What is Remote Workforce
A traditional way to do business is to come to an office to do the work. In some industries like factory manufacturing, it’s the only option. That being said, with the current state of technology and especially for thought workers like software engineers, it’s no longer a requirement. With a high-performance laptop and an Internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world, including your home office. Remote workforce unlocks limitless possibilities for your business like getting access to a larger and more cost-efficient pool of talent internationally.
Why Remote is Great
Big Companies Go Remote
Large companies like Github (bought by Microsoft), InVision, 37signals (makers of Basecamp and creators of Ruby on Rails) already operate remotely. There are books written on a subject like Remote.
More and more companies adopt remote work as a standard practice.
The World is Your Oyster
The remote workforce unlocks the possibility of hiring people outside of your city and even country. You can have a truly international team of professionals working in lockstep with you. Needless to say, that due to the cost of living difference between the United States and the rest of the world, you’ll get some amazingly skilled and motivated professionals at the fraction of the cost of a local US employee. No need to worry about immigration either. Remote workers can be hired as individual contractors for your business reducing the complexity of your payroll.
With remote, you’re tapping into a larger pool of talent than in your local city. It’s especially helpful if you’re looking to fulfill multiple roles at your company and the local job market is very competitive.
Worth noting that in some countries, higher education is more accessible and less costly than in the US. So yes, you can hire a remote worker who actually knows how software algorithms and data structures work ;-)
More Productivity and Focus
Working at the office, especially with an open floor plan, can be distracting. It’s very easy to spend your entire day between meetings, random conversations with your peers, especially with the hard work requiring a high amount of mental energy and concentration like software engineering.
Working remotely solves this problem. With a properly set up personal office, there are fewer distractions, leaving more time for individual contributions. A book on a subject is my all-time favorite: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success In a Distracted World.
How To Work With a Remote Team
Regular meetings like standups, sprint plannings, retrospectives, debugging sessions can happen over video calls. The most popular options are Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet (aka Google Hangouts). Most of the video conferencing software allows you to add multiple attendees, share your camera and your screen. It’s especially useful if you would like to walk your team through a presentation. If you have an issue you need some help with, you can have a video call with your remote co-worker to troubleshoot it over a screen sharing session.
Messaging / Chat
With the evolution of the messaging software, it’s now more efficient to communicate over messaging than talking to a large group. The advantages of using messaging for your communication are that it’s searchable, can be referred to later on, and it works for communicating with your entire team regardless of the physical location of your team members. Most notable options are Slack, Microsoft Teams, HipChat.
You most likely already use these tools to track your projects. Jira, Trello, Asana, Monday or a good old school spreadsheet (yes, people still do it, and it works great!) are available to track your team’s progress. Remote team members are assigned some tickets to work on. Once the work is started, the ticket is moved to in progress, then in QA, and to done. All steps along the way you’ll know exactly who works on what and when the work is ready to be reviewed.
Chances are that you’re already using these tools too. There is no need to host a private git repository on your secret server in a closet. Services like Github, GitLab, and BitBucket are available for your team. You can set the individual permissions for each code repository and assign different permissions to your engineers as you see fit. All code gets pushed to the same repository. Remote workers will follow your standard code review procedure using the same code standards that you already have.
Stopping by at your developer’s desk to see the progress is inefficient and distractive. So you should be already using services like TestFlight and Firebase to distribute your test builds for your mobile app. The websites are deployed to your QA or staging environment for testing which you can access from your web browser. You can check the database with your database client like Sequel Pro or Navicat. Your API can be tested with Postman. And your cloud is easy to manage using Commandeer.
Security is the top priority for remote workers. At Right Balance, we follow the best security practices like using VPN, SSH keys, hard disk encryption, being able to erase a laptop remotely, and more.
With the current state of technology, remote workers enable your business to achieve greater heights. And as you can see, it’s not that different from your current way of working anyway. At Right Balance, we’re always here to help with remote software engineering. With our top-level software engineers in Russia and Latin America, we’re able to have around the globe time zone coverage. Seamlessly integrating into your team, and delivering some fantastic results.
If you ever need software development help, don’t hesitate to reach out at [email protected] or +1.424.259.2285.