Inside Nearshoring

Time Difference and Language Barriers in Nearshoring

Cyril Samovskiy, Mobilunity CEO, speaks about main differences and language barriers in nearshoring. Find out all the nuances you should pay attention to starting collaboration with nearshore vendor. Follow the link and see the full version of this interview in our blog post.

How do you manage language barriers and time difference issues in providing nearshoring development services?

Alfie: With Mobilunity clients, who are from around the globe, how do you manage that when it comes to language and time difference? Because you’re dealing with different countries, different cultures and belief systems.

Cyril: I agree it is the challenge for us and I agree that would be easier for us and for the teams to be working with somebody in the standard meaning of “nearshoring”? If it’s Switzerland, or Germany, or France, or UK, or Norway, Sweden we’re 2-3 hours flight, 1 or maximum 2 hours time difference – that’s easy. When it comes to further markets, North America or Asia, it is different from the process organization point of view. The client is not present during the time, when the team is operating – we are getting our clients prepared for this, we are stressing it on a few points, which are very much crucial to these long-distance clients of ours. We explain the essence of proper planning, we advise the way to organize the process with the remote team, when the remote team gets any questions, what they are supposed to be doing until they get the answers. Just because the answer from North America or maybe from Asia may be coming in just next day or in two days. 

We explain the essence of proper planning, we advise the way to organize the process with the remote team, when the remote team gets any questions, what they are supposed to be doing until they get the answers.

Language-wise with North America it’s still easy, because every developer of ours communicates in English. When the skill is not enough, we’re giving the classes and doing all the possible tutoring on-site of our office to ensure that in-person communication is in line with what the client is expecting. With a glance from Asia it is more complicated, just because English is less used there in the business environment and in common life, we find the solutions: we are sometimes providing a communications manager knowing the language of that country to be bridging what’s in between the headquarters somewhere in Japan or South Korea or elsewhere, and our engineer here, who is just talking English, for example. 

We are sometimes providing a communications manager knowing the language of that country to be bridging what’s in between the headquarters and our engineer here.

If it’s a time difference, like I mentioned with America, it’s one size difference, with Asia that would be another size difference. Asian countries are way ahead of Ukrainian time zone and we got to be starting a little bit sooner in the morning. This comes to recruitment, when we know exactly what to expect from a client from Tokyo or South Korea or elsewhere. 

These points are all important to us. We are putting a significant effort into ensuring that we are capable of providing the service that the clients will appreciate. Otherwise, it is to us and to the client that would be loss of time and loss of money to step into a relationship that does not have good chances to actually prevail.

Alfie: So you’re in the middle, where you are geographically – you’re in the middle of both of all time zones.

Cyril: Yes, talking of South Korea or Japan, for example, the developer may be starting at 8 AM and we still have 2-4 hours of simultaneous work with the Japanese colleagues of ours. If it’s America, then the teams are advised to be starting later, 11-12 AM or later. And to those people, who we hire, who prefer this kind of day schedule, of course it’s also a benefit to be working on projects like this and we still provision an ability to the headquarters to be intersecting their teams for significant period of time for at least 2-3 hours to be able to manage the process on a daily basis.

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Angelika is a Blogger and Content Marketer passionate about the topics covering IT resources optimization, building R&D centers in Eastern Europe and outsourcing.