With competitive software developer salary and the opportunity to expand your business to the global IT market, working remotely has been a most notable trend in past few years. As a trend, working remotely or from home has grown by 115% since 2005, and causing 40% more employers in the US to provide the choice of flexible workplace options. Because of this growing trend and technology nowadays, it is preferred by most employers to work from home, which increases the pool of skilled and expert workers; remote web developers and remote development teams among them.
Going Out Into The World
From outsourcing to out-staffing, there are a number of ways to access this global pool of remote web developers. However, remote software developer salary is a big consideration in hiring remote developers. In 2016, on average, a remote software developer in the US can earn up to $198,000 annually, while remote web developer salary in Europe can go up to $104,000. Apart from cost, there are other factors that feed into the decision of whether to hire remote developers or not.
Also read: 7 Differences Between Hiring Remote and In-house Workers
Pros and Cons of Remote Development Teams
Outlining the advantages and disadvantages of hiring remote developers can help figuring out how to collaborate with remote developers in the best way and why you should hire remote developers. Below are just some of the advantages of hiring remote developers.
Gets you access to more and better expert talent.
Expanding the reach of your company by engaging in remote developers provides you with the opportunity to employ the services of developers from all over the world. Aside from having access to the global IT market, companies are also exposed to a diverse pool of developers with a wide-range of skills and development experiences and, with the speed of connectivity provided by technology nowadays, can take advantage of this access a lot faster.
Lets you hire good people who can’t move.
Working with remote developers offers companies an avenue to work with developers that are limited in their mobility; whether be it physically, socio-economically, emotionally, or other factors. Hiring remote developers enable the company to support and employ skilled remote developers without the limitation of proximity or geography, and remote developers are provided with the opportunity to apply their skills, provide the services needed by these companies, and earn at the same time.
When done right, it makes people extremely productive.
With clear and detailed planning, constant and effective communication, working with remote developers can be greatly productive. Factor in the fact that remote developers would most probably be coming from around the world, in varied time zones, you can ensure that at least one member of your team would be working on your project at a given time. This also shortens development timelines and increases the pace of project development.
It makes you focus on quality rather than quantity.
Without the constraints of a physical office or working environment, working with remote developers ensures that companies are less focused on the hours spent in the office and more on the work, and quality of work, that is actually done. There is less focus on the quantity, or amount, of time spent working, and more focus on the quality of work being done.
Faster response to development issues and concerns.
If planned and coordinated well amongst the team and managing company, having remote developers from around the world, in different time zones, ensures that someone on the team is working on the project and is ready to address issues and concerns raised before and during their allotted working time, and can flag concerns not addressed for others working after.
Reduced overhead costs.
Not needing to set up a physical workspace notably reduces development costs. Without the cost for utilities, security, and equipment that is necessary for a physical office, more budget can be allocated towards development and improvement of communication and project management tools to improve the collaboration and team dynamics of the company and the remote development team.
Also read: Output Over Hours: How to Think About Remote Workers
Working with remote developers introduces you to the rest of the world, where people come from highly diverse cultures. Having differing cultural beliefs and practices can impact development projects in that it can cause miscommunication and affect the working dynamics of the team.
Differing Time Zones
Not only will you be working with different people from different cultures, you will also be facing the issue of having to work with people from different time zones. This can be a huge development headache; setting up meetings and progress catch-up can be very trying on you and your team.
How To Manage Remote Developers
Below are key pointers on how to manage remote development teams.
Communication is the key.
Constant communication among the team is essential to ensuring a great working environment when collaborating with remote developers. Regular catch-up meetings, discussions about progress and concerns, as well as brainstorming on how to improve development build rapport and help the team keep in sync. Great communication is a strong foundation to build efficient and effective teams.
Never fail to plan.
Having a well-defined plan for a development project ensures that your team is on track to set goals and objectives. Supplementing this with set deliverables, timelines, and scope helps you and your team be on the same page and of the same mind in how to proceed and implement the development of the project.
Encourage feedback and discourse.
Constant communication is a great start to becoming a highly efficient team, but what guarantees effectivity in a team is using the information gained from regular communication and discourse to improve the team and the project development. Through collecting feedback from the team and engaging in a discourse on how to best improve, assures that everyone in the team is involved in the decision-making process and contributes to the improvement of the project.
Make time zones your best friend.
Time zones can be a big hindrance to the project development progress and team productivity. However, if utilized wisely, having members in different time zones can be a tool in ensuring a high-level of productivity and quality assurance for the project. If plans are made with consideration to the different time zones of the various members of the team, it can be made in a way that there will always be someone on your team working on your project.
Conflict is inevitable in a project, especially in a virtual team with individuals coming from different cultures and having different personalities. What makes a difference is how these conflicts are managed. Ensure that issues or concerns are raised and discussed amongst the team, and focus on coming up with a solution to the problem and ensuring that chances of it happening again are minimized. Great conflict management strengthens a team and only adds on to its potential.
Go The Distance
A lot can also be said about collaborating with remote software developer via an independent contractor, however, what is essential is what’s best for your project development. Hiring remote developers can definitely be a boon to your project, but only insofar as the quality of management and coordination within the development team. Comprehensive research, openness to collaboration, and adaptability to change also help improve working with remote development teams.
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