7 Industries Making Remote Work Commonplace

With greater schedule flexibility, it’s no surprise the trend towards remote work is growing. Whats more, cloud based technology has made working from home easier than ever before with files and data readily accessible. According to CNBC, “More than two-thirds of people around the world work away from the office at least once every week.”

Working from the comforts of home (or anywhere with a good wifi connection that is) is enticing when you factor in all the time not spent commuting and sitting in traffic. Additionally, remote workers tend to have more control over their workplace environment, and can usually juggle home and work life responsibilities with more finesse.  As happy employees make for a more productive workforce, many industries seem to be embracing this new kind of work culture.

Here are 7 Industries where Remote Workers are becoming Commonplace:

1. IT 

Remote work is no doubt ripe in the field of information technology. Jobs in security, website development, software engineering, app development, and database administration (just to name a few) can all be done remotely. In fact, many IT companies look to utilize remote workers in order to better offset costs and streamline projects. 

2. Accounting & Finance

Bookkeepers and accountants can usually work from anywhere, often computing payroll and or taxes for clients both big and small. 

3. Customer Service

 Companies that function primarily online through a website rather than a store front need customer service just as much as brick and mortar businesses do. Online tech support jobs tend to be remote and act as a virtual help desk for customers or clients, including assisting with online orders as well as payment processing.

4. Healthcare

 Many administrative jobs in the healthcare industry are now remotely operated. These jobs include handling billing, insurance claims, as well as scheduling appointments.

5. Marketing

 The advertising industry has largely transformed in recent years due to the rise of digital platforms. Whether it’s as a graphic designer, content writer, influencer or social media manager, long gone are the days where you need to be in an office to run an ad or promote a business or product. Marketing jobs now come in many different shapes and sizes and can be done from anywhere. 

6. Education

Due to an increase in online classes being offered, there are more opportunities for teachers to work remotely. For example, many college level classes are being taught online by adjunct professors to better serve non-traditional students. Additionally, those homeschooling or looking for help to prepare for the SATs can do so via virtual tutors.

7. Sales

 Just as the marketing world has changed, so to have sales jobs. Now generating leads is more plausible through the use of social media channels, as well as email or text message marketing. All of this can be done remotely, especially if you’re in the real estate industry.  

At Number8, we believe one of the keys to achieving your business’s goals is great IT that supports your company. We help businesses access great IT by connecting them with remote workers that utilize best-practice tools and processes. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

Blue Zones: What They Are & Where to Find Them

In 2003, journalist Dan Buettner discovered 5 places in conjunction with National Geographic, where people tend to live longer and healthier lives than those around the rest of the world. Dubbed the “Blue Zones” because of “the blue circles researchers drew to identify the first one on a map,” the inhabitants of these locations have a high average life expectancy, with large percentages of people living to be over 100.

People who live in these 5 regions do so often without the aid of medications and hindrance of chronic illness. Their longevity can be attributed to a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, exercise and low stress levels. A sense of purpose stems from family, religion, and regular social engagement within their communities. Food is consumed fresh, and consists mostly of plant based dishes made from native vegetables, fruits, fish and nuts. Daily activity dictates that locals traverse by foot, so physical movement, sustainability and socialization come naturally.

Visit one of the 5 blue zones and you’ll find warm beachy weather and a love for nature. However, even if you never jet set from coast to coast, perhaps there is still a lot one can glean in the hopes of pursuing a better life style. 

The 5 Blue Zones

  • Sardinia, Italy

    • The first zone to ever be identified, Sardinia is home to the biggest population of male centenarians in the world. Due to it’s geographical isolation, genes have been passed down from generation to generation containing the M26 marker. This M26 marker has been linked to a longer life span. 
  • Okinawa, Japan

    • Okinawa makes up the south pacific islands of Japan. Here the women happen to live longer than other females across the globe. They value support groups, or what they call “moai” a lifelong group of peers there to help you through life’s struggles. They also work hard to develop “ikigai” or a reason for being that helps center, motivate, and fulfill them. 
  • Loma Linda, California

    • The only zone within the U.S., Loma Linda is a city in San Bernardino County, California. The Seventh-day Adventist Church (a Protestant Christian denomination) is prominent in the community. Those that reside here outlive their fellow Americans by a full decade. This is possibly due to a strict adherence to the Sabbath (a day of rest), the fact that their health is central to their faith, and that they don’t partake in tobacco or alcohol use. 
  •  Nicoya, Costa Rica

    • Located on Costa Rica’s pasific coast, this Latin American paradise has a thriving healthcare system and economy.  The locals have what they call a “plan de vida” or life plan that provides them with a purpose and enables their elders to continue to seek an active life.  
  • Ikaria, Greek

    • Ikaria is an island in the Aegean Sea known for it’s islander’s pride and traditional values. Here it is normal to live into your 90s. The people come and go as they please, as the concept of time is less rigid than in the modern world. 

No matter where your company calls home, Number8 can help your business connect to top tech talent. If you want to learn more about our consulting process and why we are the perfect offshore software development company to help you reach your company’s goals, then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Business Process Outsourcing Most Startups Should Consider

Sometimes hiring full time employees can actually slow you down and prevent your business from growing. That’s why so many startups are looking to business process outsourcing for help. Instead of bogging employees down with clerical work, outsourcing could enable your organization to grow faster by focusing it’s talent more on the core of the business.

What is business process outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) involves contracting out certain operations and responsibilities that either take place in the back or the front office to a third party.

Responsibilities such as billing, human resources, and finance usually make up the back office or internal business functions of a company. Back office contracted work encompasses the following: purchasing, payment processing, insurance, retirement, hiring and recruiting, accounting, payroll, and general bookkeeping.

