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Global teams are the new normal

Remote work has spiked during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • 31% of respondents in a recent survey said that COVID-19 was the trigger for remote work allowances at their company (Owl Labs)
  • Zoom video conferencing reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid in April this year (Zoom Blog)
  • 74% of companies plan to permanently adopt remote working conditions post-pandemic (Garnter)

These numbers show that COVID-19 opened Pandora’s box for remote work and global teams.

Today, with the help of outsourcing staff solutions experts, C9 Digital, we will have a closer look at this significant change in the way agencies put their teams together.

C9 Digital CEO, Phillip Lew, will share some invaluable insights on how the pandemic is not just causing businesses to make team-building adjustments on the fly, but is rather shifting their long-term thinking process about recruitment.

Before we investigate these changes, let’s make sure we clarify what we mean when we refer to a global team.

Global-Team-Phillp-Lew-C9-Digital-CEO
Phillp Lew, C9 Digital CEO
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What Is A Global Team?

A global team is a group of employees working remotely, dispersed across different countries and time-zones.

This is a working environment that requires clear communication channels in the form of emails, project management software, video conferencing and direct messaging through business communication platforms in order to excel.

Global teams have always existed but haven’t been as common. The COVID-19 crisis has opened the floodgates for global teams, pushing businesses to create the technology and necessary arrangements to make remote work possible.

Here’s what Mr. Lew has to say on the evolution of global teams:

“I believe we’re steadily moving and evolving towards globally distributed teams for our businesses.
This is not only beneficial in terms of access to high quality talent, but also in terms of expanding your company’s operational capabilities.
And the beauty of this is with the right team, you can exponentially increase your topline revenue while keeping your payroll and overhead costs down.”
Phillip Lew

Setting The Stage For Global Teams: How COVID-19 Impacted Digital Agencies

66% of agencies saw a decrease in overall revenue during the COVID-19 crisis. (Uplers)

This comes as no surprise. With clients of all sizes and across verticals being forced to shut down during the lockdown, digital agencies were bound to suffer losses.

The impact was not only felt in terms of revenue losses. Pandemic layoffs amounted to nearly 35,000 agency positions according to Forrester.

It’s evident that the pandemic brought holistic changes to the digital agency industry. Agencies are being asked to rethink both the way they do business, as well as the way they recruit and set up their teams.

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The Silver Lining: Digital Transformation

According to Mr. Lew, crisis and chaos are usually “the breeding grounds of innovation and opportunity.”

“If you look at any point in history where man is faced with seemingly insurmountable odds such as world wars, plagues in Europe, the great depression, and all that, the result of being able to weather those has always been a better and stronger society in terms of economy, technology, morals and knowledge.
It’s no different with this pandemic. We should look forward to what opportunities are waiting for us at the end of this tunnel.”
Phillip Lew

It is no secret that adaptability ranks high on the skill-set of successful business and COVID-19 created the ideal situation to showcase that.

Pre-pandemic, a digital presence was something that was nice to have, but never thought of as a prerequisite for success. That is no longer the case.

Here’s what leading outsourcing service provider, C9 Digital, has to say about the digital transformation evolution:

“Traditional businesses that have been forced to send their employees home and work remotely now realize they don’t need large offices to run their businesses. Before the pandemic, work-from-home arrangements were probably the last thing on their minds.
But now, most of these companies are realizing, they can remain profitable with the bulk of their people working remotely.
And guess what their next realization will be – if they can operate with remote working conditions, what’s stopping them from filling their ranks with globally distributed talents that can perform as well but cost less?”
Phillip Lew

The digital transformation caused by the pandemic is undeniable.

  • Companies are moving previously on-premise tech to the cloud, with a plan to keep it here indefinitely. (Forrester)
  • 70% of businesses have increased or maintained digital transformation spend during the pandemic. (IFS)

Going digital is the new normal and the agencies that are able to adapt will be the big winners when the pandemic dust finally settles down.

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Global outsourcing might just be the secret ingredient to not only survive, but thrive during the pandemic

Global Outsourcing & Distributed Teams As Secrets To Agency Growth During & Post-Pandemic

According to Mr. Lew, “global outsourcing and distributed teams are the path to the digital agency of the present and future.”

“If COVID-19 has taught us anything is that businesses need an agency that can respond to their needs almost instantly.
An agency’s ability to do that solely rests on the talent it employs. For example, my company, C9 Digital, has already invested in sourcing and pooling talents from the best talent markets in the world – Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
We can fill any kind of creative position with the best candidates and help agencies save up to 70% in payroll costs. We already have the infrastructure up. All companies need to do is tell us what they need.”
Phillip Lew

By adapting the global outsourcing and distributed team model, agencies can ensure that:

  • They are not limited to the local talent pool, but expand their reach globally.
  • They employ people from different cultures, countries and background, adding to the creativity, originality and diversity of the services they provide.
  • They are protected from unpredictable scenarios such as COVID-19. All they need to “open their shop” on a daily basis is reliable internet and good communication.

