If your hired outsourcer is from a country where English is the first language, then the communication challenges, for the most part, are isolated to the time zone issues.
If however, you have opted to use an outsourcer from a country where English is not the first language, the finer points in the communication often represent a struggle. Even if they have excellent conversational English and can chat to you at length, it is in the interpretation of your message and requirements that the communication can become strained.
If they are experiencing confusion on their end in comprehending your requirements, often they will opt to keep quiet and indicate that they do fully understand for fear of being drawn into a challenging conversation.
This is where most entrepreneurs who are dipping their toe into the outsourcing market get caught. After a plethora of confirmations that their requests and requirements have been fully understood, they feel a sense of relief that their problem is about to be solved.
Only when it is time for the outsourcer to produce their work does it start to become clear that there was a misunderstanding. This is the point of realisation that they now have a challenge on their hands.
Working hand in hand with an in-house team when everyone is sat around a table face-to-face can be challenging in its own right. Trying to manage a project with a contractor from a different continent, a different time zone, with a different first language, and from a different culture can bring the term ‘challenging’ to another level.