Outsourcing from the Philippines
Fairing the remoteness
Some leaders are afraid of outsourcing or letting people working remotely, because they can’t see the workforce physically and they doubt whether the people really working. Well, there are books to overcome this matter and good online tools for creating the environment to run remote working. Trust and feedback are behind the structure of remote working.
Philippines are unique in that sense that there is a strong catholic and United States influence. Of course I do not want to generalise, but seems that relatively high work ethics, good English and progressive Can-Do-attitude have something to do with it. Filipinos good English skills are the major difference when you compare them to India where I need usually one week to start picking up the Hindi influenced English pronunciation.
When we talking about outsourcing the developing from Philippines there are already plenty of companies who are delivering services to US, Europe and to Australia. Some of these companies have huge hall with tables and are packed with developers and some of them are smaller companies. Seems the local education system and eagerness of learning is creating new talents for the whole world.
Challenges to cope with
Time difference might be a struggle when you are planning a meeting, because there are no good solution when you need to have suitable time for California, Europe and for Philippines, always somebody needs to be working outside of the working hours. But some people are preferring to wake and start working latter and therefore it is more suitable Europe timezone.
Filipinos have due catholic tradition lot of holydays which might distract the workflow. But when you know these holydays in front you can manage them. Another thing seems to be the matter of family first. Whenever there is need for helping or taking care of some family member, it seem to be top priority due the local traditional family oriented order. Again something you can deal with when you know upfront.
For Europeans and North Americans might come as surprise that cold plain feedback is not very welcome in Asia in General. Local people may freak out when you give them partly negative feedback. Of course this is a generalising, but only fraction of the seasoned outsourced force are capable of taking feedback as feedback and not as offensive or accusation.
Recapping the outsourcing from the Philippines. It is very much doable, but you need to change a bit your mindset along the way in order not to be frustrated. You might take the outsourcing as an adventure.
CEO of Blend IT