21 Best Practices to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

21 Best Practices to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

Quick Summary:
Remote work has become a trend in all industries, and companies constantly need a remote software development team to manage several projects. But handling remote workers can be challenging at times. The blog will help you know about the 21 best practices to manage remote teams and environments in a way that brings out the best productivity.

Operating with a remote software development team is a winning opportunity for startups, small businesses, and established enterprises. It has become such an advent that 82% of employers expect to allow remote work options. 

Hiring remote developers has become more of a need than a trend as there are many benefits of hiring remote developers. Businesses have several projects in hand, which cannot be achieved solely by in-house teams. In addition, studies prove that companies could save up to $11,00 per employee annually by going partially remote. 

Finding and hiring may not come as a challenge, but handling a software development team remotely often acts as a hurdle for businesses. On the one hand, remote work provides a productive environment for the employees working remotely; on the other hand, it leads to difficulty in coordination. 

Looking for strategies for managing remote software developers? If yes, this article will help you discover the top ways to manage remote developers with ease. 

Key Takeaways
  • Communication is key. Make sure you are communicating clearly and regularly with your remote employees. This includes setting clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and using technology to your advantage.
  • Build trust. It is important to build trust with your remote employees. This means being transparent, honest, and reliable.
  • Create a strong company culture. Even though your remote employees are not physically present in the office, you can still create a strong company culture. This can be done by sharing company values, holding regular team meetings, and creating opportunities for employees to connect with each other.
  • Be flexible. Things don't always go according to plan, so be prepared to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Celebrate successes. It is important to celebrate successes, both big and small. This will help to keep your team motivated and engaged.
  • Empower your team. Give your remote employees the autonomy and resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

Remote Software Development Team Trend

After realizing the need for remote workers and adopting this business model, a lot of other industries are now engaging themselves with the remote work culture.

Still, the exciting part is that the outsourcing/offshore software development/remote development trend started a long time ago than we can imagine. Also, if you closely analyze the facts and statistics released after 2016, the trend has thrived for the past couple of years.

And why not?

Working with remote teams offers a lot of perks. Some of them include filling the talent shortage gap, increasing productivity, reducing time to market, staffing flexibility, project management tools, etc. That’s how many small businesses survive in this competitive world.

So yes, if you are on the path to scaling up your business, working with remote team members can prove beneficial. You only have to know the process of remote team management well to make this business strategy a success.

Though there’s not much difference, many entrepreneurs get confused with the terms “remote team and distributed team”. Therefore, before moving ahead, it’s important to clear this confusion.

Let us help you take your business to the next level with our custom software development services.

Remote Team vs Distributed Team

Remote Team: A remote team is a small group of people having complementary skills that are dedicated to achieving one common goal. They share responsibilities to make the company outshine. Usually, a remote team is when you hire developers or software engineers from an offshore company, wherein the employees work from a physical office.

And most of the companies prefer working with different teams in different countries. Therefore, team members may belong to other races, cultures, and countries.

Distributed Teams: Such a team doesn’t have a physical office or headquarters to carry out their work. Instead, they are spread across various geographical locations and time zones. The distributed team may or may not consist of freelancers and has flexible working hours because of different time zones.

Recommended read: 6 Reasons to Stop Thinking about Freelance Developers!

21 Best Practices to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

Thanks to the Internet evolution, the world has become a global place where it has become easy to connect with each other and find software developers from around the world. Therefore, the concept of hiring a dedicated remote development team is fantastic as it is not limited to time or distance.

It’s like working with a team of developers from a different country on one project and completing it effectively. However, because every country has a different culture, it becomes challenging to grip employees and manage a remote team. And to produce quality work, you must work hard to gain your team’s trust and respect.

To give you more guidance, here are some tips for managing remote teams:

1. Standard Onboard System to Welcome Remote Employees

Hiring someone new to your team is always exciting as they bring new ideas and perspectives.

One of the primary objectives of an onboarding process is to assist new remote employees in acclimating to the expectations of the new work environment. This way, they can proceed comfortably and effectively in their respective roles.

The beginning days are very crucial for the team members. At that time, the remote staff learns and embraces the corporate culture.

Provide them with a Playbook.

As soon as you intend to set up an offshore development center, creating a few pages of the document will help your remote developers get started. They should be aware of what tools they will be working on, what resources are available, and what policies are in effect related to their tasks.

2. Systematic Work Environment for Team Members

Just because you are connected with remote team members and not meeting them doesn’t mean the team spirit won’t feel united. In an effort to make the office space more welcoming for the remote team, foster friendly feelings by encouraging individualism.

