“Redefining Outsourcing” The Why and the What of Insourcing

Outsourcing refers to the practice of hiring an external company or individual to perform tasks or services that would otherwise be performed by in-house staff. This could include tasks such as customer service, accounting, or software development. Outsourcing can be done domestically within the same country or internationally, and it can be done onshore (within the same country) or offshore (in a different country). Offshoring specifically refers to the practice of outsourcing tasks or services to a foreign country, typically one where labor costs are lower. This could include outsourcing call center operations to various countries. Many will refer to this as “Remote/Virtual” teams, and can include onshore, offshore and near shore.

Insourcing is truly “outsourcing redefined.” This concept was born with the idea of utilizing remote/virtual teams who become part of your culture, your team and mission. There are some essential steps to ensuring you have a healthy culture that integrates your in-office teams with your insourced teams:

  • Establish a clear communication strategy: Ensure that remote and virtual team members have access to the necessary communication tools and protocols, such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management software. Encourage regular check-ins and establish guidelines for response times and availability.
  • Foster a sense of inclusion: Include remote and virtual team members in company-wide initiatives, such as company events, team-building exercises, and training sessions. Consider setting up a virtual watercooler, where team members can chat and socialize outside of work-related conversations.
  • Set expectations for work output and performance: Clearly communicate goals, objectives, and expectations for remote and virtual team members. Ensure that they understand how their work fits into the larger picture and provide regular feedback on their performance.
  • Establish a consistent onboarding process: Ensure that remote and virtual team members receive the same level of onboarding and training as on-site employees. Provide them with the necessary tools and resources to do their job effectively.
  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Encourage remote and virtual team members to collaborate with on-site employees and foster a culture of knowledge-sharing and idea generation. This can be facilitated through regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and cross-functional projects.
  • Create opportunities for career development: Offer remote and virtual team members the same opportunities for career development and advancement as on-site employees. Provide them with access to training, mentorship, and professional development programs.
  • SWAG! Everyone loves good swag. Send your teams t-shirts, pens, koozies, etc..

By implementing these methods, you can help integrate remote and virtual teams into your office culture and foster a more collaborative and inclusive work environment. You now have fostered happier and healthier teams and long term committed members of your business.

For the past few decades there has been a trend of skepticism towards “outsourcing”. There were issues such as:

  • Language and accent barriers
  • Time zones
  • Culture variances
  • Technology to communicate

Companies like ZimWorX have developed a new path to ensure these issues are mitigated or solved, and actually turn remote/virtual teams into a more productive, efficient, and satisfying environment for a business to grow. This has proven to be an effective plan for a business to thrive through good and difficult economic times.