Build a Relationship with Your Offshore Manager
Working for an offshore team is an exciting opportunity to progress in your career and learn about new business systems, structure and etiquette. Your Deployed office will offer ongoing support but it is important to build an early relationship with your overseas employer.
Build a strong relationship with your employer from the offset and don’t be afraid to ask questions so you know what is expected of you. Ask for the opportunity to introduce yourself to your offshore team members via video call. It may take you out of your comfort zone but building a strong relationship with your employer and team members will be beneficial to your progress and understanding of the company.
Ask for contact guidelines
Discuss with your new manager suitable times in which you can contact. Be aware of the time difference, public holidays and weekly reoccurring meetings. Set the ground rules and expectations about how and when to communicate from the start.
Decide on one form of communication
Technology has made distance obsolete but too much of a choice and the message could get lost. Agree on one formal method of communication that you both need to check regularly for updates. Schedule all other portal communication such as telephone or Skype through email unless it is an emergency.
It is important to know how autonomous in your decision making you are. Agree what tasks you can sign off yourself and what ones need the approval from your superior. That way you will not need to contact your offshore employer for every minor question or update. If you do not have a weekly call or Skype session, arrange one. Your employee may be extremely busy in their domestic office and overlook the importance of scheduling a call. Take the initiative to send out a weekly invite to report on your progress.
Communication does not have to be complicated from a distance and is key for this to be a successful relationship. If you are unsure of anything, tell your employer to avoid mistakes. If a problem does occur, do not hide it. Let your manager know as soon as possible so it can be fixed. If you feel that you need further training in an area, it is not a weakness to say so. It will demonstrate your initiative and willingness to learn to progress through the company.
Agree with your employer how often they would like an update of your progress. Keep to the agreement and provide your employer a daily/weekly wrap up of your completed tasks, challenges you have faced and what your next project is. That way you will both have clarity over your schedule.
The greater your transparency in communication of obstacles and successes, the easier it is to build a trusting relationship.