Almost every company in the IT-sphere hires freelance workers nowadays. Sometimes it’s to get an additional pair of hands on deck, sometimes because they can’t find professionals locally. But almost every company has to hire a dedicated development team to play a support role or even become a core of the project. There are many advantages to it:
- Full focus – the outsource professionals working on a project can be fully dedicated to it. Clear directions from the coordinator ensure that the team knows what needs to be done.
- Rapid performance – remote teams can perform much better than their counterparts. That’s because they’re used to efficient business communication.
- Value – outsourcing almost always means that the company will save a decent amount of time and money. Hiring professional remote development workers removes the need to look for long-term specialists.
Of course, there are some inconveniences too. For example, it can be more challenging to communicate with your team while working remotely. But we’ll elaborate on it in a second, as we made a list of some tips that will help you overcome these problems.
Communication is key
The first problem a company runs into while hiring remote workers is communication. Live communication falls out of the equation. And it’s no secret that face-to-face conversations are always more effective in any sphere.
That’s why you should allocate enough time and resources to make sure the communication process is as smooth as possible. Schedule online meetings or simply talk to some of your workers in a private chat room. Of course, there’s no need to become best friends with everyone. But being in touch with your team is crucial.
This will make your employees feel more important and valued. And that always positively affects productivity. Don’t overdo it though, because you’re still the employer and need to remain professional. But establishing effective, maybe a tiny bit informal, communication is always good for business. Especially if you want to connect with employers that live on the other side of the world.
Planning and monitoring
There are countless programs, extensions, and utilities that can help you in managing software teams. Most of them are designed to operate on a high level for both in-house and outsource companies.They will help you understand how to manage remotely in an efficient way.
Planning, just like any other thing in this world, needs to be balanced. Be ready to adjust it on the go. Team performance never has perfect stability, meaning you’ll have to tweak your workflow now and again. Having a decent work plan from the very beginning will ensure that all the requirements and deadlines are met, no matter the circumstances.
After making sure that the work plan is in order and everyone understands their role – start tracking the performance. One of the key parts of learning how to manage a team remotely is being aware of how that team performs. Analyze their weak and strong points. You can do so by simply observing the quality of work they deliver. And after you have an idea of what their workflow is like – it is time for some direct communication.
And that’s where we return to plan adjustment. Adapt to the strength and weaknesses of individual members, praise or chastise them as necessary. There’s no need to indulge them in everything, but slightly adjusting tasks to be more suitable can do a good favor. It will also positively affect motivation, further performance, and communication. It’s okay if your team isn’t at its peak efficiency from the get-go. It will take some time until everything is working perfectly.
Some companies only hire remote workers that are close to their time zone. The reason is simple and comes from a very basic problem. Different time zones naturally result in different working hours. And that creates certain problems in communication between separate members of the team. Without proper communication, a team can not function properly.
A simple analysis of time zones and working hours of all involved parties is a must. It will give you an understanding of when to hold meetings. These overlapping hours are also the best time to take care of as much work as possible. Once some members of your team go offline it can be very hard to reach them quickly.
However, there’s also a high possibility that there will be no overlapping hours at all. If this is the case – try to break your team up into several shifts. Try to mix and match specialists so that any shift could take care of any problem they come across on the spot without having to wait for another shift to come in. This way you can minimize the disruptions in the workflow.
While there’s no particular need to teach the remote team about all the little aspects and details of your company, everything still needs to be transparent. People perform much better when they know what they’re a part of.
Expanding the strategy, the goals, and the ways that provide success will help everyone understand the whole picture. Informing about major changes in the company can be useful too. Even if it doesn’t affect them, it will show the remote team that they’re an important force that needs to know the information. It improves the level of trust, which is a vital part of any business.
Also, transparency also means a clear understanding that works both ways. The understanding of what each party needs to achieve and by what means, that is. It just makes communication much easier and results in better productivity.
As we mentioned in the beginning, there are many advantages and disadvantages of hiring a remote team. However, its benefits far outweigh the negatives, especially in current circumstances. But each company should make this decision on their own, rooting it in deep research and a well-thought strategy.