How to Motivate and Manage Remote Software Development Team in 2020?

The peak of the COVID-19 is still to be expected in early May 2020. Governments have launched economic and public-health responses globally. Thus, it made companies all over the globe to implement new business, security and most importantly, management plans in terms of remote cooperation. In this article, we want to share with you our guidelines and insights on successful remote team management and motivation during the coronavirus crisis.

To stop the spread of coronavirus, most of the businesses, including software development companies all over the world, had to move their activities into remote cooperation filed.

Even though some of the development agencies or IT departments of other companies may have worked particularly or fully remote within their development team, for the most of software engineering teams it becomes a great challenge to manage their workflow on the same level as before the crisis.

Also, despite software engineers being easily adaptive to remote work conditions, it may be challenging to keep up the motivation during such difficult times.

Learn more: COVID-19 impact on the software development industry

That is why in this article we want to shed some light on the tips to successful management and motivation of your software development team. We believe that our team will help to keep both productivity and psychological health at the highest level. 

How To Manage Developers During the Coronavirus Crisis

In our article, we have taken into consideration the main challenges that may be faced by the management and evaluated the most fitting solutions, based on our experience

Let’s start with the examination of the most common problems in terms of remote cooperation with software engineers

Common challenges in a remote work cooperation

Both software engineers and managers, usually name the following challenges as the main factors affecting the overall productiveness of the projects they’re involved in.

  1. Lack of supervision
  2. Lack of information accessibility
  3. Social isolation
  4. Distracting factors at home

However, as much remote work with your software development team can be fraught with challenges, there are still relatively quick and inexpensive things that you can do to ease the transition to remote-based cooperation within your company.

The overall results of your remote software development team will be strongly based on the quality of your communication and the quality of the established team.

Check out our article on “How to set up an effective remote development team

Now, that we have evaluated the common problems of software development teams, let’s take a look at the top tips on management and motivation.

Top 5 Tips on How to Manage and Motivate a Remote Development Team

The demand for remote cooperation is growing rapidly and even after the coronavirus crisis, it may stay high for a long period. To successfully manage a remote team of software engineers today you will require to do the following actions.

Happy member of remote developer team

1. Schedule daily communications

To be successful with the management of a remote team, you must plan and schedule your daily communications with your remote employees. It could be one-on-one calls or group meetings, depending on the topic that should be discussed in terms of your particular development workflow. The most important thing here is to keep the communication between the management and the employees regular and structured. 

2. Be flexible with the communication tools

There is a wide variety of communication tools on the market, such as Slack, Zoom, Skype etc. To achieve stable and sufficient communication workflow you should be flexible with the communication tools and software with your development team. Having an ability to reach your web or software engineering team via different devices and software options will allow you to be always in touch with the team and provide you with an ability to reach people in case of urgent situations. 

However, for some of the companies, security and the protection of the data may too important to use third-party software. For such cases, we recommend considering using custom real-time communication software solutions

3. Establish additional rules and activities

Of course, most of the success in remote work is mainly affected by the level of communication within your team. Still, it is important to understand that you should implement some rules and activities for your remote employees to assure the high-level productivity. For example, it could be such rules as keeping all the communication in the group chats only and contacting management in direct managements in case of urgent or personal needs.

We recommend establishing such rules at the earliest stages of remote workflow establishment. Also, remember not only to implement such rules but to check if the development team follows them or not. 

Create opportunities for social interactions

4. Create opportunities for social interactions

One of the most essential steps for a manager when organizing a remote software development team is to assure that there are enough opportunities for social interactions within the team. As in most of the cases for remote developers, who have been transitioned out of the office, the inability for social interacting with the colleagues creates unwealthy atmosphere and results in less productive work on the project.

To establish some basic interactions within your team you can start from arranging non-work group calls discussing the topics which do not relate to software development, discussing the everyday life and helping each other to get out of the quarantine routine. Other options may include virtual parties, virtual board games, cooperative or competitive online gaming, etc.

5. Provide emotional support

Especially in the times of global coronavirus crisis, it is essential to provide your software engineers with enough emotional support when working as a remote development team. It is important for the management to acknowledge the stress of their employees and empathize with their stress and struggles during difficult times.

Remember, that you should not only assure the emotional stability of your stuff but also carefully evaluate the problems and concerns of each employee in your remote web or software development team. A true leader will not only acknowledge the stress of the employees but also provide them with enough emotional support.

A Key to Successful Management of a Remote Team During the Coronavirus Crisis

Working with a software development team remotely could be not much big of a task if you keep everything well-managed and organized. However, except for the usual development workflow rules, you must assure that additional requirements are being followed and check the overall emotional stability in the team more regularly compared to office work. 

Still, the key to success in the management of distributed software engineers mostly based on the quality of your communication. If the quality of the communication within your web or software development team is being kept and highest-level possible, all of the previously described tips in the article will come up naturally and you won’t need to take any additional actions.

The quality if your communication is the key to success

Want to know more about working with a remote development team? Please consider checking out other articles on OS-System’s blog.

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