Are you having issues with your remote software development team? Many times managing a remote team can become a daunting task. You can’t see what is physically going on, and you have to trust what your devs tell you. Promoting team association and identity also can become an issue. Still, there are some ways to mitigate these adverse circumstances. Here at ParallelStaff, we will share some strategies that can help you manage remote employees.
Use communications channels the right way
It is common to create misunderstandings with your team when communicating with them remotely. Miscommunication can happen because you won’t be physically in the same room. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the correct use of alternate communication channels.
Here’s an outtake on the matter:
- Chat. Use it for group discussions, announcements, and informal talk.
- Hangouts, Zoom, Skype: Utilize them for videoconferences and detailed conversations. For example, to review projects, presentations, and follow-ups.
- E-mail: A great way to deliver information. Keep it short and neutral.
- Phone: For high priority matters and to convey extended detailed information.
Chats can be an excellent tool for a remote software development team to socialize, share general news, and to get to know each other. However, keep in mind that, in general, it is very likely to misconstrue text format since there is no tone of voice nor body language. Do not communicate subjective thoughts through these channels. Some people utilize emoticons to emulate what our facial expressions would be in a conversation, make sure not to overuse them.
Moreover, when it comes to getting the full experience of having a real conversation, video calls are still the way to communicate and leave no room for misinterpretation effectively. Having a video meeting with your team allows you to see how they react to the message you are giving. Everyone can fake a reaction; we are aware of that, but video calls are a great way to make the team feel closer very much as if they were sitting next to each other.
Endorse and help build up internal bonding
Having time to mingle is also vital to build a real team. It is unfair to expect teamwork if people do not care or respect for each other. So remote teams need to have a small conversation that usually has nothing to do with work. You need to understand that this type of communication is critical to building up a relationship. There are ways to endorse it while keeping it safe for work. If your team uses Slack or any other communication software, having a chatroom dedicated to random talk is a great strategy, you can apply to build internal bonding.
Track the Progress
Use available tracking tools to have visibility on the progress of each project and tasks from your team. Project management software such as Wrike will help you keep every project on time and help your remote dev team to be more organized and stay focus. Having a channel in Slack for completed threads is another easy way to organize your team.
Nonetheless, you must avoid being too strict or autocratic. Tracking progress can create misunderstandings and can harm performance and relationships. You can ask your teammates for summary reports on their completed tasks, but keep in mind being assertive.
Set clear expectations with the team
One way to minimize frustrations and wasting time is to set clear goals for your team. They need to focus on the priorities, and for that, they required your direction. There should be no doubts about what to accomplish, and that is your responsibility.
- What are the goals for the next month
- What are their projects
- Whom to go when having issues
- How many hours to work
- What is your level of availability and schedule
- Their availability
- How much work to complete each week
It would be best if you felt confident that your team knows and has clear all this information. Schedule meetings at the start of the week to help identify information gaps, and you can have frequent check-ins to help them stay in focus. Most important, be transparent. Devs need to know what is expected of them to be able to do it. If you are not open with you, don’t expect them to read your mind.
Currently, almost 50% of the employees are working in some sort of telecommuting role and 80 to 90% of all workforce say they would like to work remotely at least part-time, according to Flexjobs, work from home programs help businesses save about $2,000 per year per person and reduce turnover by 50 percent. You cannot overlook the fact of applying a correct remote management approach. See avoid management mistakes for remote teams, to complement this reading.