The role of software development is one of the top remote jobs in the world today. Remote developers are embracing the situation of working from home and continue to prefer remote work, even though the corporate world is gradually opening up.
If an organization cannot create an efficient working environment for remote developers, remote developers can choose to find an employer who can effectively meet their remote working needs.
As a manager, hiring and managing remote workers can be a daunting task. Every organization looks for someone who is competent, flexible, communicative, also able to manage time and prioritize tasks. With such a wide range of criteria and seemingly endless choices of candidates, narrowing down to the perfect candidate can feel like a needle in a haystack.
Leading a team of remote developers from anywhere is not always easy, and more than that managing a remote team of developers is indeed a more delicate task and needs to be supervised thoroughly. To succeed in this period of remote work, we need to change ourselves and get used to this new environment and ways of working remotely.
What usually comes into our mind when it comes to managing a remote software developers team? There are numerous questions that follow this thought:
- – How can we communicate effectively with all the remote developers?
- – How to monitor remote developers?
- – How to increase the productivity of the team?
- – How to manage time zone barriers?
- – What about cultural dissimilarities?
- – Are there any team building activities for remote developers?
This post includes a list of eight tips that will answer all of the questions mentioned above. These tips can be implemented to manage remote developers effectively and ensure that all projects are on track and produce the desired quality results.
1. Set clear goals and expectations
The first tip to effectively manage remote developers is to set clear goals and clarify priorities. When working with virtual teams, it’s important to tell exactly what the manager needs to avoid confusion and ensure that all tasks are performed on time.
For example, if you expect remote developers to develop specific sections of your code, make sure you have a clear understanding of your needs, expectations, project goals, and deadlines.
These concrete and measurable goals ensure that your team knows what to expect.
2. Establish communication guidelines for remote developers using various tools
Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of running a virtual team. Establish different communication channels instead of relying on a single channel.
For example, a live chat platform like Slack is great for quick explanations, but you can email important documents. This basic rule ensures that important messages are not buried in irrelevant messages.
In addition, it encourages remote developers to use video conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom to resolve any doubts that text communication may not be resolved.
The following explanations regarding remote work tools will make your understanding clear.
It is a communication platform widely used by development teams. It’s a great platform for teams to create different channels and special spaces to collaborate and communicate with each other. You can also communicate with specific colleagues via direct messages or private channels without involving the entire team. Available on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.
It is a popular video conferencing application that you can use to collaborate with team members. Zoom allows up to 10,000 attendees, making this app popular for live conferences and video seminars. It is available for most of the platforms such as Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
Besides setting multiple communication modes, you can:
- – Check with the remote developer on a regular basis to make sure you are not exposed to obstacles. You can schedule weekly and monthly meetings for this purpose so that everyone else can see what they are working on.
- – If you’re not sure if the points are important enough to mention, do it anyway. It’s better to communicate too much than to leave room for ambiguity.
- – Recognize their progress and share feedback on a regular basis to give them the opportunity to improve.
- – Use project management tools such as Trello and Jira to help remote developers track tasks and improve collaboration.
3. Keep track of time zone boundaries to increase efficiency
Companies working with virtual teams often hire remote developers from around the world. While this has its advantages, working in different time zones can make it difficult for managers to effectively organize their day-to-day operations.
Virtual teams with engineers from different time zones can limit interpersonal communication and interactive feedback.
The remote developers team can be managed in a way to increase efficiency 24 hours a day by letting different developers handle different aspects of your project. If the developer is ahead of the timezone, there is plenty of time to evaluate the work and provide actionable feedback for that day. However, if you’re ahead of the developer’s timezone, you have enough time to set everything up for the next day.
Therefore, use overlapping usage times as effectively as possible. To get the most out of it, managers should schedule regular check-ins and shared tasks during this time.
4. Stop micromanaging the remote developers
Remote developers expect managers to trust that they get the job done without constant supervision. Remote developers choose this telecommuting lifestyle because of their focus on autonomy. Keeping your neck breathing can only be frustrating and directly affect your productivity and performance.
Therefore, instead of focusing on their activities, make them accountable for the results. Establishing a culture of ownership is especially important when working with remote developers in multiple time zones. As long as your team members meet deadlines and fulfill their responsibilities, resist the urge to micromanagement.
5. Be flexible while managing
When managing a team of remote developers, inevitably they may not be able to get things done due to technical challenges beyond your control.
As a team leader, you need to be flexible enough to deal calmly and adapt accordingly so that your project goes smoothly.
It is recommended to use feedback with any issues with remote developers. But sometimes it is better to advise the team on different methods of working and how things can be done effectively.
6. Allow everyone to speak
It’s important to take that into account when providing feedback from remote developers. Some of them help improve workflows and improve overall performance, while others are impractical to implement. The manager is free to answer the last call. But sometimes taking into account their feedback will make them feel valuable and encourage them to actively share their contributions in the future. When you run a virtual team, you need to go one step further and show that you care for and care for them.
This can be done in two more ways.
- – Make sure they get paid for their work on time.
- – Recognize and encourage their contributions and be open about how grateful you are for their work.
7. Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
NDAs aren’t just for big companies. Small businesses with virtual teams can use this contract to protect their intellectual property.
When a remote developer signs an NDA, the NDA usually contains clauses that prevent the company from sharing ideas, concepts, and projects that it may be working on without permission.
8. Respect cultural differences in remote developers
Diverse teams mean working with remote developers from different cultures. You need to be aware of these cultural differences when providing feedback and commenting on how they work.
Don’t alienate software developers by using local language or making them feel more comfortable working with people who share the same culture.
Knowing how to effectively manage your remote software development team will help you find that your productivity and performance are geographically independent.
You can implement these tips to properly manage your remote team and ensure that your developers are your company’s assets.
When building a software development team, it is important to procure and hire experienced and experienced remote developers.