Businesses across the world are leveraging offshore remote teams for developing their solutions. Even IT companies are hiring remote teams to upscale their development capabilities.
This trend of hiring remote developers has witnessed a significant surge due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The catastrophic pandemic left people with no choice but to work remotely.
However, remote teams do come with their own sets of challenges. Managing an offshore remote team is no child’s play as you’ve to take care of so many things to obtain the best results.
Peerbits is a leading company which provides the best offshore remote developers team for top-notch software development. Years of operating and managing remote teams have taught us how to face the challenges and effectively manage the offshore remote teams.
In this blog, we will share our experience and insights of managing remote teams in the form of top tips which you must adopt for successful remote team management. But before that, let’s have a look at the challenges involved in managing remote development teams.
In this blog, we will provide you with top practices which you must adopt for successful remote team management. But before that, let’s have a look at the challenges involved in managing remote development teams.
Top 5 challenges associated with remote development teams
Hiring, onboarding, and managing a remote team is a tough task since it involves several challenges. Let’s have a look at these challenges one by one.
Communication is one of the major challenges when it comes to operating and managing remote teams. Effective and efficient communication is the building block of a functioning group. Any organization which fails to ensure seamless communication is bound to struggle to successfully navigate their remote hires.
Inefficient communication brings several problems with it. First, the work suffers. Second, the employees feel isolated from the company and team. These factors often lower the interactions which ultimately lowers the morale of the team.
This is why it’s crucial for any remote team to prioritize their communication.
Scheduling becomes another headache as it’s extremely challenging to schedule calls and meeting for remote developers having different time zones. It becomes even more difficult when all these remote resources have different work schedules.
Another challenge is to track your remote team’s productivity. A manager always keeps wondering if the team is actually working or not? Whether they have logged in for scheduled shifts or not? Many managers never get clear answers to these questions.
Trust is a massive factor when it comes to managing an offshore remote team. It’s because managers are always worried whether their remote team is completing their tasks on time or not? Whereas, the remote workers are concerned about their payments.
Hiring new remote team developers
Managing an already hired offshore remote team is a challenge in itself. But, what if you have to add new members to that team? Hiring new members could possibly a disaster if those newly hired remote resources are not able to collaborate with other team members. This can result in total chaos & confusion and cause your team to miss deadlines and stay behind.
Best tips to manage your remote team
You can overcome all the above challenges associated with remote team management by adopting the below-mentioned tips.
Track, organize, and review to achieve productivity
When you have an offshore remote team in place, then tracking the work of resources becomes of utmost importance. It’s because in an office environment it’s easy for you to see who’s coming, who’s going, and who’s working on time. But in a completely virtual environment, it’s extremely difficult to assess and track the work done by your offshore resources.
To overcome this hurdle, you can leverage top-notch project management tools to track your remote team’s work and performance. These tools help you to track your remote team’s work in real-time. With this, you can keep an eye on each action of your team.
For example, you can see which applications your team are using, which websites they are visiting, and how much time are they spending on breaks.
There are many software and tools available for managing remote teams. These tools are used to track each activity of your remote team’s work. We at Peerbits use some of the software that are mentioned below:
- Team Doctor
Apart from tracking, organizing is another factor which you must consider to boost the productivity of your offshore remote team.
A properly organized team is synonymous with enhanced productivity. If members of your remote teamwork in different timezones then it drastically affects the overall communication of the team. In such a case, you must ensure that there’s an overlapping period where everyone is working together in a virtual meeting.
You can consider hiring remote resources from the same time zone or from places that have a timezone difference within 3 hours.
Conduct online meetings regularly
Conducting online meetings is a foolproof way to ensure that all the remote team members are on the same page. In this, you need to continuously communicate and even over-communicate at every step of the software development.
Regular online meetings ensure that every member of the offshore remote team is aware of what is expected out of them. Also, you must ensure that these online meetings are productive. For this, you make your meetings interactive, frequent, and straightforward.
To ensure that all your meetings are fruitful, it’s very essential to find the rhythm of it. You need to figure out the frequencies of both regular and “all hands” meetings. Regular meetings are conducted within the team and “all hands” meetings are conducted for the entire company. To determine the frequency of our meetings you can read the below tips:
- You can conduct a daily stand-up meeting within the team. The duration of the meeting can be less than 10 min. The main objective behind these standup meets is to ensure that everyone is working smoothly and there’s nothing stopping them from achieving their goals.
