Is building a remote engineering team a beneficial solution? How can it influence your business operations, and how to scale it efficiently as your company grows?
After the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of people choosing to work remotely keeps growing. In 2022 alone, the figures went up to 24% in the United States. Fewer respondents (16%) are looking for hybrid working opportunities. And there's no surprise in that: working remotely is quite convenient for people and can make many of them more flexible in their daily routines. Companies in multiple industries — from retail to education — encourage or at least allow working from home. Software engineering companies are no exception.
In this article, we'll look at creating a scalable remote team of software engineers and discuss its main perks and pitfalls. So, if you are considering setting up your own team, keep reading!
Benefits of Building a Remote Software Engineering Team
If you're still not sure if building a remote engineering team is your go-to option, take a look at the list of key benefits it provides:
Access to skilled engineers — having a remote team allows you to select the most professional experts worldwide, giving you a larger talent pool
Cost efficiency — opting for remote teams can decrease your hiring costs. Moreover, you can save on office payments, IT infrastructure, and equipment
Convenient team adjustment — one of the main perks of remote teams is the ability to scale them up and down easily. You can start with several remote employees to see how they work and then grow your team depending on your current business needs
Getting to know new markets — working with people from around the globe allows you to discover plenty of new local markets. This is especially useful if you're looking at expanding your business
7 Tips to Build and Scale Your Remote Engineering Team
Now that you know the main benefits of having a remote software engineering team, you may wonder how to create one. Below, we've developed a list of essential tips to help you quickly set up and scale a remote software engineering team.
Develop a detailed, well-structured plan
Before creating a remote team, you need to plan out every step and aspect of the process. Evaluate your available and required resources, think of how many employees you may need, their responsibilities, etc.
Moreover, you'll need to deliberate task lists, prepare a tool base, and take care of the hiring process.
Rethink your remote engineering team structure
If you already have a remote software engineering team, think of ways to improve workflow, communication, and result delivery. Consider performance reviews, one-to-one meetings, delegating current responsibilities to other remote employees, and, eventually, restructuring your team. This will help you see your co-workers' strengths and areas for growth and allow your employees to strive in what they're doing for the project.
Establish clear communication methods
The key to successfully scaling any remote team is proper communication. You should think of setting up a unified communication flow where you'll be able to see the project status or employees'progress and do quick check-ups with each one of them.
One of the most effective ways of doing so is creating several channels dedicated to particular processes so that everyone knows where to ask for necessary help. Also, introduce team tags. This way, everyone related to a specific task can immediately see all the updates.
Create a strong team culture
Team culture helps keep your employees motivated and included in the processes. Think about how you can interact and build a friendly, supportive, strong team of professionals satisfied with their workplace. These include online hangouts, corporate trips, taking your employees to various events and conferences, etc.
Set up a good onboarding process
Onboarding new members is as important as keeping them motivated throughout their work. Provide all the necessary information about the company, current projects, the rest of their teammates, and so on. To help newcomers adjust faster, prepare an adaptation plan — it will help them quickly get on board and get to know who they'll be working closely with.
Employ a transparent feedback mechanism
Remote employees must receive clear feedback regularly as they might lose the sense of being in a team or think their contribution doesn't make any change. Therefore, it's essential to provide transparent, honest feedback to every teammate and point out where they can improve. This helps keep them motivated and realize their impact on the project.
Use project management tools
Project management tools help facilitate multiple processes in software engineering, like creating and updating tasks, marking progress, and keeping track of all current issues and things that need solving. Thanks to them, you can quickly assign tasks to employees, check all the materials provided by the team, and make sure you're right on schedule with your project.
Challenges of Having a Remote Engineering Team
However efficient and motivating hiring remote engineering teams is, it can lead to several challenges you should be aware of to adequately react and eliminate them without harming your business processes and team. Let's look at some of the most common pitfalls of building remote teams.
Keeping the team on the same page
Sometimes, it can be hard to make sure employees are up-to-date with everything that's going on in the company, projects, and even inside their team. Communicating every milestone and updating everyone involved in the development process is essential. It helps realize that there are no delivery delays or unexpected bugs if things go as planned.
To do so, set up a unified communication channel for the team, send out update alerts, or organize quick meetings to update on every aspect of the project you're working on. Thus, your teammates won’t lose track of the progress and will keep in the loop with everyone.
It may not seem like a big deal to someone, but feeling included in a project and, most importantly, a team helps maintain high employee motivation. However, while working with remote teams, your employees might feel like they are missing out on real-life communication.
To keep employee motivation and satisfaction high, dedicate some time to set up team-building calls to chat, run some training, or simply arrange Zoom-friendly activities.
Poor understanding of the project
Working with a remote engineering team structure, planning every project and requirement for each employee is vital. At the office, making decisions and discussing particular matters is more convenient and faster. Moreover, it's always easier to clarify specific aspects if someone isn't fully up to speed.
Hence, ensure every employee understands the assignment and the required results clearly. To make that happen, communicate with every team member on a one-to-one level: via chat or meetings, whichever is more effective for you. This way, you won't have any project delays due to poor understanding of the task and its improper completion.
Build and Scale Your Remote Engineering Team with Integrio
If you're looking for a trusted partner to help you with building a remote engineering team for your software product, our specialists at Integrio can be of great service. We provide experienced, dedicated development teams who can help you at any stage of product development and work with projects of any complexity level.
Our teams specialize in developing solutions for clients from manufacturing, digital marketing, aviation, real estate, and other industries. With over 200 successful cases, we have gained international recognition and rewards from platforms such as The Manifest, Clutch, and Appfutura. So, if you're searching for collaboration opportunities, contact our team for more insights on how we can help you scale your engineering team!
Here are some case-studies to give you a better understanding of how we work.
Jonas Software is among the top Canadian SaaS companies. The client's team wanted us to work on a complex project with missing source code components. Our software engineering team has successfully handled the challenge, after which we developed a strong partnership with Jonas, providing our services mostly in audit and software engineering.
MiGym is a service that helps sports- and fitness-related businesses streamline their branding and engage new customers to boost revenue. The client wanted us to create an application suite (mobile, server, and admin web apps) that would be comprehensive and convenient for both business owners and customers. Our remote engineering team developed a feature-rich solution that included a dynamic homepage, real-time analytics, virtual coupons and trials, etc.
It's not the toughest challenge to build and scale remote engineering teams if you're well-prepared in advance. Having a detailed hiring and development plan is among the key success factors. Try to adapt it to both your business's and your team's needs, ensure the most efficient means of communication, and free access to all the knowledge bases or tools required to perform well, and you should be just fine.
With the help of the tips listed in this article, soon enough, you'll scale and maximize the efficiency of your development team with no extra hassle!
FAQ: Building a Successful Remote Software Engineering Team
You may want to build a remote software engineering team for several reasons. First off, it's a cost-effective alternative to hiring in-house employees as it helps save money on extra office space and equipment. Moreover, remote workers tend to get more productive and motivated during the day. They don't need to worry about spending extra time commuting to work or being late. Finally, remote teams are more flexible and, thanks to that, can adapt to changes easier.
Scaling remote engineering teams begins with proper planning. It may require restructuring your current team, developing new or improving existing means of communication, ensuring effective feedback sharing, and implementing proper management frameworks and tools. Finding the right approach to your team and objectively evaluating the skills and capacities of each of your employees will help you scale it most efficiently.
To ensure the success of remote engineering team, you should ensure the following while working with one: trust in your team, being result-oriented, prioritizing communication, encouraging flexibility, reducing the number of meetings, and giving your employees accountability.