• How to Manage Your Remote Development Team

    by Kate Parish

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    Image 2021 10 02 T20 49 55

    ​Managing a team in the modern remote work environment requires adapting to the fact that the employees won’t be in plain sight. It has become a new norm, and managers have to overcome obstacles tied to these conditions.

    Programmers have long been known for having remote work as the standard work format. It is not surprising when you need just a laptop and an Internet connection to operate. However, as the world has seen a sharp jump to a new work-from-home format, managers faced several challenges. As a tech recruitment agency in Singapore, we see how modern technologies change the way we work, shop, and communicate with our friends. Now we can make money from the comfort of our home or quickly buy products on various headless eCommerce platforms.

    The central tenet of good management is understanding that remote workers aren’t autonomous units. They can’t do everything on their own: they also need support, guidance, motivation, not more and not less than those who sit in the office. Some principles will help to organize the management of remote employees effectively. In this article, we will reel off some strategies to make developers and managers more productive. You will see that it serves everyone’s best interest and keeps workers more satisfied. 

    1. Organize Convenient Communication

    By organizing convenient communication, you kill two birds with one stone. The first “bird” is setting tasks. You can quickly contact an employee, provide the necessary project documents, and answer questions. And also entrust them with an urgent task if they are in touch.

    The second “bird” is employee motivation. When specialists work from home, they don’t have access to the team and don’t see that their work positively affects their colleagues and the company. They don’t receive full feedback, so motivation and work efficiency may suffer. And even without communication with the team, employees will contact you on minor issues more often: instead of writing one message in the chat, they will call or text you.

    Many programmers have flexible working hours. That is, not in a specific time frame, but simply when they can start and finish their working day. In addition, often people in one team work on one project, but at the same time are in different time zones. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly plan calls in terms of time or somehow agree on the interval when everyone will be available. A competent manager should take this into account and keep track of working hours.

    You can keep employees in private correspondence and create work chats. For example, one for flooding, another for important announcements, and one for urgent issues and work tasks.

    2. Set Goals Clearly

    You won’t be near employees, and you can’t give direct instruction on the responsibilities of certain team members and in what sequence to complete the task. And if you set tasks in correspondence, there is always a risk that employees will misunderstand something or “lose” the message, and they will have to look for it every time.

    Specific tasks are everything. Tell them what to do and why. Provide examples of work and a description of what should be the result. Set an exact deadline (due date): not “in 2 days”, but “by February 24th”.

    Every time you set a task, make sure that the employee accepts it. It may be that CRM won’t send them a notification, and they won’t know about the work.

    3. Motivate Employees to Work for Results

    When employees are motivated to work for results and benefit the company, they do everything well. They do their job thoughtfully, organize the working time correctly. They don’t procrastinate all day long and present everything at the last moment.

    The motivation system depends on what the employees are striving for and what will be acceptable to you. But the main thing that motivates employees to do something better than usual is decent wages. If you pay little, the specialist will look for side jobs and, as a result, will devote less time to your company.

    Another pillar of motivation is growth. Even the most motivated developer will eventually leave if he or she will work for 2-3 years in one position and with the same salary. Either raise your pay level over time or provide a career path. As a recruitment firm, we’re here to inform you that giving your employees the opportunity to craft their future career is more valuable than other forms of monetary reward. 

    4. Share Your Visions

    It is helpful because it allows the employee to feel important and to understand the task better. It will boost motivation and work efficiency. Tell employees everything you know about the client and the mission, immediately provide the necessary documents and reports.

    But it’s important not to overdo it here. Don’t expose information to those who don’t need it. Protect the data that could be harmful to your company if leaked and keep people outside of it.

    This can be done by utilizing a CRM system in which it is possible to differentiate the levels of access to documents depending on the position. Google Drive and other forms of cloud storage can also be helpful. In the latter, you can create different forms and files, open access to them by mail or link, and work simultaneously with the whole team.

    5. Improve the Qualifications of Employees

    It is also a matter of motivation and labor efficiency. If you train employees yourself or send them to third-party courses, they will do their job better. You can grow from a novice specialist to a real professional, which will benefit the company.

    Of course, there is always a risk that an employee will learn everything from you and leave for another company. To prevent this from happening, pay attention to developers’ motivation and implement a corporate training system. For example, run a full-fledged training on a platform or host webinars on YouTube. You can also entrust coaching to third-party companies, that is to pay for online courses or conduct tutoring.

    6. Determine What Tasks Can Be Automated

    One more thing you should also pay attention to is the reduction in manual work through automation. Automation allows you not to waste time on monotonous and repetitive actions but to focus on those tasks and processes that require input, experience, and knowledge.

    Start by replacing manual testing with automated code testing and bug highlighting. Automate the repetitive, time-consuming, and optional job to save everyone a lot of time and effort.

    Final Word

    Working in the same building with your team requires a different approach than remote team management. However, geographical location should never be an obstacle. With video conferencing tools, collaboration software, and SaaS project management, the developers’ team can no longer be on-premises. Now, employees can be scattered all over the world. If you show enthusiasm and responsibility for the progress, you will find that this new norm has only benefits.

    About the Author

    Kate Parish is the Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab with over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing in eCommerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, and online retail in general.

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