Marketing, administrative duties, as well as tech and customer support, are operations usually performed by the front office. These are more external, customer and client related business functions. Any social media, telemarketing, app testing, help desk support, customer interaction via phone or email, scheduling, and data entry that needs to be done would entail front office outsourcing.

Companies can outsource to a variety of locations.

Offshore outsourcing occurs outside a company’s country, nearshore outsourcing is in a neighboring country, and onshore outsourcing happens within one’s own country but out of the state. There are pros and cons depending on the location of the contractor. For example, a dollar can go further in other countries, but time zones and language barriers may prove problematic. 

BPO is a popular startup growth hack in that it saves valuable time and money.

Outsourcing to skilled and flexible personnel allows a burgeoning business to build a team as they need to. This is ideal when compared to time spent searching for and interviewing the right candidates. Contractors are also flexible in regards to workload.  Additionally, they are an affordable solution in terms of benefits and the costs of training as well. Obtaining remote workers through an agency means they are already qualified and require less of a financial investment. 

Both back and front office functions are integral to keeping any company running smoothly. By outsourcing business processing, tasks can be completed with the utmost speed and efficiency. 

At Number8, we help fast growing companies find quality remote workers that creatively contribute to your business’s success. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

Considering IT Outsourcing? 12 Questions To Ask Any Offshore Software Development Company

offshore software developmentYour company is growing by leaps and bounds, but you may notice that the resources available are limited. Especially when it comes to development talent. In the United States, there is a shortage of software developers. To help deal with this problem, many experts suggest companies be flexible with their hiring and look towards alternative solutions such as offshore software development.

What is Offshore Software Development?

Offshore custom software development, or offshore custom software engineering, is the process of looking overseas for talent to help with information technology, project design, engineering, coding and other areas of expertise. Offshore software development provide a cost-efficient solution for the developer shortage American companies face.

There are three basic ways to use offshore developers:

  1. “Project based” outsourcing involves hiring remote teams to complete certain modules or some part of the programming before finishing as a collaboration.
  2. Companies can also remotely hire entire teams of developers led by a project manager who checks the code as it delivered between parties. These teams can be as small or as large as the project needs.
  3. Some software companies create and implement a product then outsource the complete IT application programming and maintenance to an offshore team.

What you’re planning to use offshore developers for will determine the questions you will want to ask them. We’ve listed 12 questions below that we feel you should ask any offshore software developer regardless of your business plans.

12 Questions to Ask Any Offshore Software Development Company

  1. If you think your company can benefit from offshore development, be sure to ask the following questions when searching for a reliable company to help with talent recruitment.
  2. How do you find and hire developers?
  3. Where are developers located?
  4. How will your offshore developers help our company save time and money on software development?
  5. Can developers communicate effectively using email and online chat during a specific time window every day?
  6. Are developers fluent in English? Are they comfortable with the American dialect and its nuances?
  7. How do developers complete their software development process? How do your developers test applications and document each bug they find?
  8. Do the developers have experience completing projects similar to the one being proposed? If so, please provide examples. If not, what qualifications do these developers have that make them proper candidates or hire?
  9. Will the same developers initially assigned to the project be on the team for the duration of the development effort?
  10. Who receives the source code and related materials and eventually owns the completed project?
  11. What methods of development problem solving do your developers utilize? Are they familiar with agile development methodology?
  12. What makes your offshore software development company unique compared to others?

Use these questions to determine if the offshore software developers are going to be a good fit.

If you are wanting software developers to be client facing then they should be fluent in English. They should also be comfortable with American dialect. If you are looking for offshore software developers that use a certain coding method or are well versed in agile methodology, be sure to ask for developers with that kind of experience. By asking questions and getting as many answers prior to hiring, you will avoid issues down the road. This will lead to a healthier relationship with your offshore development team and an improved work flow in your office.

At Number8, we help companies create software products with the help of offshore development. If you questions about our consulting process and why we are the right offshore software development company for your team to work with, then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Northern California Companies Save Time & Money Augmenting Software Teams With Nearshore Tech Talent

software teamsThe outlook for the California economy going into the future is looking bright. Job growth is up and much of it has to do with the booming tech hubs in Northern California. People are branching out on their own to realize their visions and disrupt industries. To help with augmenting software teams, startups typically looked towards Asian countries like India or The Philippines to find deveopers. However, the myriad of issues with offshore talent has some business leaders looking toward another solution: nearshore development.

Nearshore development combines the cost-efficiency of outsourcing with the unique benefits of working with talent nearer to the home office. Your company ends up saving both time and money so you can get your product on the market.

Saving Time with Augmenting Software Teams

Time is money, right? So why would you waste that time working with a software development team on a completely different schedule?

The farther your developers are, the greater the differences in time zone, language, and culture. You’ll find that these differentials can severely affect your project. Nearshore outsourcing talent in areas like Latin America helps bridge this gap. They are on a similar–if not the same– schedule as the home office team. They also have more similar, new world cultures and learn American English. Because of this, cooperation between in-house workers and nearshore developers is better. Goals are better understood and communication is easier.

Saving Money on Augmenting Software Teams

It may seem counter intuitive that nearshore outsourcing your augmenting software teams will save you money. After all, if you look at offshore outsourcing, the sticker price is generally lower. However, when you invest a little more up front in skilled talent, you save more money in the long run. Much of this has to do with saving time (see above). However, you will also save money on development costs as the high tier talent found with nearshoring can produce a more comprehensive product that requires less maintenance with agile software development.

At Number8, we help companies in Northern California and beyond find quality talent for augmenting software teams. Our nearshore developers understand agile software development so you can produce a better product and reach your company’s goals. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page here!