Building and Managing Distributed Teams: A Jobsity Guide Series
Tech companies around the world are embracing remote staffing as the “new normal.” This change may have been started by COVID-19 but it’s powered by practical benefits. Companies with remote teams report higher quality of life, lower costs, and more trust—resulting in up to 50% higher productivity.
Despite the impressive statistics, the decision of where to locate your team remains complex. Migrating your organization to a distributed team model means rethinking the big questions: logistics, management style, and staffing needs. It’s all about finding the right balance for your organization.
At Jobsity, we’ve been working as a fully distributed team since 2012. We’ve put together this series to help you see how distributed teams work and should be managed. Part One handles building your distributed team and Part Two discusses leading your workers to success. Let’s lay out your options and present our experience—and help you decide if it’s the right move for your business.
The Basics: Distributed Teams v. Remote Workers
When considering distributed teams, a question comes to mind: what makes a distributed team different from a remote team?
The difference is subtle and has to do with location. Fully remote teams are typically located in the same geographical area and certainly the same time zone. The company has no hub or office in which the employees can meet, but everyone’s in the same general area.
Distributed teams offer a different solution. While some team members may work from a hub city, others are spread around the world. This offers unheard of flexibility for workers and businesses alike.
For software, IT, and other tech arenas, distributed teams allow for greater freedom in finding the perfect hires. As you’re not bound by geography, you can find the best person for the job—not just the best local option.
Considerations When Building a Distributed Team
As you contemplate moving to a distributed model, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Staff size: A smaller team can have an easy time functioning in an on-site setting, especially at the very start. It can be valuable to be in one space when you’re figuring out who you are as a company. But once you start to grow, a distributed team lets you hire the best people for the job—regardless of location.
- Management Style: Managing distributed teams requires a more hands-off approach that trusts employees to find their own path to productivity. This could represent a significant shift in your management style, so it’s best to be prepared.
- Culture: No matter the model, a unified sense of trust and social comfort is essential to a productive and successful organization.
- Budget: Distributed or fully remote teams tend to lower overhead costs because there’s no physical office space to maintain. They can also reduce expenses for employees, who save on commuting costs. These include gas, tolls, car maintenance, or subway/bus fare. Hiring outside your local area also means you can offer competitive pay while staying on or below budget.
- Tech Considerations: Co-located teams can work out strategy and troubleshoot issues around a physical table. In contrast, remote teams rely heavily on collaborative tools like online chats and videoconferencing. Your employees will be responsible for their own internet set up and must ensure a strong connection.
Keep in mind: there may not be one right answer for your company. Give yourself the flexibility of the least-restrictive model possible from the start. As your business grows, you can add to your team with ease.
Continued Success with a Distributed Team
As your distributed team grows, you’ll want to build on that momentum. The best way to ensure long-term success is through culture, consistency, and communication.
Building a cohesive company culture is just as important for remote workers as it is in an office setting. How your employees relate to each other impacts their work, the support they feel, and their dedication to your company. Employee relationships are an important factor in morale, retention, productivity, and motivation.
To that end, consider a two-fold approach from a new hire’s first days: orientation and follow through. Company culture should be established immediately through a robust orientation process. New hires should have one-on-one meetings with department members, leadership, and human resources. Leadership sets the tone for the company culture; colleagues exemplify it in everything they do.
Follow-through comes by way of consistency. Encourage your employees to come together on three levels: as a company, as departments, and as individuals. Hold “town hall” sessions where the entire company can gather and discuss projects, progress,and concerns.
Establishing open communication in a group setting is the starting point. To truly encourage sustainable distributed teams, use a direct-chat tool like Slack to continue the conversation. Employees should have the ability to collaborate in real-time—and through both group and individual chats. This builds the bonds necessary for a harmonious and productive work environment.
Expanding Your Team with Nearshore Developers
When it comes to software development, you need the right staff at the right time. The distributed team model opens a literal world of choices: you’re not limited to local hires. The perfect balance between cost and convenience is nearshoring.
Unlike traditional outsourcing, nearshore hires work in (or close to) your time zone—ensuring easy communication and team cohesion. The majority of nearshore talent come from Latin America, where they share cultural touchpoints with their U.S. teammates. All Jobsity developers speak fluent English due to the variety of excellent technical schools in the region.
Organizations such as Repair Pricer, McGraw Hill, and Creed Interactive are leveraging nearshore software development to bring solutions to market. The ability to scale your team as your company grows is unparalleled—and a strong team is a profitable team. That’s where a remote staffing agency like Jobsity shines: bringing you your ideal professional matches at competitive rates.
The Jobsity Difference
When expanding your business, nearshore staff augmentation can help bridge the talent gap, cover all your needs, and save money. Jobsity makes nearshoring simple and effective: the optimal way to add new hires and achieve your goals.
Our hiring process ensures that we always have top talent available to join your team. And our risk-free trial means that there’s no reason to delay your company’s growth.