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Top 10 Tips On How To Manage Remote Teams

Ten Tips for Managing Remote Developer Teams

For decades we have been hearing numerous interpretations of the statement - "Every business is a software business". And without a doubt, software development is one of the most sought-after and rewarding career profiles of the current times. Top companies in various sectors are seeking competent software developers. There has been a high demand for software developers all across the globe which is likely to grow even more in the coming years.

After all, these tech professionals converge technologies such as IoT, virtual reality, augmented reality, cryptocurrencies, and many others into existence. They are engaged right from the requirements gathering to the successful project development and deployment.

There are several reasons why the tech world is seeing such a high demand for software developers -

  • The rapid and exponential advancement of technologies has led to a demand for professionals who can look after the designing, development, and maintenance of software products.
  • The world is going digital, and this massive shift can be considered as another prominent reason for the surging demand for software developers.
  • Developed/existing software solutions require regular & consistent updates throughout time to keep them relevant with the advent of the latest technological advancements.

We now live in a remote-first world where it is crucial for businesses to leverage talents from across the globe. Today companies hire remote developer teams to develop their software solutions offshore. Hiring remote software developers is the most cost-effective method that helps companies save enormous costs for IT infrastructure, workplace, and additional expenses like electricity bills, internet, refreshments, meals, and more. On top of this, they also get access to the planetary pool of talented software developers that improves the availability of the required skills.

However, even though remote software development teams bring a plethora of advantages, it also takes a great deal of effort to manage them. You need to make sure that your remote developer team is a success by making the collaboration effective and productive. A mismanaged remote team can lead to catastrophic results that can hinder your business growth.

That's why we have put together the top 10 remote team management best practices that can enable you to successfully manage remote professionals while improving employee productivity and efficiency. Take a look at how you and your managers can adapt to the reality of leading remote-first development teams.

What is a Remote Team?

Before moving on to discuss about the best practices to manage a remote team, let us talk about what is a remote team.

A remote team is a group of individuals who operate from multiple places spanning cities, nations, and even continents. Remote teams have been around for a while, but they became increasingly significant as digital work apps, tools, and ecosystems became available. Remote teams now make up a sizable portion of the global workforce. This is especially true for firms in the information industry

6 Tips for effectively managing remote teams

Hiring is the first step to succeed in the era of remote work, and the second and the most important step is managing the onboarded remote development team. It Is crucial for you to equip yourself with the right practices in order to leverage remote work potential.

Take a look at the following top six remote team management best practices –

“Over-communicating” to manage remote teams

The key to successful remote work culture is regular communication that can clear up uncertainty regarding expectations and goals at the right time. Communicating every possible detail is essential to keep everyone on the team on the same page. Go through the following tips to “over-communicate” effectively -

  • Make sure to define and document procedures clearly
  • Always use the right and already set tools
  • Make empathy and connection a priority
  • Establish and demonstrate communication norms from the get-go
  • Set up a channel for non-work related communication
  • Promote asynchronous communication
  • Always take employee feedback to find gaps and improve communication among teams
  • Promote 1-on-1 meetings

Regular stand-up meetings and scheduled communication is crucial

One thing that is certain with remote work environments is that you need to stay in touch with the team to ensure productivity, however, it is extremely difficult to schedule meetings and work with people who hail from different time zones. That’s why regular stand-up meetings and scheduled communication are crucial to establishing a set time when everyone on the team is available for daily or weekly meetings to keep the entire team on the same page. Make a point of discussing goals or KPIs and bringing up any gaps that can affect productivity or business growth. Make sure that everyone from the team is present in these company-wide meetings.

Resist micromanagement

You should aspire to be a leader rather than a manager. That being the case, when you hire remote developers, it is necessary to avoid micromanagement but rather trust them to transform your idea into a reality. When you excessively interfere in the work of others, it can lead to deterioration of trust. This will ultimately incite employee turnover due to dissatisfaction. That's why you must provide the autonomy your remote team deserves. So that they can stay motivated to deliver exceptional work on time.

Set clear expectations from the get-go

If you have been thinking about how to manage the development team remotely, you should first set work expectations from the beginning. Establish and set standards regarding the performance and output that you are expecting your remote developers to achieve in their roles. However, ensure that the set milestones and deliverables are realistic and attainable. Because setting a realistic goal would keep the whole remote developer team aligned and on an attainable time frame which would significantly enhance the productivity and morale of the team as well. Setting up an unrealistic goal just for a momentary boost of work initially would only set your team for failure, exhaustion, and low morale.

Be patient, supportive, and empathetic

Remote management requires you to be patient, supportive, and empathetic which are key skill sets required for any leadership profile which would be overlooking the project. It is extremely important to create a workspace where people feel safe to venture into unique outlooks and perspectives while finding solutions or making suggestions without being scared of deterring reviews in response. So, you must ensure to cultivate a culture of acceptance, inclusiveness, and transparency where your remote developers feel like there is safe space to come forward with relevant issues or troubles that they might be facing which is hurting their productivity.

Embrace agile methodology

The key to distributed teams and remote offices is thriving in an agile culture. Agile software teams flourish on collaboration, dynamic interaction, and feedback loops to maintain a strong team culture to stay effective and productive. Agile methodology allows remote developers to build products and gets continuous feedback in turn enabling you to build and make adjustments based on market feedback.

