Did you know that 51% of employees deliver better results while working from home thanks to fewer distractions and a better work environment? What’s more, 85% of managers claim that efficient remote teams will become the new reality in the upcoming years.
Though your team of remote developers won’t be in plain sight, it doesn’t mean they will get relaxed and distracted from the comfort of their own homes and won’t deliver the results you require. Working with a team of seasoned remote software engineers, you can cooperate with tech talents from around the world, get better results, stay ahead of the competition with innovative solutions, and cut down expenses.
While managing a remote team has its challenges, the result is worth it! To help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and ensure your team of remote developers is productive and engaged, we’ve come up with reliable solutions to beat these challenges for good.
Hiring Remote Developers: Main Challenges and Solutions
Such a long period of only seeing each other through Zoom meetings and chatting in messengers has affected the way remote software engineers collaborate and communicate. While in the office people can’t avoid talking to each other and coming up with solutions together, a virtual environment might make team members less comfortable to ask questions, suggest their own ideas, and participate in discussions from different locations.
Working with developers worldwide, you can also face the language barrier problem as the majority of your team members aren’t native English speakers. Such an issue might lead to frustration and numerous misunderstandings from both sides, gradually decreasing the productivity level.
Coming up with an efficient and responsive set of communication channels will solve this problem before it occurs. For instance, you can choose Slack for instant messaging, Google Drive for document collaboration, Zoom for video conferencing, and InVision for prototyping.
With such a set of communication channels, you won’t have to rummage through a bunch of email conversations and messengers to get the info you require. Try to limit this set to three or four software options so that you can always know what to expect from a particular communication channel.
To solve the language barrier problem, all you have to do is hire a reliable project manager for your team. They will help with all problems you might face and prevent you from future issues.
Tracking and Managing Your Team’s Productivity
Whether you want to hire a team of remote developers or just find several remote software engineers to strengthen your in-house staff, managing a project may become challenging when your employees are spread out across the country or even the world. If you have a complex project or your team of developers is large, it may be difficult to manage your team’s productivity and keep track of individual tasks.
Developers perform dozens of individual tasks on a daily basis, so it’s also essential to make sure that you can keep track of progress towards your goals and stay up to date with any changes. Cooperating with remote engineers, you can also feel a lack of feedback from a team that can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.
If you want to organize a remote team and keep developers as productive as possible, you can assign this challenging task to a dedicated project manager and focus on more strategic tasks to grow your business. If this method doesn’t work for you, a wide range of project management tools will come in handy to enhance your team’s productivity.
Trello is a great tool to maintain the way your employees perform, organize all kinds of tasks, and use a time tracker to boost your team’s performance. Using Trello, you can set up customizable workflows, create dashboards, and integrate such tools as Slack, Confluence, and Google Drive. Your remote team will be able to collaborate there, share files, and leave comments to stay productive and organized.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use and customizable management tool, Airtable will meet your requirements. Besides dashboards and a time tracker, it’s also possible to automate such work processes as request approvals and tech stack to help your team deliver better results. Integrate Airtable with any tools, from GitHub and Evernote to Google Calendar and Dropbox, and move data back and forth whenever you need it.
You can also schedule daily check-ins to get regular feedback from your team and stay connected. Ask your employees about today’s tasks, make sure they don’t have any technical issues, and find out if your remote developers accomplished their previous tasks.
Time Zone Difference
Remote working has given us a fantastic opportunity to hire remote employees worldwide and come up with cutting-edge solutions for any industry. But it also means time zone differences, so you could be facing an urgent issue in your project at 9 AM in New York while your remote developer is going to bed at 11 PM in Sydney. As a result, you have to wait for hours to speak to your employee, putting a project and a level of productivity at risk.
You can beat this challenge with a set of guidelines for your remote team and create a schedule to fit your employees’ time zones and keep your project on track. Thus, you can understand who and when is going to be available on a daily basis. Try to organize meetings and daily check-ins when core team members are working.
Use Teamup Calendar to organize your work, create schedules, manage your developers’ availability and absence, and share events with your team. You can also replace time-consuming check-ins with Status Hero and let your developers write brief daily reports. Using this tool, you can also collect activity from such tools as Trello and GitHub, create custom reports, and track your team’s progress.
Working with remote developers, you may face a common problem of trust issues among workers. In-house team members have years to get to know each other and build trust in the workplace, while your employees have never seen each other in real life. If one of your team members gets stuck and can’t ask anyone for help, they will lose a lot of precious time and costs struggling to complete this task on their own.
To deliver top-notch results and perform better, you have to know about any concerns your developers may have at work and help them deal with these issues. Keep in mind that it’s crucial that every member of your remote team feels valued by their colleagues.
Remember that trust among your remote employees starts with you! It’s important to let developers know you are ready to give them enough freedom to make their own decisions and mistakes, but remind them you are always here to step in if necessary.
It doesn’t mean you have to forget about your team and let them deal with everything without your control, just try to avoid micromanagement as it destroys your team. Instead of keeping track of every tiny detail, it’s better to establish the project goals and document your workflow for better optimization. Don’t forget to define which tasks are vital for you to be involved in and let your team members handle less important tasks on their own. It’s all about balance and we are sure you will find it!
Unplugging After Work
It’s actually a huge problem as 18% of remote employees can’t switch off from work and maintain a healthy work-life balance. The high level of flexibility has made it more challenging for workers to get a break and escape endless lists of tasks to complete. This serious issue can lead to burnout and prevent your team members from staying focused and keeping a sufficient productivity level.
The best way to help your remote team unplug after work is to set realistic daily goals and deadlines. Overburdened with a huge amount of urgent tasks to perform, remote developers will get frustrated, start working after-hours, and reach the point of burnout before completing your project.
Staying on a schedule is one more way to keep your team engaged, motivated, and balanced. Ask your employees to make their availability hours known to everyone in the team and don’t disturb them after working hours. You can also suggest your team members use apps like Daywise to schedule notifications and enjoy their free time without going insane from digital overload. Your employees can also use these apps at work to reduce distractions from their smartphones and be more productive.
Make Your Challenges Work For You
Hiring remote developers, it’s essential to keep in mind the main challenges you might face while managing your team and the best ways to overcome them. From communication and management issues to a lack of trust and time zone differences, LITSLINK is always ready to beat these challenges and ensure you can collaborate with experienced remote developers to achieve your business goals.