Many Western entrepreneurs complain about their Asian Virtual Assistant. Is it because of the time difference or communication skills from Asians?
Feel free to share your ideas regarding this topic guys. Thanks!
Communication difficulties, different mindset, and a different concept of quality.
i agree with difference in time...most of the asians are well educated. and are good at english.so there is less chance of difference in communication...ya difference in pronunciation may be the case
Mostly they need to guided like little children and are unable to problem solve for themselves when it comes to things outside their area of "expertise". In most cases the quality of what they produce while "acceptable" lacks foresight in regards to maintenance, scale, modern practices, and future enhancements. They get the job done but it is not without a whole lot of stress when it comes to language, time, and culture gap. Than again I've had nothing but poor experiences with off shore "factory workers". Though I've had to be that man in the middle who explains things to what I would say are pretty much incompetent fools barely passing for the professional services they offer. A majority of the time people know that if it comes from offshore it is probably going to be built like crap whether it works or not. I've been in the position to many times to have to deal with the pile of sh*t these people create and it becomes quite frustrating that they write software like nothing matters except whether it works or not.
This happens on and off shore.
Wanna re-tag this thread "racism and ignorant pre-conceptions"?
I'm working out of Asia, and working with many within it. I don't think generalisations about the communication abilities of all people in Asia based on one or two subjective experiences is useful or, to be honest, acceptable. Nor are judgements of concepts of quality or mindset. With a population of 4.3 BILLION people in what is currently accepted as Asia, you will find as many different moulds of people as you would in any other area, in fact mathematically even more so.
It's difficult to address this issue without turning political, but it is worth remembering there are many different countries in Asia, each with it's own set of employment rules, work ethic and attitude toward quality. Some are stronger in some areas than others, and within each, different people and organisations will have different strengths and qualities.
Addressing the initial question, surely it will depend on the assistant?
There are obvious constraints relating to time (depending on where the client is based). A client based in, say, Los Angeles, working with a developer from, for example, Singapore, would struggle to find decent 1-1 interfacing time. I think any working relationship based entirely on emails is very difficult indeed - and unless you have precisely the same mindset, I can see confusion and issues arising regardless of the integrity of the developer.
If the client is in, for example, Germany and the dev in, hmmmm, Thailand, then there is plenty of scope throughout the working day to actually discuss things face to face (well, virtually).
I have certainly seen a lot of "outsourcing" companies which are effectively marketing machines, playing on the "cheap" Asian labour perception to grab as many western tight-asses as they can, grab their cash and deliver shoddy work. I have also seen design and development houses that outshine anything I have seen elsewhere and produce stunning work at an unbelievable (although not quite so unbelievable as the crap-merchants) price and turn around time.
It's the same the world over. It's down to who you hire, not where they are. Good work is good work - shoddy work is shoddy work. It's about building relationships. It's about investing your own time finding the right partner, and working with them properly.
Kudos, Mr. H, very well expressed. :tup:
Thank you for sharing your ideas guys. I learned so much from you especially to Mr. H for expressing himself. Actually my boss is planning to start an outsourcing company in the philippines. He is an Australian entrepreneur and also a Life Coach. Again, Thank you so much for the time and ideas. Kudos everyone.
Well said @TheOriginalH, its about the relationship between the Employer and the Employee! communication is out of the question but can also depend on what or where country you pick!
I agree wholeheartely with what you say and you certainly have much more experience with them that I have.
But maybe because the relationship is 100% virtual, or because is very unlikely that something will happen if the worker/subcontracted company doesn't work as expected, etc. (well, they may lose a client but will never be sued. Too expensive) or for other reasons, my experience has been much closer to oddz's...
I have to say that I never used virtual assistants but I did work with Asian programmers and coders (from India and Phillipines) and it has been.... let's say interesting but not an experience that I want to repeat.
And it is not like you save a lot of money. This companies know very well which country you're coming from and the often even the average price for this type of work, so they charge you almost like a local company.
Edit: With this I don't mean that there are not good professionals there... simply that I have yet to find them and it is hard to do so from abroad
At least in my area of the country, outsourcing has waned considerably than what it was ten years ago, and much for the reasons you postulated here. They found that having to find and/or adjust meeting times to coordinate efforts was far too troublesome (meetings at 8PM makes it harder for that business person to be at work during normal business hours) for those that were the point of contacts/subject matter experts representing the company and/or agency. That lack of communication strongly hurt the expected gain in productivity for the existing staff, as the resulting code was not to a point which was ready for production, often due to a lack of knowledge of the companies existing structure and/or standards. They often found themselves spending a significant amount of time re-working the resultant code was not small, but often attributed to a situation where the developers were not able to access the resources needed within the companies to develop the appropriate code. Whether it be lacking specs, or missed external situations, whatever.
What our region has been utilizing heavily over the years have been sub-contractors. They get the benefit of the lower cost of development (though slightly higher than outsourced), but the developer gets increased access to the resources of the company/agency to develop appropriate code/markup which meets the needs as appropriate.
It was a nice stunt to find out abilities & qualities of Asians.
There are many more advantages in outsourcing people from Asian countries. If you research little more, you will find out some of Asian countries are rich with all skills, quality and professionalism that anyone is needed and much popular for outsourcing. Hence many big brands and corporate houses are outsourcing their jobs from here.