Remote work is not a trend, it’s the new normal. According to Upwork’s “Future Workforce Report”, over 73% of all businesses in the United States will rely on distributed, remote staff by 2028.

Looking to hire remote teams working on US timezones?
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COVID-19 might have forced companies into doing it but the results it has yielded are hard to refute:

  • Promotes a healthier work-life balance: With less hours on the road and the office, employees can spend more time for themselves and their families.
  • Saves money on overhead: By building a global team there is no need for all the expenses associated with an office and local contractual obligations such as rent, utilities, cleaning services, food and taxes.
  • Remote workers have proven to be more productive.
  • Facilitates round-the-clock availability: If you choose to allow your staff to work on their time zone, you are essentially building an agency that is productive around the clock.

By putting a global team together, you are essentially doing two things: cutting costs and increasing productivity.

All you have to do is have a look at this case study by C9 Digital. Vowerk, an international diversified corporate group with over 27 companies worldwide, sought the help of C9 Digital in order to provide a digital marketing strategy.

C9 Digital responded immediately and provided their client with the following:

  • A comprehensive and complete digital marketing strategic roadmap.
  • The hiring of two excellent mid-level graphic designers to execute the tasks necessary.
  • Handled the performance management and audit protocols to ensure the seamless partnership between the new hires and Vowerk.

The numbers associated with this case study are even more impressive.

  • C9 Digital deployed the graphic designers for Vorwerk saving them around 60% in payroll costs. To be more precise, both designers cost around $3,994 (€ 3,698) per month. If you compare that to typical European market rates, Vowork would have paid € 10,000 (US$ 10,801).

How Global Teams Impact Your Bottom Line

Mr. Lew argues that global teams can offer you the chance to impact your bottom line instantly.

By broadening your talent pool search, you are essentially broadening your overhead options. You have the opportunity to hire equally or even more talented people at a fraction of the cost.

Lower overheads is just one of the ways you improve your bottom line. Remote training is easier as you can employ techniques such as webinars and online resources instead of actual people to perform it.

Then there is the benefit of productivity and job satisfaction.

According to findings from Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work report, people who work at an office will stay longer but only because management has directly or indirectly requested it.

On the other side of the spectrum you have remote workers who clock in more hours than they need to because they choose to themselves.

How does your bottom line improve? Less costs, higher productivity, better employee retention and more passion for work.

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Recruiting A Global Workforce: How C9 Digital Helps Agencies Save Up To 70% In Payroll Costs

Managing a global team is uncharted territory for a lot of agencies. Without a doubt, COVID-19 has brought change to the industry and even if agencies are willing to adapt, there’s a lot they need to navigate.

Can you imagine having to worry about hiring a global team and all that entails? The sourcing, the interviews, the different time zones, the onboarding, the contracts and all that comes with setting up a department responsible for building a remote team?

Enter C9 Digital.

C9 Digital has put together a team of professionals that can take on all of the above, while shedding 70% of your payroll costs.

How do they do that? By delivering an employee that possesses the skill you need, is remote-ready and is ready to hit the ground running upon hiring.

Here’s a list of things C9 Digital offer their agency clients:

  • Sourcing, Recruitment & Hiring: From locating prospective employees to interviewing them, verifying their resumes and portfolios and evaluating their skills, C9 saves you time and money from a long and arduous process.
  • Payroll & Contracts: They take on payroll and legal contracts including such as non-compete agreements, non-disclosure of communications, confidentiality and more.
  • Account Management: As if that isn’t enough C9 Digital ensures that a dedicated account strategist takes care of your team’s management, supervision, and accurate reporting.

Putting together a global team is a complex and multi-layered undertaking. It involves work that spans across different departments of an agency.

From finance to compliance and HR, you need the skill set and expertise of different professionals across so many different areas. This is what has traditionally kept agencies from venturing into the global recruitment game.

“The world is changing and evolving in ways we’ve never seen before. In order to survive and thrive, businesses need to align themselves with forward-thinking entrepreneurs who can help them achieve business goals in a cost-effective and time-sensitive manner.
One of the biggest changes companies need to come to grips with is the fact that manpower is moving towards globally-distributed teams and remote workers.
C9 Digital is at the forefront of this revolution by providing businesses with ground floor access to competitive, highly-skilled, and extremely talented professionals. C9 Digital is the future of staffing and manpower. And you can have access to the future today.”
Phillip Lew
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