In this episode, Derek is again joined by Vince Filamor. He is a Software Project Manager with a very successful career here in the Philippines. He has also effectively worked for foreign companies throughout his entire career
- Working for East or West coast based companies have the minimum time difference of about 10 to 12 hours depending on daylight savings (DST).
- Vince lasted for about 4 and a half years in his first career that has a different time zone.
- He states that it’s really about building relationships with people. The pros and cons in time zone difference would bend on how you handle your team and your clients.
- He manages his time efficiently so he can get updates from clients located in America, Canada, and Europe.
- According to Vince, you don’t really need to manage someone so closely to get work done.
- Vince shares that you need to build a relationship with the people that you work with especially if you don’t see them every day.
- He mentioned that If you’re managing a team and you depend on collaboration, you definitely would need a tool for communication and to-do list.
- The opportunity of building a team that works 24/7 is present in Manila.
- The current trend of relying on the internet makes working remotely a possibility.
- Technology is bringing people closer.
- Technology will never be able to overcome time differences, it’s one thing that technology will never be able to conquer.
Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. This is episode number 101. If you want to get any of the show notes in this episode then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/101. Today, we’re talking to Vince Filamor, he is a Software Project Manager and he had a short but very successful career here in the Philippines and has effectively throughout his entire career worked for foreign companies and he’s involved with ensuring he’s a project manager so he makes sure that projects are delivered on budget, on time and to the quality required. We talked to Vince today about time zones, about different managing remote workers getting everything to glued together when people are spread across the globe and spread across different time zones and even have different preferred working hours, waking hours etc so it’s an interesting chat and one that certainly time zones as one that I’m always kind of thinking about myself because this is something that technology can never eradicate. So interesting conversation, enjoy. If you want any of the show notes then go to outsourceaccelerator.com/101. Enjoy.
Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of Outsource Accelerator. Today again I’m super excited to be joined by Vince Filamor. Hi Vince.
Vince: Hi, Derek.
Derek: Vince has a long history working for western companies and I want to pull him in and have a chat with him about there’s a certain downside to working for western companies typically in a different timezone and Vince has been a cold face of that but also his managing teams that work remotely and worked all across the world so I want to talk about shift work, I want to talk about different time zones and how we manage that going forward in the world where that’s going to increase in that case, so thanks for joining us, Vince.
Derek: and give me a little bit of background you started your career, you graduated you started your career you worked for an American company which is very common in the Philippines which is a fantastic opportunity they pay well but commonly the time zone sucks.
Vince: Yup, where they work for a west coast based company of even the east coast the minimum difference would be about I don’t know 10 to 12 hours depending on daylight savings also.
Derek: I find it a little it’s quite of ironic that America and the Philippines have very close historical and political ties and it was 20 – 25 years ago that outsourcing started in earliest but it’s really the least suitable countries in terms of time zones right the opposite of the clock so what kind of hours were you working for this American company.
Vince: For my first job I would come into work at around 10 pm, I will go home at 9 am then go to sleep at like 12 noon or 1 pm so that would be about almost 10 hours a day actually.
Derek: and you were doing that for four and a half years then.
Vince: For that years with 3 cups of coffee a day.
Derek: How you feeling now?
Vince: I’m a lot healthier compared to back then but I really enjoyed my stay there.
Derek: And so I preach to people the opportunities here in the Philippines and businesses. There’s an opportunity for businesses really to go global for businesses to go 24 hours because you have resources here that the time zone might mean that there is an overnight cover but also there’s just an opportunity to run 24/7 teams here because it is so much more normalized.
Vince: Look I can tell you with my current company we never stopped there’s always someone in the office here in Manila, there is always someone awake somewhere around the world, we just never stopped and people nowadays don’t really necessarily work with normal 9 to 5 or 8 to 4 whatever there are people now even here in Manila who love to work 1 to 10 or something like that, so yes the opportunity to build a team that works 24/7 is present here in Manila
Derek: And I came to the Philippines because I worked in the or I had a business in a hotel sector where obviously guests stay 24/7 so I felt very early on I needed a customer support team that would work 24/7 and that was just completely unviable in London because of the high cost then you come to the Philippines and you know there’s just huge resources and as well office jobs here in the Philippines are comfortable with working night shift, afternoon shift, morning shift where’s you wouldn’t get that in the west you would only get you know nurses and fireman that are prepared to work 24/7 so I kind of import to people to realize the opportunity in there and if you’re not in hotel sector that’s fine but imagine how it can accelerate your company of your opportunities if you have a 24/7 team because you can then move in to different markets you can have the best customer support out of all of your competitors so huge opportunities but I want to talk to you, so you are project you’re the glue that holds everything together and you make sure you deliver things but there are downsides to time zones in that. You never all in the office at the same time, a lot of you are remote so you’re probably never even in the same office what are the pros and cons of this 24/7 existence?
