How to Get the Most Out of Your Outsourced Staff Using VNC

Thanks to the dawn of global outsourcing, things that used to cost 20 dollars an hour in the United States can now cost as little as three dollars an hour in places like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and depending on the task, the Philippines.

The Philippines has one of the highest minimum wage rates in Southeast Asia when measured in productivity. So, the dollar figure might be low on its face but when you factor in the actual productivity or dollar value of the output, it turns out that it’s actually quite expensive labor.

A lot of people advocating for higher minimum wage rates are completely blind to this. They don’t factor in productivity but let me tell you, when was the last time you paid somebody 20 dollars for something that costs five dollars? In other words, it doesn’t make any sense to pay somebody three bucks when the value of the work they produce is one dollar. If you did that, you would be out of two dollars for every hour you hire that person. Are you clear with this? This is not rocket science.

Accordingly, a lot of the outsourcing in the Philippines focuses primarily on English language proficiency; in particular, spoken English. This is why there’s a tremendous amount of call centers in the Philippines and not too many certain detailed form-filling work that is popular in outsourcing centers and BPO hotspots in places like Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan and parts of India. It really all boils down to cost.

Regardless of where your outsourced staff is, you need to get the most out of your interactions with them using VNC. It’s very easy to see why a lot of BPO companies would use VNC because the person helping you can get in your screen immediately. There is no guesswork involved. Depending on the speed of their internet connection, everything takes place in real time.

This is all well and good but you have to understand that if you’re working with outsourced staff, it is very easy to waste time and guess what, it’s not their fault. They’re just waiting for you to get your act together.

So, to get the most out of your outsourced staff using VNC, it’s always a good idea to video the operation ahead of time. For example, if I’m going to teach somebody in India how to use automated actions in photoshop, it’s probably a good idea for me to video myself using some sort of screen capture software going through the steps. Keep in mind that this video instruction is not me fumbling around with the software. I have to use it smoothly in a very short period of time. The smoother, the better.

Once I do this and I send it to the other person, I then send the person a test. This is crucial. This person should have followed the video and if they have done that, they would have passed the test because they actually went through the steps. They would know what to do before, the things that go on during, and they have a fairly clear idea of what goes on after performing certain functions.

Once I’ve sent them the video and then they have passed the test, we then send emails to each other limiting what we’re going to be talking about. Then and only then would it make sense for me to step them through the process because if everything falls into place and everybody did their jobs properly, the actual VNC session would be very short.

Why do I insist on making sure that you maximize the quality of your VNC interaction with your outsourced staff? Why am I not recommending to you that you spend hour upon hour on VNC with your staff? Well, I’m telling you, they work overnight. So, the longer you stay with them overnight, deal with the quality of the output. This is assuming that you are working on a nonsynchronous schedule, meaning, they work at their daytime normally and you work at your daytime normally.

To communicate via VNC, it’s going to be nighttime at their end. Remember, they’re working around your schedule and if you were going to stretch the VNC instruction process, don’t be surprised if the person is so out of it because of the shifting schedule that they completely drop the ball as far as their performance on your project is concerned. Consider yourself warned.