Remote work has continued to make a name in the employment landscape over the last few years. As seen in this article here, the growth of internet and management practices that are dictated by millennials are some of the major driving forces behind this growth. As a result, more and more companies are connecting with solopreneurs to help them work with general market tasks or even specific disciplines such as IT jobs.
Labor analysts, however, have been quick to point out that the growth of remote working will continue facing numerous challenges. For instance, jobs lost to outsourcing statistics will continue rising, plus reliable technology, tax policies, cultural rigidity will also need adjustments to create a more mobile workforce.
A recent report by FlexJobs.com shows that the number of remote workers has more than doubled over the last decade which is 10 times more than what the traditional workforce has seen.
Another 2018 report by Zug has shown that at least 70% of the total global workforce do work remotely at least once per week with another 53% working remotely for more than three days a week.
There is no denying that this form of hiring method is both beneficial to the workers and employees. Remote working has been shown to motivate employees given the flexible working terms hence increased productivity. And Beyond that, employers get to save in terms of infrastructural costs.
With all that said, the biggest question still remains, is remote work the future?
A new and exciting trend about telecommuting is clearly seen in remote tech jobs. In the US alone, it’s estimated that 30% of small businesses don’t have a website. Other reports have quoted even higher figures, but for conservative purposes, let’s use the thirty percent. This roughly translates into 24 million small businesses or 7.2 million websites to be created. For developers hunting for the best remote jobs, this is fertile ground.
From a global perspective, the remote IT jobs market generated a $ 64.3 billion revenue in 2017 making it one of the biggest industries within the outsourcing ecosystem. During the same period, software development emerged as one of the top earners with the revenues clocking $32 billion.
Due to the scope and nature scope of software development, remote software developer jobs have been on the rise. It wouldn’t be surprising to find a company in the US and having their offshore software development team in Ukraine.
Benefits of working with remote teams
Drive Employee Productivity
Increased productivity is perhaps the major motivating factor why companies choose to work with remote teams. By giving your workers the freedom to choose whether to work during the day or night, you give them to work in their own element which drives productivity. However, as a company, it’s wise to set the red tapes since not everyone is self-motivated to work independently.
By working with remote teams, it means renting smaller spaces for your day-to-day operations. This is especially the case with cash-strapped startups in the tech industry who opt for co-working spaces. These spaces give them the ability to have a physical location without necessarily shouldering lease costs, utilities, and other related overhead expenses.
That being said, if you choose to operate from a co-working space, you must adhere to shared space etiquette. After all, you are merely sharing the office space with other like-minded businesses.
Reduced Travel Time
Some companies limit the number of hours a person can work remotely. However, even two days a week working from home can significantly cut the commute time. If a round trip usually takes 1 hour, two days mean that the extra two hours can be conserved.
Even better, the employees can save more on commute costs. Although a $2 commute cost on a daily basis may seem infinitesimal, in the long run it may accumulate into a significant saving. As a result, an employee in a remote team will step up motivated knowing that their employer takes care of their welfares.
This type of scenario may create many unforeseen circumstances. However, with the following tools, you will be able to effectively manage your team.
5 effective tools when working with remote teams
When dealing with a remote team, communication is important in communicating the progress of your projects. A few years back, communication between remote team members was limited to conference call phones and Outlook. Fast forward to today, there are multiple communication tools that make communication much easier.
Whether you are looking to instill your company culture in the remote team or simply staying in touch, there is a tool for that. For instance, if you are looking to casually chat with your team, you can use a tool like Slack. It allows you to ask quick questions, compare notes, and send files back and forth.
When looking for a more interactive team interaction, there are video calls apps out there. Leading the pack is Skype and Zoom. They can be used for daily meetings or one-off call platforms any time of the day.
Centralizing all your processes especially when dealing with a remote developer or software development agile teams is critical. Ensuring you have a tool that centralizes everything from sprint planning, tasks distribution, tracking, and prioritization of tasks gives team members full-context visibility.
Jira is a good tool to simplify virtual teams management by allowing you to choose out-of-the-box workflows and customize them to suit your businesses’ specific needs.
Working with a remote team presents a productivity in that, you don’t have the luxury of walking up to your employees’ desk to see what they are doing. For this, you will be needing a tool that keeps tab of what exactly they are up to.
Basically, the tools will run software on the remote workers’ desktops and provide real-time information on the task they are focusing on allowing you to only pay for the time worked. A good example of such as a tool is TimeDoctor.
With multiple files and documents to manage, you may also need a tool to keep them organized and easily available to team members. Google Drive is a great repository ally given that it’s inherently collaborative, easy to organize, and instantly searchable.
Another great tool to help your business with online storage is Confluence. It necessitates file and document accessibility at the same time serving as your organization’s information hub. You can even tag individual team members alerting them on updates and comment on pages requesting for collaboration.
The success of how effectively your project is managed is pegged on how well coordinated and managed your team is across different locations and time zones.
These tools allow your business to scale seamlessly by catering to different project aspects such as marketing, product development, professional services, etc.
A good example of a project management tool is Wrike as it features a customizable dashboard, request forms, core building blocks, live editing, automation, and file management to help actualize your projects.
There’s no doubt that the era of 9-to-5 jobs with the employees clustered in a single location is gone. Today, you are most likely to find companies working with a partially remote or entirely remote team.
Technology has made it possible for workers to work in a highly flexible and customizable environment which creates a win-win situation. Employees have the freedom to operate from where they want and when they want. Companies, on the other hand, get to save the facilities costs and work with the best talents.
With the help of the above-stated tools, a business can now make a remote team even more productive than in-house one.