12 Effective Tips to Manage Remote Developers

Hiring remote developers is highly beneficial for businesses, especially startups with limited resources and funds. But managing remote developers is always a big concern for business owners. Will they be able to match goals or meet deadlines? Will they be able to understand our vision and our clients’ requirements? In such situations having thoughts like this is very common. After all, a considerable part of the future of your business depends upon the efficiency of your developers.

Your developers might not be the issue. You may have a fantastic team of developers who are unable to utilize their true potential due to a lack of management. Fret not! This guide will help you efficiently manage remote developers and improve their productivity.

Here’s how you can manage remote developers smoothly

1. Set clear and realistic expectations

To perform well and complete every project successfully, your developers should clearly know what is required from them. It is your responsibility to ensure that you deliver every necessary information to the project, including its goals, the nature of its users, and your client's requirements, while assigning them to your developers. Don’t forget to keep the deadlines and your expectations as practical as possible.

2. Communicate effectively

Regular communication is the foundation of managing remote developers smoothly. You have to ensure that you keep regular meetings with them and take updates on their current projects and work progress. All developers need to understand the company goal and how people work within the company.

Not only that, online meetings are a great way to build personal connections with all the team members. Therefore, while holding a meeting with your remote team, make some time to ask them about what they are up to, their personal goals, lifestyle, hobbies, etc. it will strengthen your relationship with your remote team members to a great extent.

At Remotebase, we keep daily stand-ups and regular team meetings to keep our developers and other team members connected. It helps us track their progress, recognize any barriers and monitor their tasks effectively.

3. Keep on time zones in mind

Remote developers live in different time zones, which means they are not always available for daily meetings unless you have some working hours in common. For example, if you live in the US and your developer lives in Canada, then your working hours match theirs, but if they live in China, there is a 12-hour difference.

Therefore, while considering working with global developers, you need to choose the time zone that works for you and your employees. To keep yourself updated with the progress of the project and avoid any confusion and delays.

Remotebase uses the best communication practices and keeps daily meetings to ensure the workflow remains smooth and everything is done within the given time. We have a Slack channel that helps us keep connected with everyone in our team.

4. Use advanced tools to improve work efficiency

Now that you have decided to work smartly by hiring remote developers, it's time you take leverage of the latest tools and technologies to streamline the workflow and efficiently manage remote developers.

You can use some of the most in-demand management tools, such as Slack and Jira, to cater to all management requirements. Do avoid using multiple tools as it can be confusing and time-consuming.

Here are some of the tools that will help smoothly manage a remote developer team.

Tools for better communication

  • Slack
  • Google workspace
  • Microsoft teams
  • Asana
  • Connecteam

Tools for managing time zone differences

  • Every Time Zone
  • Spacetime.am
  • TimeTemperature.com

Tools for Project management

  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Redmine
  • Asana
  • Basecamp

Tools for task management

  • Github
  • Bitbucket

Tools for video chat

  • Google Meet
  • Skype

Tools for sharing and storing documents

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive

Remotebase uses most of these tools to streamline the work management process and provide a better work experience to our remote team members.

5. Stay flexible

It is best to give your remote developers the freedom to follow a flexible world schedule and not to restrict their workflow too much. Let them switch between some tasks according to their will. This will help produce better outcomes as your developers will work wholeheartedly over each task. Do make sure that they prioritize the ones with short deadlines and work on them first to avoid missing out on any deadlines.

At Remotebase, we offer flexibility to our teams to work on their projects according to their wish while keeping the deadlines in mind. This has allowed us to achieve better work results without compromising on the deadlines.

6. Take their feedback

Your employees should feel that you value their opinion. For that, you need to take their regular feedback on the projects they are working on and their experience of working with you. Knowing what’s going great and what’s not and working to make things better can help you provide your developers with a better working experience where they feel comfortable, valued, and respected. As a result, they will feel much more motivated and produce better results.

Remotebase ensures to take the valuable opinions of its team members by providing them with ample opportunities to give their feedback on their current projects and anything they would like to improve. Our developers have given us some great ideas, and implementing them has shown us fantastic results.

7. Sign a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

A non-disclosure agreement is a document signed by two or more parties that allows them to share information with each other but prohibits them from sharing it with others. Companies usually sign NDAs to protect sensitive or confidential information. You can get your remote developers to sign NDAs to protect your ideas, concepts, projects, and other sensitive information from being shared with anyone else. Providing you with written security of your confidential information for a long-term peaceful relationship with your employees.

According to Forbes, The Key Elements of Non-Disclosure Agreements don’t have to be long and complicated and should contain the following key elements:

  • Identifying the parties
  • Defining confidential information
  • The obligation by the receiving party
  • The exclusions from confidential treatment
  • The agreement term

8. Avoid micromanaging

Too much interference in the work of your employees. Weather for monitoring work or reminding of the deadline is called micromanaging. Though there will be times when you want to know every bit of the project progress and what your developers are up to, but you need to have patience and have some faith in your developers as they all hate micromanagement. In addition, it’s mainly of no use because it does not give your employees the chance to work independently and achieve something of their own.

In a survey conducted by Trinity Solutions, 79% of employees said they had experienced micromanagement in the workplace. And 69% of them even said they were considering leaving their job because of it, clearly highlighting the urgency of avoiding micromanagement.

