Businesses and entrepreneurs from the G7 countries and other locations hire remote teams to develop their software offshore. But before you choose a development company to work with, you need to understand how to manage remote workers to make this collaboration effective and productive. We cover the top 10 best practices for managing remote employees to equip you with tools and advice for better development team management.
Organize your collaboration with a remote team
Tip 1. Schedule communications
Your remote team will be working from a different location and probably a different time zone. Strictly keeping to scheduled meetings will help you organize your day and your team’s workflow. Not having timely meetings can cause gaps in communication, delaying the launch of your project.
Ukraine is conveniently located within three time zones of the rest of Europe, which is why many clients choose software development companies in Ukraine.
Tip 2. Tools for remote teams
Tools are essential for remote team collaboration as they help you structure your team’s work. An effective remote team will have a set of tools: an email service, file sharing capabilities, an instant messaging platform, project management software, video conferencing, and anything else that’s required.
Many collaboration tools exist to support well-structured communication.
For all-in-one solutions that allow you to organize, prioritize, chat about work, send files, and manage your projects, you can use:
Troop Messenger, BasicOps, TipHive, Hibox, Paymo, Hive
||Avaza, Taskworld, TeamGantt, Fusioo, Trello, Jira, Twoodo, Wrike, Worksection, Finit, Eylean Board
|Document collaboration tools
||Google Drive, Bit.ai, TipHive
|Team communication tools
||Skype, Slack, SocialChorus, UberConference
Tip 3. Find a nice work spot
Find a nice quiet place where you can conduct regular meetings. The best place is an office room equipped with a good internet connection and a modern computer with a microphone and video camera. If you lack one of these things, your communication won’t be successful and productive. If you choose a noisy place, you may get distracted and lose focus.
Tip 4. Define work procedures
Create clear project guidelines for productivity, teamwork, and accountability so your employees know what to expect. Present the idea of your project and describe what you want to be done in detail. The estimate for your project will depend on what you communicate to your team. Your team can start developing your product faster and give you a more precise quote if you provide your vision for the project clearly.
Set clear tasks and give detailed answers. Review the project requirements document attentively to make sure you have included all functionality. Respond promptly to emails from your project manager since they are the one to pass down what you say to the team. The development of your product will depend on the information your team get.
Most IT companies work according to Agile methodologies. It’s wise to break development down into iterations. Discuss how often you’re going to conduct project meetings and what communication tools you’ll use (Slack, Jira, Skype, or others). Agree with your project manager to have a quick summary session after each meeting to form new goals and analyze the decisions you’ve made.
Tip 5. Go on a business trip
Go on a short business trip to meet the IT professionals you’ve hired in person. This is a good start to your project. While on-site, you can have a few sessions where you settle all questions regarding your project. Neither you nor your team members will be pressed for time in this case, and everyone will be dedicated to communicating together in the same meeting room. Alongside the shop talk, you can establish personal connections. Your employees can also get inspired by your excitement and vision for the project, which will stick with them and keep them going through the launch.
Tip 6. Get really involved
The success of your product depends on your involvement. If a client doesn’t care, leaves their employees without notice, and comes back when it’s time to launch, the result may be disappointing. Your team will expect you to show genuine interest all the way through the launch. After all, you’re the project initiator and your team’s cheerleader. For a start, be the first to show up online for meetings, showing that you’re dedicated to your business.
Tip 7. Provide constant feedback
The results of every iteration and sprint depend on how quickly and eхtensively you provide feedback. Discuss with your project manager what tool you’ll use so that you can inform everyone of the decisions you’ve made and tasks that need to be done.
Tip 8. Stay on the same page
To keep communication clear, make yourself easy to understand. Decide on the terminology that you’re going to use so that everyone means the same thing when talking about the project. Try to express your thoughts without using slang or idioms that may be misinterpreted.
A sense of humor is a good tool to foster positive communication. Make sure you smile and throw a joke now and then when you have a video call to keep everyone at ease.
Tip 9. Trust your team
Managing programmers means trusting them. When you hire an offshore company, don’t treat their employees as your property but rather as individuals who can make your idea a reality. Treat them as your team members and encourage them. Your project is already as important to them as it is to you. If you don’t study what’s been done and provide good feedback, you risk spending more hours doing things over because you didn’t give due attention earlier. Listen to your developers and designers to get a better understanding of the functionality, especially if you don’t have a technical background.
It’s clear that tastes differ, especially when multiple cultures are involved. But if you entrust your product to your offshore team members, you need to trust them. There’s a lot of experience and knowledge behind the suggestions they’ll likely make to improve your product. Take their suggestions into account and consider the outcome on implementing those suggestions. Simply put, trust ideas that your developers and designers express as far as development and design are concerned.
Hire a full-stack software company. A full-stack development company will start from idea inception and finish with supporting your product after release. If you hire third-party designers or QA engineers, you’ll have to spend more time to coordinate the workflow of two independent teams.
Tip 10. Reward your developers
You are your team’s leader and your employees will look to you for approval. Giving tasks is one thing, but giving praise for work done is another in team management. Praise is sure to boost your team’s performance. To start on a high note, you can kick off each meeting with praise for the job done so far. Make sure you explain what you like about the course of the project. If you can give constructive praise, your team will understand that they are moving in the right direction.
During or at the end of development, you can show your appreciation by sending your team gifts like T-shirts or badges with your company logo or your product. You can also reward them with cash bonuses. By giving bonuses, you’re investing in your project. Of course, this generosity may not be necessary, but it’s sure to leave a lasting impression of your cooperation.
How to manage employees in remote locations
Working with a remote team online is not much different than working with a team in person. Follow the work procedures you’ve set with your project manager and show enthusiasm as well as responsibility for the progress of development. Inspire your team by being genuinely involved and form goals clearly to make everything go as planned. Provide feedback on even the smallest details regarding your product. The overall success of your project and the speed of development will depend on the responses you provide to your team.
If you’re looking for a remote team, get in touch with us! We love what we do and are easy to work with since we’re familiar with the best practices of managing remote teams. To get a better idea of the clients we’ve worked with and to read their feedback, visit our page on Clutch.co.