How To Manage Remote Distributed Team
Recently there are two obviously intersecting trends in nearly all spheres:
- The percent of remote team members has increased.
- The number of distributed around the globe teams is growing at a fantastic rate.
How to manage a remote distributed team?
3 basic steps:
- Handle productivity issues.
- Provide every team member with the scope of work including timing and deadlines.
- Use employee monitoring software to make data-driven decisions.
Learn more about how to get all the benefits of remote working style.
Image 1. Remote employees growth rate.
The Stackoverflow survey states, that remote work options are #2 priority for computer developers among all compensations and benefits:
Image 2. Values for developers in compensation.
And this fact has a strong background:
- remote work is likely to boost productivity;
- it’s an opportunity to cut office renting and other related costs.
Let’s consider coders working onsite (in some office) by way of example. A few years ago a study on their habits revealed:
“Based on an analysis of 10,000 programming sessions recorded from 86 programmers using Eclipse and Visual Studio and a survey of 414 programmers, we found:
- A programmer takes between 10-15 minutes to start editing code after resuming work from an interruption.
- When interrupted during an edit of a method, only 10% of times did a programmer resume work in less than a minute.
- A programmer is likely to get just one uninterrupted 2-hour session in a day.”
This way, for many developer teams, the remote style of work seems the absolute finding, but there are challenges as always. Project managers may be wary of the following issues:
- it’s quite difficult to handle with a distributed team;
- communications might be a bit slower despite the opportunity of using any instant messenger;
- a project timing may be broken;
- the overall team progress might be slowing down;
- a project may become more expensive.
Luckily, there are technologies that can make a difference.
Employee monitoring software is getting a second wind in the times of remote work. The latest versions are more adapted for businesses needs, offering companies a data-driven approach to employee monitoring and personnel decisions.
This type of software can solve a lot of decentralized teams issues and definitely need to be taken to any company’s toolkit.
And here are a few different ways employee monitoring could be helpful in managing a remote, multi-time zone, distributed teams:
Definitely, the remote type of working provides any distributed team members with the opportunity to be more productive. Especially this could boost employees who need immense concentration and they are more comfortable to work from home or any preferred location.
Of course, remote working also can lead to a nastier ending – employees distract and disengage. Even IBM claimed last year that they want their working home team members back to offices.
Though employee monitoring software allows managers to quantify employees work time, and they can assure that every team member is engaging with productive apps.
Moreover, this software is not only supposed to track time, but also gain a lot of useful insights about employees work habits. This definitely opens the opportunity to make data-driven decisions.
Most teams or team members usually operate under certain deadlines. Project managers need to be informed about job progress. Of course, there are a lot of project managing tools to track this, but we have a situation with remote distributed and possibly different time zones team.
In this case, communicating and evaluating overall progress becomes more complicated.
Though, having employee monitoring software implemented across the company, it’s possible to track the tasks prioritization and gain insights into the overall progress of a team member.
Data-Driven Insights And Decision Making
Employee monitoring software gives project (or company) managers access to valuable productivity insights. Using such tools, they are able to estimate not only the quantity of work done but also its quality.
Computer monitoring software helps to view at a glance the set of important metrics starting from time spent on specific apps to interactions with other people. This info powers managers to be more strategic and reasonable with their employees.
For example, the standard situation in a software developing company is the following: programmers engaged in a project have to communicate with the client. This may lead to poor results: even the most talented developer can be really third-rate in dealing with people.
So, the most relevant decision would be shifting such team member to a position where he/she could have more opportunities to maximize his/her strength instead of facing clients.
The distributed teams amount currently continues to grow. So its vitally important to improve the workflows and other team’s processes. It’s quite hard to make it real without any tool.
Employee monitoring software can help to create a data-driven environment, that eases communication and collaboration.
CMO, NesterSoft Inc.
www.worktime.com – Remote Employee Monitoring Experts Since 1998