Vince: All of the process like as you said you can work 24/7 not putting a negative thing on that, but yes for example from my first job I would get requirements for our clients at night, some the developers will come in early in the morning and start work so if your listening imagine this while you’re asleep the website that you wanted to build is built and by the time you wake up you’ll some results. So time is a pro in that aspect where we can efficiently, effectively use time. I could say a con would be like what you said not being in the office at the same time, maybe not even being in the same country at the same time in my first job I manage a developer who worked out of Hawaii. Now I talked to different people from all around the world, I talked to people who are out of Manila so it’s really about building a relationship with these people. So pros and cons would bend on how you handle your team and how you handle your clients.
Derek: And explain a little bit about your routine in your current role and when people start when you start
Vince: Well 5 months into my current job I found that the best time for me to talk to everyone is to start at 11 am, at 11 am that would be at night time for Americans and Canadians so that would help me update and get updates from them and then later in the afternoon Europeans will start waking up and of course I’d be in the same time zone as most Asian so working from 11 ending at around 8 or 9 could sleep at around 12 works best for me and I do get 8 hours of sleep, so that’s perfect.
Derek: And if you know, the best case scenario would it not just be easier if everyone is in the same room as you all of them working from 9 till 5 do you think we’re actually regressing in terms of efficiency with all of this worldly remote working?
Vince: There are pros definitely but I found that like, for example, we have a designer working out of Manila in the province of Bicol, we had her fly over to meet the team for 1 week and she stayed with us and I found that I didn’t really you know go to her speak to her personally, I just gave her tasks to our management software, I could chat with her on Slack, if you’re familiar with Slack, with the business now or the current trends now, you don’t really need to manage someone so close to getting work done so I don’t believe that you need everyone in the same room all the time to get work done.
Derek: Right and it’s a funny thing because people I’m encouraging businesses out there to outsource and they’re like you know there’s an attitude if I need people in the same room with me but more and more it’s just not becoming required or the case is it and I actually had a friend in London she worked for a very big bank in the UK called LLoyds and this was all internal but she was managing a project, she had part of her team she was sitting in London she had part of her team in an office just outside of London another part the team where up in Scotland and then another part of the team were in India and that’s all in inverted commerce and internal team so it’s just becoming more and more the case now that people are scattered.
Vince: Yup and I think you know the current trend of relying on the internet really makes that possible and if you feel like you need everyone in the same then maybe we could trust people more.
Derek: Yeah something I find quite interesting intriguing is that technology is bringing us all closer. We have software, we also have the enhancement of technology so that we’re probably going to be talking to each other via holograms and you know certainly easy video interfaces we’ve got things like slack and also you’re probably familiar with super kind of software project management software but technology will never be able to overcome time differences, time zones and also if you fly to go on see people, there’s jet lag it’s one thing that technology will never actually be able to conquer.
Vince: Yup I believe so but it works now, so it is possible.
Derek: And just give us a little bit of insight so you manage a world team, you have about 6 teams about 30 people and you are software project management so you are the glue that holds them all together do you have any secrets insight in the software that you use, project management tools.
Vince: Firstly I would like to say that you need to build a relationship with the people that you work with especially if you don’t see them every day you need to show them a certain aspect or degree of trust to make sure that they can work even without you to finish their work. As for tools for project management. if you’re not familiar with it I suggest you can look it up it’s for free it’s called Trello, so it could easily be your to-do list or you can use it for groceries or something, it’s so easy to use so dynamic and you can share Trello with the entire team, so you can build things on Trello and then you can let the team move things by themselves just to make sure that everyone is on track.
Derek: That’s interesting, I use Trello but I never quite give it the dedication that deserves but do you build pretty complex projects out on Trello.
Vince: I do certain things to make sure as you said if it’s a big project if you’re familiar with Trello cards what really do, if it’s a big project 1 card won’t be detailed enough, it won’t be nice enough to use for managing a big project so what I do is I make several cards for each task and then make 1 card as the sort of table of contents to manage the entire things.
Derek: Interesting you get a lot of tips in terms of because what I find about to do lists, is you can have 3 things listed there one of them is buy an apple one of them write a chapter of a book and the other one is build a spaceship to Mars and they’re equal in size and that they’re free to do’s but one of them is very easy, buying an apple is very could take 2 mins, writing a chapter can take a month and then build a rocket ship to Mars is you know actually has 40 thousand moving parts with in it and kind of broken down to do’s with them I think people overlook the complexity of to do list.
Vince: If you’re managing a team and you depend on collaboration that you definitely would need a tool for that and that’s there’s Trello and other similar apps would help you. Another thing about that is your ability to gauge prioritization, what is priority maybe something is more important than the other like if buying an apple just takes 2 mins then why don’t just do it so it’s done.
Derek: Interesting, fantastic and thank you so much for your time and if anyone wants to get in touch with you do you have any contact details?
Vince: I’m on Linkedin if you are interested its Vince Filamor my full name is too long so just search Vince Filamor.
Derek: Okay and we’ll connect to that in the show notes anyway but takes for your time, Vince.
Vince: Thank you too, Derek.
Derek: That was Vince Filamor, if you want to get in touch with Vince then go to our show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/101 and if you want to ask us anything then please do, just email us at [email protected]. See you next time.