Unlock the power of the Global Remote Workforce for Your Team
What is Remote Workforce
A traditional way to do business is to come to an office to do the work. In some industries like factory manufacturing, it’s the only option. That said, with the current state of technology and especially for thought workers like software engineers, it’s no longer a requirement. With a high-performance laptop and an Internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world, including your home office. Remote workforce unlocks limitless possibilities for your business like getting access to a larger and more cost-efficient pool of talent internationally. Especially in the pandemic, when going into an office is complicated, there is no reason for not taking the advantage of global remote work opportunities.
Why Remote is Great
Big Companies Go Remote
Large companies like Github (bought by Microsoft), InVision, 37signals (makers of Basecamp and creators of Ruby on Rails) were already operating remotely even before the pandemic. There are books written on a subject like Remote.
Remote is here to stay
Especially in the pandemic, remote work is the new norm. Per TechCrunch: even when the offices reopen, companies are looking at flexible work models.
Larger pool of more cost-effective talent
The remote workforce unlocks the possibility of hiring people outside of your city and even your country. You can have a truly international team of professionals working in lockstep with you.
Needless to say, due to the cost of living difference between the United States and the rest of the world, you’ll get some amazingly skilled and motivated professionals at the fraction of the cost of a local US employee. No need to worry about immigration either. Remote workers can be hired as individual contractors through a contracting company reducing the complexity of your payroll.
With remote, you’re tapping into a larger pool of talent than in your local city. It’s especially helpful if you’re looking to fulfill multiple roles at your company and the local job market is very competitive.
Worth noting that in some countries, higher education is more accessible and less costly than in the US. So yes, you can hire a remote worker who actually knows how software algorithms and data structures work ;-)
More Productivity and Focus
Working at the office, especially with an open floor plan, can be distracting. It’s very easy to spend your entire day between meetings, random conversations with your peers, especially with the hard work requiring a high amount of mental energy and concentration like software engineering.
Working remotely solves this problem. With a properly set up personal office, there are fewer distractions, leaving more time for individual contributions. A book on a subject is my all-time favorite: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success In a Distracted World.
How To Work With a Remote Team
The key to managing distributed teams is maintaining the concept of Core Hours. Core hours is when everyone, regardless of the local time zone are available for cross-team communication and meetings. For example, if you’re in the US and you have people in multiple geographic regions like Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, then all of them should be available during your core hours, usually between your morning and noon. People located in the timezone with more proximity (for example US and Latin America) will have more overlap with your team.
Regular meetings like standups, sprint plannings, retrospectives, debugging sessions can happen over video calls. The most popular options are Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet. Most of the video conferencing software allows you to add multiple attendees, share your camera and your screen. It’s especially useful if you would like to walk your team through a presentation. If you have an issue you need some help with, you can have a video call with your remote co-worker to troubleshoot it over a screen sharing session.
Messaging / Chat
With the evolution of messaging software, it’s now more efficient to communicate over messaging than talking to a large group. The advantages of using messaging for your communication are that it’s searchable, can be referred to later on, and it works for communicating with your entire team regardless of the physical location of your team members. Most notable options are Slack, Microsoft Teams, HipChat.
You most likely already use these tools to track your projects. Jira, Trello, Asana, Monday or a good old school spreadsheet (yes, people still do it, and it works great!) are available to track your team’s progress. Remote team members are assigned some tickets to work on. Once the work is started, the ticket is moved to in progress, then in QA, and to done. All steps along the way you’ll know exactly who works on what and when the work is ready to be reviewed.
Chances are that you’re already using these tools too. There is no need to host a private git repository on your secret server in a closet. Services like Github, GitLab, and BitBucket are available for your team. You can set the individual permissions for each code repository and assign different permissions to your engineers as you see fit. All code gets pushed to the same repository. Remote workers will follow your standard code review procedure using the same code standards that you already have.
Stopping by at your developer’s desk to see the progress is inefficient and distractive. So you should be already using services like TestFlight and Firebase to distribute your test builds for your mobile app. The websites are deployed to your QA or staging environment for testing which you can access from your web browser. You can check the database with your database client like Sequel Pro or Navicat. Your API can be tested with Postman. And your cloud is easy to manage using Commandeer.
Security is the top priority for remote workers. At Right Balance, we follow the best security practices like using VPN, SSH keys, hard disk encryption, being able to erase a laptop remotely, and more.
With the current state of technology, remote workers enable your business to achieve greater heights. And as you can see, it’s not that different from your current way of working anyway. There is no reason for not taking advantage of a larger pool of high-quality talent in timezone-friendly regions like Latin America and Eastern Europe. In addition to it, due to a lower cost of living, remote workers are more cost-efficient, as well as more motivated to work with an international team.
Originally posted at alextamoykin.com