wants/has to create decentralized structures in their company (especially due to Corona) should make sure that there are established a communication structure and rules.
In a decentralized corporate structure, communication is extremely important, as employees cannot even go to the next-door office for a moment and, for example, ask questions or exchange information with a small talk. However, a balanced regulation should be found so that communication does not prevail in the form of meetings and calls.
For collaborative decentralized teamwork, we recommend using appropriate tools such as MS Planner, Jira, or Trello in order to work together on tasks in a standardized workflow. In addition, companies must recognize the digital possibilities for themselves and use them. There are now countless tools that support remote collaboration. Agile methods play an important role in successful decentralized collaboration.
We have developed our own Outsourcing4work method from various agile methods and practices. This is established in all teams. For example, each team starts the day with a daily meeting based on the principle of “Rocks” & “Roses”, where challenges and positive experiences/successes from the previous day, as well as the tasks for the day ahead, are discussed.
Such a structured daily meeting gives every employee the opportunity to exchange ideas and then everyone knows what is planned for today, if necessary further team meetings for certain topics are arranged.
Diese ist in allen Teams etabliert. Z.B. startet jedes Team den Tag mit einem Daily Meeting nach dem Prinzip von „Rocks“ & „Roses“, dabei werden Herausforderungen sowie positive Erlebnisse/Erfolge des vorherigen Tages und die Aufgaben des anstehenden Tages besprochen.
Ein solches strukturiertes Daily Meeting gibt jedem Mitarbeiter die Möglichkeit sich auszutauschen und anschließend weiß jeder was für den heutigen Tag geplant ist, wenn nötig werden anschließende Team Meetings für gewisse Themen vereinbart.
Does successful managing work differ from a distance to in an office?
Yes. First of all, trust plays an important role on both sides. Many executives and managers think that with decentralized structures, employees get lost and you lose control. Even with centralized management, success is not based on control, but on trust and confidence. Trust forms the basis for leading a team at a distance.
Basically, the structure of decentralized companies is network-like and structured in a much more agile manner than in comparison to central, often hierarchically structured companies. The management processes are changing, with the decision-making authority and responsibility shifting from the managers to the employees.
Employees are given more responsibility and must be competent to execute self-monitoring. Employees can thus contribute to the company independently. The task of the management of remote companies is to encourage the employees and their skills so that they can independently add their value to the company.
At Outsourcing4work, the management takes responsibility for developing the processes so that the employees can perform the required tasks. Therefore, the main tasks of our managers are to coordinate, support, and advise their teams and employees and give them the opportunity to manage themselves.
There are employees who can do this very well and can cope well with the freedom and can organize their work for themselves and there are others who need more support and have to learn to work independently with the freedom. In addition, there should be a good company culture of dealing with mistakes. Every employee must be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.
There is a saying for this: “Same, Same but different” Managing remotely applies here perfectly. It is just like in the office, only different. There are also employees in the office who get along well and quickly with the given structures and others who need more support.
Three good reasons why more companies should assemble their team regardless of location?
- The employees work more efficiently and are more motivated at the same time
- Access to the global job market, no borders
- Cost-efficient and environmentally friendly, no rental expenses for large office spaces and no business trips that take away of a lifetime and have a negative impact on ecological footprint