These are some characteristics that make you a micromanager that you must avoid:

  • Constantly monitoring employees' activities
  • Resisting delegating work
  • Asking for frequent updates
  • Becoming overly involved in employees' work.
  • Discouraging independent decision-making.
  • Demanding for regular overly-detailed reports
  • Preferring to be cc'd on every email
  • Being too much critical
  • Telling employees the exact way to do tasks, killing their creativity
  • Not allowing the team to take initiative or come up with new ideas

9. Employee engagement

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Similarly, If you treat your employees like robots who work without any entertainment, your employees will start to hate your company. Retaining remote talent is difficult as there are plenty of competitive opportunities available from anywhere in the world.

Offering high salaries, bonuses, and showing appreciation aren’t enough as they do not keep your employees engaged. An engaged employee feels connected to the company and is motivated to be a part of it for as long as possible. According to Gallup’s meta-analysis, businesses that provided better employee engagement opportunities showed 17% more productivity and 21% more profitability than those that didn’t.

These are some of the steps that you can take to elevate engagement with your remote developers:

  • Offer learning opportunities
  • Organize online activities
  • Celebrate their success
  • Offer job rotations
  • Celebrate job anniversary
  • Provide them with the necessary tools
  • Provide opportunities to be creative
  • Value their opinion
  • Work on their feedback

At Remotebase, we also take these measures to keep our remote team engaged. We offer various programs to improve their skills and organize virtual events and activities such as live gaming sessions and conferences to make our team members feel connected to our company. That is why we have the most loyal employees who have been with us since the beginning.

10. Appreciate performance

Your employees work around the year and help make your business successful. It is essential to keep them happy by making them feel appreciated for the work they do. It will boost their performance, work quality, and loyalty toward your business, benefiting both your employee and your organization. Over 91% of HR believe that recognition makes employees more likely to stay. In fact, according to a survey, lack of recognition and engagement contributed to 44% of employees changing jobs.

Here’s how you can appreciate your employees:

  • Cash bonuses and gifts
  • A Thank You note
  • A few positive words
  • Involve them in the decision-making process
  • A mention in the workgroup
  • An appreciation event

As you can see, none of these things are tough to do. Yet a few kind words, a simple positive gesture, or a short meaningful discussion can do wonders for reinforcing good work and creating an office culture and work environment that people enjoy.

At Remotebase, we practice these tricks to make our developers feel appreciated. We offer various perks to them, including bi-annual increments, bonuses, health insurance, and home office allowance. We give regular feedback on their work, which motivates them to produce better work.

11. Appreciate performance

Remote developers are hired from all over the world. They belong to different religions, speak different languages, and have different cultures and standards, which you need to respect. It might be challenging at times, but it's worth the effort as you will get to work with global developer talent.

These are some of the ways to show respect to multicultural employees:

  • Organize activities in which your employees can share stories about their heritage.
  • Wish them their cultural or religious holidays
  • Give them a day off or a bonus on their cultural or religious holidays
  • Invite online speakers with different cultural backgrounds

12. Hire the right remote developers

Onboarding the right developers with the best management skills and exceptional coding skills is critical. They should be tech-savvy and extremely passionate about coding. If your developers lack enthusiasm for coding, organizational, communication, and management skills, no matter how much you try, they won’t be able to provide you with the best results.

Where can you find the right developers?

Remotebase is where you can get an all-rounder developer with expert coding and management skills. We not only select the top 1% of global developer talent, vetting them thoroughly with various tests and interviews to choose the best developer assets for you.

Remotebase helps you:

  • Save hiring time and cost: We are making your hiring process hassle-free, eliminating the wastage of time and money in finding the most suitable developer.
  • Choose from a global talent pool: We hire developers from around the world, choosing only the best ones. Thus, offering you a variety of developer talent to work with.
  • Get 100% vetted developers: Our hiring process is very rigorous. All our developers pass through various tests and interviews before they are hired to work with our prestigious clients.
  • Enjoy a 2-weeks no-risk trial: We offer a risk-free, 2 weeks trial. If you are not impressed with the work of our developers within 2 weeks, you don’t have to pay us a single dime.

How does Remotebase help companies manage remote developers?

Apart from helping our clients hire exceptionally talented global remote developers without any hassle, we also help manage them by assigning each of our customers a technical account manager who is also an engineer. Their role is to ensure that our clients have a flawless experience every step of the way. From helping onboard engineers to regular performance reviews, our account manager cum engineer always makes sure the customers are happy.

Conclusion

At first, it may seem a challenge to manage remote developers. But with the right tools and managing practices mentioned above, along with the support of Remotebase, you can have a perfectly streamlined workflow and provide the best working experience to your remote employees without compromising on the work quality and deadlines. So, let not managing issues come between you, your remote developer team, and your company's success.

Got any questions? Take a look at these FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great remote manager?

A remote manager is a support system for the team who helps them complete projects on time while holding them accountable. Building trust, maintaining transparency, communicating openly, and ensuring a supportive working environment are critical to manage remote developers successfully.

What skills do remote managers need?

An efficient manager has the ability to:

  • Communicate clearly
  • Set practical expectations
  • Trust the team
  • Keep everyone engaged
  • Avoid micromanagement
  • Use the latest technology for better management

What's the single biggest challenge in managing a remote workforce?

The biggest challenge with remote working is managing projects and completing them successfully within the deadlines when your team members are working from different locations.

What is your most valuable asset when working remotely?

Communication is the most valuable asset when it comes to remote work management. Hence, it should be well focused and strategized.

What values must a person have to be successful in a remote environment?

  • To be a successful remote developer, a person should be:
  • Tech-savvy
  • Self-motivated
  • Disciplined
  • Have strong communication and organizational skills

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