The COVID-19 pandemic put remote working on the map, causing a major shift in the rules of the workplace. According to a report by Morning Consult, 48% of tech workers work fully remotely, up from 22% before the start of the pandemic. While 36% of managers were worried about the decrease in productivity levels in the work-from-home (WFH) model, Prodoscore Research shows that remote working has led to an increase in productivity by 47% since 2020.
Every coin has two sides. So while these are positive statistics, there’s another side to the story.
In a study, Microsoft revealed that 42% of employees didn’t have basic office supplies and the relevant technology to work from home. In addition, 10% of the respondents also revealed they didn’t have access to a stable internet connection.
So what are the consequences of building a remote tech team? This article will help you understand the pros and cons of a remote tech team, the tips needed to build a strong team, and how tech employees can upskill to perform better.
What are the ramifications of building a remote tech team?
Working with a remote team relies on everyone maintaining self-discipline. While you must be up to speed with all the ongoing tasks and projects, you must also ensure everyone on your team is performing well.
When you extend your requirement to a global remote team, you have the opportunity to choose from a broader target group with the best skillset. However, this means different operational hours for everyone.
It means employees can’t meet in one physical location simultaneously. So you need flexible employees who deliver projects on time and are well-organized.
A remote team could lead employees to isolate themselves and work on tasks individually. Therefore, maintaining a communication platform beyond emails is essential.
When building a remote tech team, the team’s composition becomes crucial. How many members are there in your team? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Can work be balanced out among them? Such questions become relevant to ensure successful project completion.
Next, with remote work, you need to be extra careful in ensuring that work is equally distributed among your team members. There should be clarity in the tasks assigned to team members. Clear protocols and guidelines should be in place if someone needs help. Setting strict timelines will result in the timely delivery of projects.
Technology is another challenge when it comes to remote working. It’ll be ironic if a tech team doesn’t have basic technology to stay up to date with their tasks. Leveraging technology, not just hardware but also various online tools, will help manage the team better. There are great platforms where the team can communicate directly, set up collaborative meetings, and organize tasks.
It’s difficult to build trust between managers and a remote team. Managers are constantly worried about whether employees will complete tasks and if they will meet deadlines. On the other hand, team members often worry about salary, working hours, and project expectations.
Leadership plays a significant role when maintaining a remote tech team. You should be sensitive to your employees. If there are work milestones or a client has emailed an appreciation note for your hard work, inform the team, and if possible, have a virtual celebration when tasks are completed.
Tips for building a solid tech team
Like all other teams, you need your tech team to function as a cohesive unit. In addition to being aligned on technical aspects, effective communication, instilling soft skills, transparency among team members, and recognition of achievements are vital to building a solid tech team.
Tech Team Building
The tech team must be in sync with the latest soft skills required to complete work. You should host team-building sessions where team members can share their knowledge and get the opportunity to polish their skills.
You can foster a sense of independence among team members by letting them complete their tasks the way they want. It brings a sense of accountability and enables team members to track and improve their performance.
Participating in hackathons supports teamwork and creativity. Team members build trust and understanding while working collaboratively towards a common goal.
Effective communication begins when a team member can freely contact their leader when required. Build a rapport with individual team members and help them understand that you are available when your input is required.
While communication lines with the manager should be open, team members should also be able to communicate with each other openly and freely. Email can be too restrictive and formal, so you can choose a communication platform purely for work-related chatter. For instance, Slack and Flock are ideal for connecting team members.
Long virtual meetings can be time-consuming and hamper both productivity and work-life balance. Asynchronous communication allows team members to respond to queries that aren’t urgent and can be done when they have time. It can be a game-changer and increase employees' ability to meet goals efficiently.
Get together with your team members once a month or once every two months. You can spend quality time and get to know each other more, outside of pressing deadlines and conversations about meeting daily targets.
Suppose you have a global remote team, you can set up one-on-one meetings to talk about general things. You can also have a virtual games night to build personal connections among group members.
Recognition of Achievements
As a leader, who streamlines tasks and motivates employees to perform better, you should also recognize efforts and give credit where it’s due. It will motivate your employees to give their best efforts and be more productive.
Once you have set clear expectations and given your team a measurable form of success, you should track each of their productivity levels. If you underutilize a member, the workload will increase on another member.
What are industry experts saying?
While tech companies are hesitant to shift to remote working permanently, 64% of employees are ready to look for a new job if they’re expected to return to the office full time. So, unless tech companies evolve with the changing needs of the employees, they risk losing their staff.
The idea of a “return to normalcy” is a myth. Tech employees are looking for revolutionized workplaces with flexibility, the ability to choose their schedules, and a work-life balance.
Should remote tech employees work on skills to perform better?
As a manager building a global team, your employees should also have certain qualities so the team can function smoothly.
Dependability: Your remote team member should be reliable. Meeting deadlines and completing work with minimal supervision are core qualities you should look for when hiring someone.
Clear communication skills: During the interview, assess whether the candidate can clearly communicate their point of view and build a rapport.
Teamwork: Working collaboratively with other team members and participating in joint projects will ensure your tech team's success.
Problem-solving skills: Independence when finding solutions to problems on their own is essential, especially if team members are in different parts of the world.
Organizational skills: An employee's ability to plan their daily tasks, be responsible for their work, and store work in an organized manner will help the team to work satisfactorily.
Streamline your hiring process
Finding the right match for your global tech team working remotely can be tedious. Recruiters need to look for several soft and hard skills to hire someone who stays with the team for a long time.
Instead of spending valuable time looking for the next team member, consider outsourcing your interview process to FloCareer. Our data-driven approach will help you screen and select the best candidate for your team. At FloCareer, we connect you with quality candidates with appropriate qualifications faster. We have over 4,000 experienced recruiters who are ready to help you find your new team member faster.
Sign up for a free demo today!