The advantages of working with remote developers are obvious. However, managing them is difficult for most businesses, especially those with a hybrid workplace structure. Even though it all starts with the hiring process, other factors such as onboarding and the remote workplace culture can have a significant impact on the performance of your development team.
Since we assist many businesses in finding the best talent and managing the hiring process, we provide tips on remote developer management based on our experience.
Now that we have introduced the topic, here are the contents of this article:
- Different time zones
- What to look for during the hiring
- Management and onboarding issues including:
- Details on meetings
- Agile methodology
- Benefits of peer reviews
- Collaboration tools and
Diverse Time Zones and Communication
Different time zones can slow down product development. No matter how many years of experience each member has, if there are no good communication skills, this can be a real pickle. Not everyone can make it to the same meeting hours. This is where tools such as Slack and Github come in handy. Finding the right communication tools for your whole team is totally possible. But it all starts with finding compatible people.
Importance of Hiring: What to Look For
Not every remote software developer will fit into every team. It is important to bring the right tech talents together. You need to decide what kind of team you need and want.
But a few good traits you can look for:
- Enterprising: People who are enthusiastic about their work get things done. They know what their individual work style is.
- Effective Communicators: When people know themselves, they can express their needs. There is no face-to-face environment, no facial expressions or body language. You can’t overlook the importance of words in teamwork.
But you should also:
- Provide Enough Details: Having a precise job description before conducting an interview helps you avoid misunderstandings. The rate of suitable applicants will go up. And even more, this will help you ask all the correct questions and ensure that they can get accustomed to your company’s culture.
Now you know the traits to look for. But how do you make sure that the future goes as planned? Well, you learn “How to Track Your Team Performance” with project management tools.
Management and Onboarding
Here they are, your brand-new team. Everything is fresh, so the team spirit is either high or it requires some work. The entire team consists of experts so great functionality is expected. But how?
In this section, we will touch upon 5 topics that will help you and your team get used to each other. Well-timed meetings can improve your remote developers’ trust in your management methods, whereas peer reviews will help them get used to each other’s working styles. This will make onboarding much easier.
1) Meetings… or Not?
In Owl Labs’ report on “State of Remote Work”, top challenges in online meetings were expressed as:
- 72% can’t tell who is speaking,
- 70% find it difficult to contribute,
- 67% feel disengaged,
- 63% miss visual cues,
- 62% can’t see the presentation or the whiteboard,
- 60% feel left out.
But don’t get discouraged. More than half of remote workers during the pandemic said that their preferred meeting style is a hybrid video conferencing call. And despite these numbers, 88% of the employees stated that they work better, if not the same, in-house rather than in-person. So, the question at hand is how to deal with online meetings.
Remember that meetings shouldn’t turn into the job itself. Otherwise, it can feel like you are micromanaging. But doing everything without any meetings at all can lead to isolation. We want to avoid this. Whether you are using Zoom, Skype, or some other video call platform, you want to avoid over-communicating. Instead, you can try incorporating some other options we have below.
Let your team work on different, smaller parts of a whole project. This way, your remote team will be working together and the development process will be much more fruitful. Everyone has a different perspective, and cohesive work is guaranteed to bear better results while not wearing people down. For projects like this, you can use interactive and intuitive platforms such as Slack or look into the scrum methodology.
3) Peer Review
The agile methodology works best by breaking down the whole product development into smaller parts; so does peer review. Since the parts will be much smaller, it will be easier for the team members to provide efficient and constructive feedback. If they find any errors or missing lines of code, their fix also will be easy.
Peer review can also help your remote employees to understand each other’s working styles better. This eases communication and creates a healthier online work environment. For this, there are several collaboration tools you can look into.
4) Use Collaboration Tools
A good platform for peer reviews is important. For this, there are several collaboration tools and sites you can look into. Some of these tools can also help you manage different time zones better.
Github: GitHub allows you to host your codes, and review and manage your projects. And it’s free! Software engineers all over the world already know and benefit from the benefits GitHub provides. Your work process could totally benefit from it as well.
Slack: Many development teams prefer Slack as a communication platform as well. You can have direct messages if you don’t want to engage the whole team or use private channels. But the importance of a general channel that everyone has access to cannot be overlooked. Discussions are made easy with Slack.
Zoom: With the pandemic, Zoom gained a lot of popularity as a video-conferencing application. It allows up to 10,000 participants, removing the limitations of online collaborations. It’s easy-to-use interface is also easy on the eyes.
Google Drive: This is a perfect platform to share and store documents in an extremely organized system. You can manage accessibility with Google Drive. You don’t have to wonder if you had backed an important piece of data or not anymore.
“A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of activity, enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information.”
Remote team management can especially see the benefits of a workflow. With such a precise system of organization, remote developers can have a much easier time following the standards of your company. For example, consider the concept of follow-the-sun.
6) Be Present
Isolation in remote teams is a huge problem. Feeling out of touch can affect one’s performance in the team, resulting in a downfall of the whole. No one can work where they don’t feel like they belong. An on-site team too could have this problem, but physical presence would lower the chances of this occuring. Check-in with your remote employees. There might be issues they cannot address in a team meeting. Be present and listen. Maybe you can find a useful tool for the problem, and maybe this tool can help the whole team too.
Need Help with Hiring?
While so much depends on it, hiring can be stressful. Why not get some help? At Gini Talent, we find and hire the best people for you. We can also help you with remote work management solutions to bring out the best team spirit of your tech talents. If you’re looking to expand, or even start your own remote team of developers, contact us now!