As technology advances, remote work has become increasingly popular, and hiring remote software developers has become a standard practice for many companies. Managing remote software developers poses a unique set of challenges that require specific strategies and techniques. In this article, we'll explore the top 5 best practices for managing remote software developers to help you improve your team's productivity and success.
Having the thought of doing remote work can receive mixed reactions. A recent 2020 study on the productivity, perception, and perks of remote employees conducted by the folks at RecruitingDaily revealed some mixed statistics.
Remote work can be challenging for individuals, especially for those accustomed to an office-based work environment. What’s even more challenging is when you try to manage a team. Studies also show that more companies are adapting to remote work and work-from-home options.
In this rundown, here are some tips and tricks on managing remote software developers.
1.) Minimize Change
It is no secret that humans are reluctant to change. With the current pandemic, the shock can be as huge as reporting to the office one day to having to set up a home office the next. The environment might have changed, but not everything else has to.
Try to break in the change slowly. Retain as much of your team’s habits as possible. For example, keep your schedule. If scrum meetings happen at 9 AM, keep them at 9 AM! If your team used to have a scheduled coffee break, remind your team of that break and hang out through Hangouts.
2.) Communication is Key
Building on the last one, maintain an open communication line with everyone, now more than ever! It’s easy to check on your developers when they're just a cubicle glance, a few steps, a whisper or a holler away, but not so when you're in different cities. This is when open communication channels are ever important. Channels such as Slack, Skype, and MS Teams are more important than ever.
Encourage your team to act as they would in the office. Set up groups and encourage everyone to use them as much as possible and only use DMs for personal or confidential concerns.
3.) Make Yourself and your Work Available
Communicate your schedule to everyone, especially for full flex teams. Don’t just decide what time to check in to work on the same day.
Encourage everyone to use that status indicator VERBOSELY. It's much more encouraging to see a "back in 15" status than an indefinite "offline", "away" or worse, "online" but not responding for an hour.
Create a virtual desk and leave your team-owned resources there. This could be as easy as sharing a Google Drive folder for everyone. Leave end-of-day commits and notes.
4.) Create A Virtual Office Space
If you want to take it a step further, set up a virtual office space where everyone can be with everyone else though miles apart. Use teleconferencing software to create a virtual presence for everyone. Apps such as Google Hangouts, Whereby, and 8x8 can be great for this purpose.
Going back to the statistics from the RecruitingDaily study, the top two things people miss from being in the office are PEOPLE.
“Being around other people” and “office camaraderie” accounted for 38% and 35.2% respectively for “What remote employees miss most...”, outdoing “Free coffee” which only landed third place - who would have thought that?
5.) Check on Your People
Remember that your people are PEOPLE. Work may not be the biggest burden on your people's back (or yours), it could very well be the "other things" around.
Take time to connect with your team, not as a manager, not even as colleagues, but just as human beings. Schedule a meeting with your team where you can have some casual and real face time. As much as possible avoid work-related topics and just do catch up and have a casual talk. This could be as short as 15 minutes per week for a team of four or an hour or two every month for a whole department or small firm.
These are the ways LANEX keeps its remote team during this pandemic secured and mentally healthy. We hope that these practices help you to keep your team productive and active while working remotely.
If you’re interested in building an offshore team in the Philippines to successfully develop software for your business, feel free to CONTACT US!