- Secondly, you can conduct a weekly meeting with all the team members or you can have a weekly one-on-one meeting between the team leader and team members. The main idea behind such weekly meetings is to resolve all the issues that the team faced during the week in one meeting.
- You can also conduct an all-hands meeting for the entire company. Ensure that this meeting is shorter than 10 minutes. The main purpose of this meeting is to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
There are also other tips to make your online meetings more productive. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
- Make and share the agenda of the meeting with all the participants before the start of every meeting.
- If you have attendees who are meeting each other for the first time then try to encourage them to introduce themselves and interact with each other.
- Allow everyone in the meeting to express and share their inputs.
- Keep the vibe light by keeping a room for casual conversations.
- Take follow-ups after every meeting and communicate the proposed deliverables.
Ensure seamless communication
Communication is perhaps the most important factor to consider when it comes to the efficient management of an offshore remote team. To ensure seamless communication, the first thing you need to remember is that your remote team is working in a virtual environment.
The biggest mistake people do is they kind of forget this fact and don’t communicate and collaborate as much as it’s required for the virtual environment.
In a virtual environment, you must create enough opportunities for your team members to communicate both formally and informally.
The remote team members should also not shy away from over-communicating if it’s required. It’s because at the end of the day you have to compensate for the fact that the team members are not working together in the real environment.
Over-communication can also become distracting and overwhelming for your remote teams. You can avoid this scenario by ensuring that your team members are not subscribed to too many channels. Moreover, you also need to check that they are only receiving messages which they need to see.
The next thing to keep in mind for seamless communication is to select the right communication style.
As per your requirements, you can choose any of the below communication styles.
You can use emails for quick interactions. You can also consider replacing your email communication with project management tools and chat programs.
Use Google Hangouts or Skype for instant messages. These apps help you in real-time interaction.
There are some types of communication that must be handled over voice and video. For example, you must manage all the emotional issues either via voice or video calls. Many times, just chatting makes people feel isolated. Adding voice and video chats in the communication can add a “real feel” to your remote team.
Project management tools
These tools help in making your communication more organized. You can also keep a record of all the communications made which acts as a reference for new people joining the team and also for the existing remote team members.
Efficient hiring and onboarding
Hiring and onboarding is the basic foundation of managing remote team members. That’s why it becomes very crucial to hire the right resources by following proper hiring practices.
If you’re looking to hire dedicated developers, then you must first hire them for small projects to get an idea about their skillset. If the performance is satisfactory then you can hire them for full-time work.
Also, you must ensure that you provide them with full-time work. It’s because remote developers working on a part-time project always has their attention divided. It may also happen that they might not be available when you need them the most.
Hiring is incomplete without a proper onboarding process. As per Gallup, onboarding of remote employees can result in better outcomes like a 25% drop in the turnover rates and 20-25% increase in productivity.
However, the onboarding in a remote team is difficult. This is because in a virtual environment you won’t be able to train and educate the resources as you would do in the office.
So, whenever you hire remote employees in a remote environment, then it becomes important to train and educate them about your project and company.
You must make as much effort as possible to make your remote employees comfortable in the new working environment. You can onboard old as well new hires in the remote environment with the below ways:
- You can conduct a video conference or share a pre-recorded message to welcome the new remote hires. You must ensure that all your remote employees have the necessary equipment required for their work.* You can pair up new hires with experienced employees.
- Eliminate confusion among the new hires by communicating with them on regular basis.
Create a feeling of a true team
If you want your virtual team to deliver high productivity then you must ensure that they are always motivated and committed to their team. Each remote team member must know the true value of their contribution to the team’s goal. You must ensure that they feel valued. To achieve this, you can try some of the below ways:
- Maintaining casual and non-work-related communication.
- Send gifts during special occasions and birthdays.
- Celebrate various achievements over virtual meetings.
- Offer training and courses as rewards to promising employees.
You can also keep your team members informed about the other parts of the company. Employees really like it when they get informed about everything in the company. They feel special and motivated to know how they are contributing to the big picture.
Offshore remote teams have emerged as a saviour for businesses and IT companies across the globe. However, to get the best results out of your remote developers, you must know how to manage it efficiently. I hope this blog acts as a perfect guide for you to manage your offshore remote team efficiently.
If you’re looking to hire an exceptional offshore remote team for top-notch software development, then you can hire dedicated developers or extend your team with us. Peerbits is a leading firm which outsources remote developers for all the technologies and niches. Craft your success story by hiring offshore remote developers from Peerbits now.