Eight Tips To Manage Remote Developers
COVID19 has seen a significant rise in digital technologies. As a result, software development roles are now among the top remote-based jobs worldwide. Remote developers have embraced the work-from-home situation and have continued to prefer working remotely even with the corporate world gradually opening up again.
If businesses fail to create an efficient work environment for remote developers, the latter may choose to find an employer who can fulfill their remote working needs effectively.
In this post, we’ve listed nine tips that you can implement to effectively manage your remote developers and ensure that all your projects stay on track.
Set clear expectationsThe first tip to efficiently manage remote developers is to get your priorities straight by setting clear goals and objectives. Working with virtual teams makes it crucial for managers to precisely communicate what is required to eliminate any confusion and ensure on-time performance of all tasks.
For example, if you expect your remote developers to develop a specific piece of code, give them a clear understanding of your requirements, expectations, project goals, and deadline.
Such specific and measurable goals will ensure that your team knows what you expect.
Establish communication guidelines for remote developersEffective communication is one of the most critical aspects when it comes to managing virtual teams. Establish different channels of communication instead of relying on a single channel.
For example, while a live chat platform like Slack is excellent for quick clarifications, share important documents via email.
This baseline rule will ensure that important messages don’t get buried under irrelevant messages.
Furthermore, you should encourage remote developers to use video conferencing platforms like Google Meet and Zoom to clear up any doubts that may be unresolved with textual communication.
Other than establishing multiple modes of communication, here are a few other things you can do:
- Check-in with your remote developers regularly to ensure they aren’t facing any roadblocks. You can schedule weekly and monthly meetings for this purpose and give them a chance to know what everyone else is working on.
- If you’re unsure whether or not a point is important enough to be mentioned, do it anyway. It’s better to over-communicate than leave room for ambiguity.
- Acknowledge their progress and share your feedback periodically to give them the chance to improve themselves.
- Use project management tools like Trello or Jira to help your remote developers keep track of their tasks and boost their collaboration.
Keep track of time zone boundariesBusinesses that work with virtual teams frequently hire remote developers from all over the world. While this has its benefits, working across different time zones can make it challenging for the manager to organize everyday operations effectively.
Virtual teams with engineers from different time zones can face limitations in interpersonal communication and interactive feedback.
Therefore, use time overlaps as effectively as possible. To make the most of it, managers should schedule their regular check-ins and collaborative assignments during this time.
Don’t micromanage remote developersRemote developers expect their managers to trust them to do their job without constant supervision. Remote developers choose this lifestyle of working from home because they value their autonomy.
If you keep breathing down their neck, it will only lead them to get frustrated, directly affecting their productivity and performance.
Therefore, instead of focusing on their activity, hold them accountable for the outcome. Establishing an ownership-types culture is especially critical if you’re working with remote developers from multiple time zones.
As long as your team members meet their deadlines and keep up with their responsibilities, resist the urge to micromanage.
Be flexibleWhen you’re managing a team of remote developers, there’ll inevitably be times when they may not be able to finish tasks due to technological challenges out of their control.
As a team leader, you should be flexible enough to take such situations in stride and adapt accordingly to ensure your project stays on track.
Take your team’s opinions and feelings into considerationWhen your remote developers provide feedback, it’s critical to take them into account. Some of them may help improve the workflow and boost overall performance, while others may not be practical to implement.
As a manager, you have the freedom to take the final call. However, considering their feedback from time to time will make them feel valued and encourage them to share their input proactively in the future.
When managing virtual teams, you have to go the extra mile and show them that you value and care about them.
Two additional ways you can do this is by:
- Ensure they get paid for their work on time.
- Recognize their contributions and be open about how grateful you are for their work.
Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)NDAs are not just for big enterprises; small businesses with virtual teams can take advantage of this arrangement to protect their intellectual property.
When remote developers sign an NDA, it usually includes clauses that restrict them from sharing ideas, concepts, and projects that the company may be working on with anyone without permission.
Respect cultural differences in remote developersA diverse team means working with remote developers who come from different cultures. You must be mindful of these cultural differences while providing feedback or commenting on how they get their work done.
Don’t alienate your software developers by using regional phrases or making them feel like you’re more comfortable working with people who share the same culture.
Though virtual teams have been around for quite some time, it’s the pandemic that forced businesses to realize the benefits of working with remote developers.
If you know how to manage your remote software development team effectively, you will realize that the productivity and performance of your developers don’t depend on their geographical location.
You can implement these tips to successfully manage your remote team and ensure your developers are an asset to the organization.
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