To have remote software team members combat the issues of isolation, keep the process as transparent as possible, and encourage leadership. You should have an excellent grasp of their relative strengths and weaknesses. For each remote developer you add, spend time getting to know them.

Discuss their goals, personalities, beliefs, and work habits. Make the business objectives clear, but not in a polite tone.

3. Hire a Remote Development Team

Instead of hiring freelancers that turn out to be costly in the long run, working with dedicated offshore developers is way better. There are various reasons to hire a remote development team, from productivity to diversity. Here are the major reasons:

  • Reduce cost
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Boosts productivity

Recommended Read: Step-by-step Guide to Hire Remote Developers

4. Communication and Collaboration for Better Team Spirit

According to a Forbes report, 97% of employees believe a lack of alignment and sync within a team impacts the outcome.

Communication is all about prioritization. Unfortunately for managing developers, there are many communication pitfalls that can befall remote development teams. For example, without having the ability to have organic, in-person interactions, developers can easily fall victim to "out of sight, out of mind."

First of all, arrange and schedule meetings for the appropriate number of weekly formal “report-ins.” Second, set specific guidelines about the daily requirements of the remote development team.

Zoom, Slack, Google Calendar, Yammer, Skype, Google Drive, Jell, Jira, and Formstack are essential communication and collaborative tools that help strengthen your team, foster bonds, and produce great results.

If your offshore team or remote software development teams work in different time zones, ensure there is an overlapping period where everyone is working and organize your virtual meeting during that time. The key is to keep monitoring communication and collaboration using time management tools. This way, you can look for better ways to handle situations.

5. Flexible Work Hours

Bill Gates once said competition for talent gets tougher when companies that give extra flexibility to their employees have the edge. Remote team members work for flexible time to match the work environment and working style. It makes the virtual developers more focused on what they are doing and ready to assist.

They have fewer distractions, and all of that translates into greater efficiency that boosts productivity. Developing a cohesive remote team starts with a set of core company values.

6. Tracking the Progress of Each Team Member

When the team creates clear goals with measurable milestones, there is always better productivity in the work.

Every member of the team should have success indicators. Encourage the members to share the timesheets. It also helps other team members make a benchmark regarding their performance, efficiency, and productivity.

Good monitoring time tracking software is Basecamp, Github, and Asana. They make it incredibly simple to track the process and to track progress too.

7. Set up a Meeting Time

Online meeting is a normal part of everyday distributed team workflow. But it is crucial to make them efficient. Several technology tools make the process of conducting an online meeting easier, faster, and more collaborative.

Every Time Zone, World Clock Meeting Planner, and World time buddy helps in choosing the right time frame for the distributed team.

Successfully managing a remote team can be overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be.

Following the tips mentioned above makes it easy to work and operate with a remote software development team of n number of employees. Whether your team is sitting five miles away or 5000, you will have everything you need to run a productive remote development team confidently.

Recommended read: No Excuses: The Definitive Guide to Managing a Remote Team

8. Open Chat Rooms

The remote team that is geographically dispersed faces a lot of challenges in streamlining their workflow. Efficient and quick communication should be in the form of dialogue, not emails as they pile up. Open chatrooms help in instant message communication via Slack and other tools.

9. Sync Between In-House and Remote Teams

Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling are essential as per the company’s objectives. But because of the physical constraints of working with the virtual and in-house team members, the project managers must create a situation where the whole software development team can interact.

The remote manager should practice fostering regular communication to maintain a sync between the remote and in-house team.

10. Assign Buddies to Remote Team Members

When you have created sync between the in-house and remote software development team, assigning a buddy to the remote employee is essential so that they become comfortable in the environment.

This mentor can clarify any query related to the project or provide any kind of assistance. The project requirements become crystal clear when their communication is seamless. That mentor helps remove a lot of stress and guides him smoothly through the team’s workflow.

11. Choose the Right Communication Medium

The only way to avoid any pitfall is to be very clear about how the offshore team will communicate. Create a charter for dedicated offshore developers that establishes norms of behavior when communicating.

It can include limiting background noise, talking at a clear pace, listening attentively, and more. But, of course, communication goes beyond verbal exchanges, so use the right medium.

12. The Defined Set of Tools

Managing a remote team has become easier than before. Remote teams offer real value, and you get to pivot the project whenever you want to with the help of project management tools.

It helps in smooth coordination when dealing with long-distance employees. Slack, Basecamp, Asana, Google Docs, and Trello are some tools that help you to manage tasks for the team.

13. Documentation

You can’t truly succeed without excellent documentation. The remote developers are not minded readers; they need a document. Documentation ensures efficiency, consistency, and peace of mind.

