Remote working is a widespread trend in the world as we have stepped into a global marketplace due to globalization which has been evolving for several decades now. The core meaning of a remote team working together is the idea of contributing to one business project from different geographical areas. But with the rise of Covid – 19 pandemic the term “remote work” has become even more familiar to the ones who used to work within the same geographical area in an office environment. However getting to the ground of the concept of remote work is essential to get fruitful results in it. Whether due to an unexpected circumstance or a preplanned business concept of gathering global talent, if your team may have to go remote and for sure this is going to benefit you. This blog will continue to discuss how exactly to cross-match the effective communication and remote software development teams and any other remote team in general.
It is no secret at all that effective communication is the base for everything. When managing remote work there are certain things that easily slip away from our hands unconsciously but remember those little things are crucial in creating a healthy virtual workplace. Communication is one among many of those not-so-little things which we cannot overlook anymore.
Communication is a key factor regardless of the context of a business. Effective communication can benefit an organization in multiple ways. It is easy for an organization to have a better sense of communication and avoid miscommunication within a physical office environment where employees meet each other in person. It is true what you think right now because all we live in a digital age where seamless communication beyond geographical barriers is now a well-achieved reality. With all the technological tools and the speed of the internet, being connected and effective communication is not a challenge anymore! But why do we still have to address the same issue so seriously? Because no matter what we are being provided in the measures of seamless communication, it won’t be the same experience for employees or your team members to work remotely. So this drastic change in the environment has to do a lot with communication.
Clear communication through emails, chats, audio, and video conferencing is a primary requirement of a remote development team as well as any kind of team working together. But just only providing accurate information does not solely count under proper communication. Reassurance of the receiver is vital. Reassurance of the acceptance and understanding of the delivered information is vital. Especially when it comes to development teams this becomes the center for everything as usually different parts or different people from the team work with different areas of the same project. In this case, real-time communication and mutual understanding play a major task. On the other hand, real-time communication can be really challenging when the developers are located in different time zones. How can we overcome this challenge to reach the expected results in remote work? When working globally interacted, with different time zones there are only two possibilities for us to deal with. The first is there will be overlapping working hours and the second is there will be no overlapping hours at all. When working around different time zones you can easily find overlapping work hours of different team members. So you need to figure out such opportunities and create clear communication mechanisms using such hours. In the worst case, you may not find any overlapping work hours. And still do not look at this as a negative effect. A lot of globalized businesses use this rather as a plus point where a set of people work while the others do not but this enables the organization to work 24hrs so you know for sure that your business is running at a stretch. But the only thing is that you have to put a little more in effective communication. In such situations, text-form communication becomes the core of it, and streamlining necessary tools for seamless communication is important. Simultaneously organizations need to be innovative and think out of the box to create means to be in touch with all the team members.
However, that is just one aspect of communication in managing remote teams. Usually, in a physical work environment, two types of communication take place. One is formal communication which is crucial for business projects and apart from that informal communication is also a part of everyday work. Those little chit-chats happening in the office during breaks while having a coffee or a meal is curial in creating an interesting work culture for everyone at the workplace. We as humans always crave human interaction and that’s when everything becomes meaningful. Usually, remote workers are deprived of this informal communication, or at least most of the time organizations do not pay enough attention. Ignorance of informal communication in remote work can lead employees to malfunction. In relation to development teams, such conditions can aggravate the malfunction or the employee stress level since their work itself can be a little tense sometimes. More human interaction and informal communication should be encouraged within a remote work culture. It is your responsibility not to stifle the team to a compact workload but create room for more fun and human interaction through live communication and other innovative means to be in touch with each other.