In this interview, the founder and CEO of outsourcing4work GmbH, K. Nadeem Arif, explains the role of external workers in Germany and also discusses the risks of international teams.
ITD: Mr Arif, to what extent do large German companies currently rely on external IT specialists from other countries?
K. Nadeem Arif: More than two-thirds of companies in Germany report difficulties in recruiting IT specialists (German Federal Statistical Office). To meet IT requirements, more and more companies are resorting to external IT professionals and personnel service providers.
ITD: In your opinion, what are the advantages of outsourcing certain IT tasks to external specialists?
Arif: As above-mentioned, there is currently a shortage of IT specialists in Germany and it may take up to six months on average to fill a vacant position. At outsourcing4work, we can put forward suitable, qualified Indian IT specialists at cost-efficient solutions with attractive conditions for companies. Indian employees bring specific expertise with them. When employees from all over the world work together, expertise, transparency, agility, and, last but not least, perfect management are key factors for success.
ITD: Your company enshrines the philosophy of remote work and you’ve been working fully remote for almost ten years. What obstacles have you encountered so far – including in your personal life?
Arif: In 2007 I became seriously ill and was diagnosed with a rare disease known as CFS – chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result, thereof, I am severely disabled and have level 2 care. I often can’t leave the house for months on end, and have been managing my business from my bed or couch. My personal circumstances forced me to re-think my business model and I still get excited about the ever-increasing possibilities of working from home. I discovered the benefits of remote working and this convinced me to transform the entire company into a 100 percent remote company. Today our company has 150 employees from 17 different countries. At outsourcing4work, we’ve slowly been able to establish our decentralised business structures and have continued to optimise these over the years. There have always been challenges and obstacles, but we have tackled these and as such have evolved. Obstacles serve to develop further, to try out new things, and to learn and grow from them. So every obstacle has therefore contributed to our business growth and success.
ITD: How has the Coronavirus pandemic influenced the future working model of companies?
Arif: There’s no doubt that flexible organisational structures and working hours are a blessing. Statistics show a drastic increase in interest to continue working remotely once the pandemic has ended. This suggests that the flexibility of remote working and its impact is not only positively changing people’s lives, but also their views. The benefits are undeniable and we can expect a huge market shift. “We tackled every challenge and have always evolved as a result.”