This standardization ensures everyone is working in the same direction towards the same goal.

14. Weekly Meetings for Remote Software Developers

Weekly meetings keep everyone on the same page. Ensure you have your material and team updates in advance of the meeting. Screen sharing software like Join.me, Zoom.us, and Appear.in give a plus point. Remember that everyone in the in-house and dispersed team should decide a time that suits them. Get a quick overview of the ‘Every Time Zone’ tool and decide accordingly. 

15. Set Realistic Expectations

When it comes to defining working hours or assigning project deliverables for remote collaboration, it is imperative that everyone has clarity on the tasks. It’s best to divide the responsibilities within the team. Set realistic expectations from your remote team. It will help you to avoid inevitable issues down the road.

16. Meet your Team in Person

Meetups are great for morale, says Jon Lay, founder of Hanno. Gain interpersonal connections with a team meeting in person. In addition, the meetings should be planned to allow people to collaborate productively.

The primary reason to meet is to socialize. Everyone connects better across teams, leading to better communication and coordination.

17. Establish a Relationship with your Remote Teams

When you ally with the virtual team, it becomes vital to establish a strong relationship with them.

Remote developers are goal-oriented & productive. As you work on building relationships, your project will be more successful, and the entire team will be happier, leading you to the pinnacle of success.

18. International Holidays

Every individual in your multicultural remote team has religious obligations that must be fulfilled. Different national holidays fall into this category.

Respect the company’s company culture and understand that they have the right to enjoy occasions. So, organize your projects around these holidays. If you take their cultural limitations seriously, it will help them trust you more.

19. Boost the Morale of your Remote Developers

Every individual's moral is highly dependent on feelings, and productivity is directly proportional to morale.

Low morale leads to Boosting their confidence, which is essential as they are distributed worldwide. To keep their spirits, high praise them whenever they work well.

20. Positive Feedback

Feedback can be a simple yet very powerful motivational tool. Share positive feedback verbally in the office space. But it’s great to appreciate your remote developers via email.

21. Rewards and Appreciation

Remote developers already tend to feel left out and isolated. So whenever a remote employee gets positive feedback, it boosts their productivity. But make sure that the notable achievement should have a special mention in a public email or group chat.

Reward them with cash prizes or shopping vouchers. To make rewards impactful, give away cash prizes or shopping vouchers so that they have a good time.

Start meeting with kudos: Kick off the team meeting by encouraging and praising employees. It is an excellent method to begin a discussion on a high note.

Hire Remote Development Teams with Your Team In India

For seamless project management and remote communication, you need the right resources who possess skills and knowledge. With software development team management at Your Team In India, you can get access to the top remote team members with specified technical skills and soft skills to achieve your projects. Managing remote development teams will always be easy as we provide certified software engineers.

So, hire remote developers and get ready to scale your business growth with a dedicated team for each project.

Wrapping Up

A successful remote team helps your business achieve projects aligned with your vision and goals. With the tips mentioned above, you can manage your remote teams effectively and create a cohesive and productive team environment that drives success in software development projects. Further, project management software can help you effectively manage remote developers.

You can improve employee satisfaction across cultures, productivity, and morale. Rely on communication/collaboration management tools, and ensure smooth project management. This way, you will get a group of loyal, hardworking, and productive remote engineers that will help you reach the company's vision. Do you want to hire top offshore developers from India? Then contact our professionals now, and our team will contact us shortly.

manage remote teams

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best practices when managing remote teams?
Some of the proven practices for managing remote teams include scheduling weekly meetings, encouraging teamwork, prioritizing results over working hours, and tracking regular work progress.
What are the three leading challenges you face while managing a team remotely?
The top three challenges you can face are a lack of face-to-face supervision, lower productivity, and limited communication between the in-house and remote workers.
How do you keep a remote team productive?
To keep remote employees productive, you can create well-documented processes, optimize corporate culture, streamline communications, and not overload remote software engineering teams with several projects at a time.
How to lead multiple remote teams and manage team leaders to achieve outcomes?
Leading a remote team can be tough, but strategies like trusting employees, hosting daily meetings, opting for shorter meetings, and setting clear expectations can help manage remote software developers easily.
How to maintain engagement and collaboration in remote teams?
The best ways to ensure engagement and collaboration in remote teams are assigning accountability partners, promoting teamwork, keeping constant communications, and running reward programs.

Mangesh Gothankar

Mangesh Gothankar

Seasoned technology professional with over 19 years of experience leading technology innovation and execution with startups and MNCs. Experience in hiring and creating multiple world-class technology teams. Results-oriented with a passion for technology, recognized for successfully planning and executing major initiatives.