Tips for Managing Remote Developers Effectively
When hiring remote developers, a common concern for business owners is figuring out how to manage them. Since, in a remote work model, these professionals are never in plain sight, collaborating and managing remote developers becomes quite challenging.
With the rising popularity of remote hiring, businesses are looking for better ways to manage remote developers. They cannot rely on their conventional management style to handle a team of remote developers. In this blog, we will take you through some of the best tips for managing remote employees effectively. But before that, let’s discuss the challenges that you face when managing remote developers.
What are the Challenges of Managing Remote Developers?
Working with a team of seasoned remote developers is highly rewarding in terms of project success and business growth. However, remote hiring also comes with its share of challenges. Here are some of the major challenges of managing remote employees.
1. Lack of Direct Supervision
As an employer who works with remote developers, you might worry about your employee’s efficiency. It is so because, unlike traditional work models, a remote work model doesn’t give you the luxury of face-to-face supervision. Even though you could ask for progress from the remote developers, you still won’t be able to check in spontaneously.
Additionally, a lack of direct supervision means that the developers may struggle with effective managerial support. This could eventually lead to unclear project expectations and poor work quality.
2. Poor Communication
Perhaps the biggest challenge of managing remote employees is maintaining effective communication. In remote working, any communication or discussion has to be planned according to the availability of the concerned person. This is not only time-consuming but could often lead to confusion.
There are remote collaboration tools that allow instant messaging and data sharing. However, written communication is also subjected to misinterpretation if the message is not shared clearly. Thus, poor communication remains a major hurdle when managing remote developers.
3. Ineffective Progress and Productivity Tracking
If your developers are working from different locations, monitoring each one of them may become challenging. Besides, a single developer performs numerous tasks in a day, so keeping track of the entire tasks of your development team is hard.
In remote working, you cannot have regular check-ins where you ask employees about what they are working on. You have to make time to connect with the developers to get work updates and ensure everything is right on track. If you don’t stay up-to-date with the progress, you might not meet the project deadlines.
4. Time Zone Differences
Remote working lets you hire developers from anywhere in the world. But with an opportunity to hire offshore resources, you also have to face the issue of time zone difference. It means you might find it challenging to be in sync with your remote developers. You could be available for a meeting in the morning, but that could be bedtime for some of your remote developers.
Managing developers located in a country with a big time zone difference is certainly an obstacle. Businesses committed to hiring remote developers are looking for ways to overcome this problem. If you are going to build a remote development team, you should address this challenge as well.
5. Building Trust and Respect
When you collaborate with on-site developers, you communicate with them on things that go beyond work. Sharing stories, interests, and knowledge lets you foster a trusting relationship with your employees. But when you work with remote professionals, you might find it challenging to build trust since there isn’t much bonding.
This is why, as a business leader, it becomes important for you to resolve any trust issues. Once you do so, you will find it easier to manage remote employees as they will communicate with you openly.
Top 5 Tips for Managing Remote Developers Effectively
Check out the five important tips that you must consider to manage remote developers effectively.
1. Opt for Agile Methodology
Agile methodology is a project management approach that breaks down a project into smaller tasks called sprints. In each sprint, the remote developers have a specific time range to complete a task. Establishing such targets allows your remote developers to stay focused.
Additionally, this methodology focuses on building a team culture that ensures seamless collaboration. When you take an agile approach to managing remote developers, you set clear milestones, conduct regular meetings, and create feedback loops. All these factors together will eventually help you manage remote developers effortlessly.
2. Over-communicate with the Team
Whether you are managing a team of remote or in-house employees, communication is the key to effective management. But when it comes to remote developers, you have to go the extra mile to eliminate any existing communication barrier. This means going above and beyond, essentially over-communicating, to ensure seamless collaboration.
Don’t hesitate to share every important detail, no matter how obvious it might seem. If you feel a particular piece of information is vital, discuss it time and again. Additionally, don’t just pay attention to team meetings. Allocating time for one-on-one interactions is also essential. This practice aids in resolving individual misinterpretations and ensures smoother collaboration.
3. Use Reliable Remote Collaboration Tools
Today, the market has many modern tools to manage remote employees. These tools are designed not only to share messages, but send files, create schedules, and so much more. To manage remote developers efficiently, you must use the best collaboration tools available in the market.
As far as a global chat room is concerned, you could go with Slack. It is a popular software product that lets you connect with remote developers instantly, regardless of where they are. Further, you can use video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet. These tools let you and your team meet face-to-face and discuss projects.
4. Don’t be a Micromanager
Remember that managing remote developers effectively doesn’t have to be about asking for updates frequently. Once you hire experienced developers, you should trust them to get the work done as required. However, since these employees are not available physically, many managers start to micromanage, which is never a good practice.
Micromanagement is when a manager supervises an employee’s work excessively. They start to intervene frequently and take control of things even before they are asked for help. Delegate the tasks, and let developers work on them. You must learn the difference between managing and micromanaging remote developers.
5. Delegate Tasks According to Time Zones
As mentioned before, the time zone difference can make it difficult to manage remote developers. Therefore, you have to find a way to use the time difference to your advantage. You should assign tasks to different developers and set deadlines as per how far ahead or behind they are in the timezone.
For example, if a developer is in a country that is 12 hours ahead of your time, give them a task that requires evaluation. This way, when you wake up and get to work, they will already have done the work. So you will have plenty of time to check the task and give feedback. And if your timezone is ahead of your developers, you can use that time to prepare plans and strategies to discuss with the team.
Managing remote employees is not as challenging as you might think it is. All you have to do is keep some basic tips in mind. In this blog, we have discussed several tips that will help you manage remote developers effectively.
From following an agile methodology to over-communicating with the developers and making the most of time zone differences, we have covered all-important tips. By considering these significant tips, you can easily manage remote developers.
Managing remote developers becomes a lot easier if you hire developers who are trained to work in a remote setting. At Teqnovos, we have the most talented developers with extensive knowledge of various development technologies. Moreover, they are pre-vetted and have significant experience working remotely. Connect with us to hire the best developers and build your team today,
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the main challenges of managing remote developers?
Managing remote developers comes with its unique challenges. The number one challenge is a lack of spontaneous communication. For any discussion to happen, you first have to check the remote developer’s availability and then schedule a meeting. Additionally, it is difficult to foster a culture of trust within the team as the remote developers are located far away, and there is not much opportunity for bonding.
2. How do you manage remote developers effectively?
There are some basic yet significant tips that you must consider to manage remote developers effectively. Some of these tips are:
- Set clear standards regarding the project goals and output expectations from the developers. This helps them align their process accordingly.
- Further, make sure you communicate with them regularly to address their concerns and help them get clarity about the work.
- Instead of micromanaging your remote employees, give them a fair chance to work independently.
3. What are some of the most popular remote collaboration tools?
Some of the most commonly used remote collaboration tools today are Slack, Basecamp, Trello, Microsoft Teams, and Dropbox. Although most of these tools are similar, there are different tools for different purposes. For example, Google Drive is used to store data safely in a cloud that is accessible to everyone within that network. On the other hand, Basecamp is a software that lets you communicate, assign tasks, share documents, etc., with your remote team.
4. Why should you hire remote developers?
By hiring remote developers for your software development project, you can benefit your business in more ways than one. First of all, remote hiring lets you access global talent and hire the best IT experts who align with your project requirements. Secondly, you save decent money on operational costs like infrastructure too. Lastly, by hiring developers whenever you need help with a project, you speed up the workflow and achieve the desired results faster.