4 Tips for hiring the right developer for remote teams

Once you decide to go remote, it is extremely essential to effectively manage widely spread remote software developers for sustainable business growth. That's why the very first step towards making remote work successful is hiring the right remote developers to be a part of the team. This is how to manage software developers remotely 101. Here are 4 tips that will help you hire the ideal candidate -

Recruit candidates with excellent communication skills

Great communication skill is the key to sharing information or data succinctly and effectively and avoiding communication gaps. However, communication skill does not just include good verbal communication but also written communication. When you look for remote developer teams, make sure to look at their emotional intelligence, clear and concise speech, ability to listen, etc.

Keep an eye on the cultural fit

Strong cultural fit matters. That’s why when hiring, it is necessary to determine if the candidate will be able to culturally fit in your remote team. It is easy for people to get to know each other when working together in the same office. Hundreds of small exchanges during the day allow employees to soak into the company culture. However, remote developer teams find it difficult to do the same as all the exchanges are limited, scheduled, and happening via video conferencing or chat applications. This leaves little to no room for cultivating well-defined company culture.

A growth mindset is a must-have

In today’s ever-evolving and improving tech world, hiring someone with a fixed mindset can set your company back. A growth mindset ensures that you hire people who are passionate about learning new technologies. As a result, your company will have continuous improvement. Such candidates can apply a growth mindset throughout your business and have the ability to weave it into your company culture. Strategic growth or growth with specific direction and intent is the guiding light and force for change and growth. So, when you hire remote developer teams look for candidates who enjoy challenges, strive to learn, and seek the potential for developing further in their career and while doing the same they’re highly inclined to push your company towards success.

Capable of working independently

With remote teams, there can be timezone issues which means managers and the team members might not be available all the time. That’s why when you hire a remote development team, you should look for someone who can work independently and autonomously. An ideal candidate should be self-motivated to complete their job or duties within the time frame without needing reminders all the time. It is necessary that each member of the team understands how critical they are to the overall success of the project/company.

4 Tools to manage remote teams

Now let’s have a look at a few of the tools that are absolutely necessary to simplify the process of managing remote developer teams and keeping them productive and growing professionally.

Shared calendar

A shared calendar makes planning projects and scheduling meetings a breeze. It is the best way to visualize your team members' schedules, holidays, and vacation times to aptly schedule upcoming meetings, deadlines, and milestones. This way you can easily cut down the time and effort in organizing such tasks significantly.

It is also beneficial for managers as they can be made aware of the obligations of their employees and accurately assign tasks and new projects

Chat application

Chat applications make it easy to communicate with your team members anywhere in the world. It is a great method to get quick responses and feedback. Through custom messaging features, cloud storage, data encryption, security, and backup enable encrypted chat enables to and fro chat communication without any noise or interference of any third party.

Video conferencing software

Video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google meet allow your remote developer teams to quickly schedule, start, and manage meetings. It is a must-have tool to keep people communicating and collaborating.

Project management tool

Project management tools such as Jira, Trello, or Asana, let remote developer team members take ownership of their work. At the same time, it gives managers transparency to monitor employees' tasks without needing to intervene in between their work to get status updates. Which brings leadership and direction to projects and makes a clear line in terms of accountability.

Final thoughts

Remote work can be overwhelming for a lot of people but following the set work procedures inspires your remote team to be genuinely involved and work towards meeting your business goals and objectives. After all, the overall success of your business depends on the performance of your team.

However, hiring a remote developer team on your own is an expensive, time-consuming, and daunting task. That's where Turing.com comes into the picture and helps deliver your ideal team of remote engineers. You can spin your engineering dream team with Turing's AI-backed Intelligent Talent Cloud that helps you source, vet, match and manage the world's best remote developers remotely.

Join hundreds of businesses that trust Turing to hire remote developers quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively!

Author

  • Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya is a content writer well-versed in researching and writing on an array of topics. She works closely with businesses and helps them get rapid and organic growth through compelling digital marketing content. When not working, you can find her reading or sketching.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most difficult aspect of managing remote teams is handling projects when the team members are dispersed across several places. Managers are responsible for ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met, whether they have a mix of in-house and remote developers or a complete team of remote employees. However, managers can use several tools such as Google Workspace, Zoom, Asana, and many more to manage remote teams much more efficiently.

You can follow some of these tips to manage and lead remote teams: set clear-cut expectations and trust the team, be supportive of all team members, have regular virtual huddles and meetings, and encourage effective communication.

You should also encourage frequent one-to-one meetings to overcome obstacles or roadblocks seamlessly, let your team members know you’re invested in them, and involve them in onboarding new hires.

By following some of these tips, you can also manage remote teams efficiently and effectively:encouraging team members to over-communicate, avoiding micromanagement, being patient and supportive, and setting clear expectations.

There are various differentiators between a good and bad remote team. Some of them include trusting team members in meeting expectations and getting work done and maintaining a laser focus on results and project outcomes. A successful remote team is also determined by how employees are provided with accountability, instead of controlling their every move. An effective remote team also prioritizes effective and seamless communication and encourages flexibility of all members.

Companies with effective remote teams have recognized that flexibility is critical to remote work. Employees will be more fulfilled and happy if you allow them to incorporate their job into their personal lives as they see fit, especially during difficult times.

It is no secret that companies must track employee performance to maintain productivity and fulfill requirements effectively. For remote-first organizations, this can be tricky since there’s no physical contact involved. However, numerous solutions can help monitor and maintain your remote team’s performance seamlessly. You can set clear expectations, regularly communicate with team members, and maintain an appropriate workload via smart goals and realistic objectives.

You can also set aside time to check in with your employees regularly and utilize time management, monitoring, and performance tools and software such as DeskStaff, Asana, Jira, Time Doctor, DeskTime, etc.

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