Here’s how you can tweak your communication methodology and collaborate better with your remote dedicated development team
You’ll agree to the notion that remote work is no longer a fringe benefit offered by a few organizations, but rather a critical option for people to consider throughout the world. Remote teams are still experimental in many aspects, as they have only been completely adopted by half of the businesses in the last decade.
More so following the outbreak of COVID-19.
That said, businesses are finding it difficult to manage teams remotely – often going for remote dedicated development teams instead of plain vanilla in-house hires.
Nevertheless, the remote is up and running.
And you’d need better collaboration and communication models to create smooth engagement and interaction.
But how can you expect to manage a workforce that is thousands of miles away? What does it take to lead or manage a successful remote team?
Well, the answer to these is— Effective Communication.
The most crucial factor of effective remote collaboration is communication. A remote team’s communication requirements are distinct and essential to the delivery process. As a business owner and more importantly as a stakeholder in the remote team setup, you must be aware of the complexities and obstacles of communicating effectively with a remote crew.
This blog outlines the strategies that companies should implement to guarantee that their remote teams communicate effectively.
Let’s start with the basics—
What is Effective Communication for Remote Development Team?
Effective communication for remote development team entails getting the correct information to the right people at the right time (whether it’s remote team members, in-house team members, or clients) (especially important on an agile setup). For this to be true, your remote employees must understand how to run an information flow.
By engaging with each other, team members may interact better with one another, discuss challenges, and discover solutions to problems before they become a grave issue. There are team-building activities for virtual teams, just as there are activities for people who work in an office.
Here are 7 Strategies for Effective Communication Building Successful Remote Team
1. Be Proactive to Start a Day with project boards + greetings!
When employees work remotely, one of the most difficult changes that occur is the lack of human interaction & structure. It’s difficult to completely avoid this problem, especially while trying social distance.
You must be proactive in maintaining open lines of communication while working from home so that no one feels isolated or in the dark. Help your employees stay connected by making them comfortable while physically apart. Encourage them to converse with their coworkers in the same way they would if they were at work.
Make a good start by saying “good morning” to each other and speak over your morning coffee. It will make your remote workforce feel less distant and ease out the virtual badgering over the course of the day.
2. Schedule Morning Meetings with Team
You must evaluate challenges and analyze viable solutions to determine your project needs. Choose outsourcing service vendors based on the nature of your project, the resource requirements, the tech stack needed, while exploring potential solutions.
Keep in mind to not be oversold – since that is the very premise of this exercise – hash out requirements, and expectations and maintain a contractual obligation towards it (having it enforced verbatim as well)
3.Try to Make Video Calls – or at least keep it visual
This is the most effective technique to boost your remote team’s communication and effectiveness. To completely realize its implications, you must first comprehend the three types of distances that can exist in a remote team:
- Physical Availability: The distance between team members, both physically and in terms of time.
- Obstruction in Communication: The noise can obstruct good communication, such as team size, skill levels, and bandwidth.
- Bonds: Problems that prohibit your remote team from forming deep, long-lasting bonds based on shared value, trust, and reliability.
Out of these three, the last one has the main impact i.e., creating a sense of interactive bond between the remote team members. And, this is where video communication shines, as it allows team members to form emotional relationships with one another.
When you see each other regularly, you develop a sense of familiarity and closeness that is difficult to achieve with faceless people on a conference call. The trust and emotional bonds that video chats foster are crucial in assisting the team in overcoming or reducing Affinity distance.
4. Modify the Way of Communication
Companies can save time and avoid misunderstandings with clear, detailed communication.
Nowadays, most business teams overuse acronyms, jargon, and abbreviations. While these can help reduce the amount of time spent composing long texts. And, they might confuse newbies.
Make a dictionary or a list of acronyms/abbreviations that the team can use, and strictly share it with your team members. This way people who aren’t familiar with jargon or can’t recall what this means, can go to the sheet shared.
What’s more, snappy communication through Slack is better than email notifications. Encourage your staff to integrate Slack with Trello or Jira and include all important points covering the details of the project/task. The goal is to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications while keeping it simplified.
This will increase productivity, allow you to take screenshots, track time & costs, and hold your team accountable.
Additionally, you can craft a
- Daily Activity Report
- Weekly and Monthly targets and goals sheet
- Definitive guide with standard KPIs for projects and team members
- Project board for progress mapping
- Communication tools like Slack, Teams, Flock, Google Chats
5. Deciding Which Tool To Use & When
There are a plethora of solutions available to help you manage a remote team. It’s all too easy to get carried away and end up with too many tools confusing the team. To clear the air, we have mentioned a few popular ones with better results;
- Communication Tool: Consider what would happen if some of your team members used WhatsApp to communicate while others used Slack. It will result in miscommunication and missing messages. Therefore, Slack, GoogleMeet, and Zoom are the popular official platforms for video calls if you’re seeking the best business communication solutions.
- Collaborative Tool: Tools like Google Drive and DropBox are excellent for storing, sharing, and editing documents without having to transmit them back and forth.
- Specifically for code, ensure the use of a code versioning tool like Github. Pair that up with Trello and the Atlassian suite and you have yourself a pretty solid collaborative base.
- Project Management Tools: Tools like Jira, Basecamp, ClickUp, Microsoft Teams, and Asana can help remote teams stay productive by allowing task delegation, time tracking, and other features.
6. Celebrate Occasions/Achievements & Inculcate Fun Activities in the Team
Birthdays, festivals, sporting events, and successes are all celebrated when we are physically working from the office. But why not do it while working from home? Why do the majority of remote teams fail to do the same? Is it so difficult?
Good teams, on the other hand, will always practice the same way– whether in the office or at home. Try every possible way to do it, even if it’s simply singing a birthday song or thanking someone for achievement, and don’t forget to click just because it’s virtual.
Another option to improve your team’s connections while having fun is to organize your regular team-building events online, such as:
- Schedule virtual activity sessions once a week or month-end.
- Every week, have a virtual happy hour session with a different themed cocktail.
- Video coffee dates with teammates where you initiate non-work-related chats.
7. Don’t Forget to Show Empathy
It’s crucial for companies that are new to remote work to understand that there will inevitably be a learning curve— especially if your workforce isn’t particularly tech-savvy.
To make the learning curve for remote working easy and less challenging, all you need is to show and have empathy for all employees. Assure them that you will be available to assist them during the transition and that they will be able to express their concerns and questions.
It’s already a stressful time, so starting a conversation with a little compassion will help a lot.
To Wrap Up
A good remote development team is built through effective and efficient communication. The added pressure of a non-proximal setup for the whole team (including members of a remote team, in-house team, and managers/team leaders/clients) has to be hashed out through smarter collaboration and a semblance of connectivity. This’d help your team stay on the same page and result in the team remaining productive and cohesive.
Are you a company looking to hire top-tier tech talent or create your remote team for a software development project?
Well if you are, then you can tinker with your own communication strategies. The strategies listed above can help you maintain excellent communication among team members with a competitive edge to your projects.
You can also contact us @Netsmartz to help you build a remote development team or to hire software developers for your project.