The best way to work with, and get the most out of, a remote-based developer

Remote working will become second nature to many industries, but new management styles and collaboration across time zones, language barriers and culture will, for those not used to it, take time to establish.

Many business leaders are discovering for the first time the skill in engaging with remote teams - from quality of work / life balance, the (hopeful) reinvigoration of smaller town economies as commuting lessens, and the inevitable opening up of talent markets to more and more candidates, remote working opens up a world of possibility. 

You cannot afford to manage your remote teams the same way you did pre-pandemic. 

Worker expectations have shifted completely, and a key, new-normal leadership trait will be how you set the right context and framework for your teams to continue to be productive and happy while working within hybrid working systems. 

Developers, uniquely, have a very important role in the creation of our new digital economy. Already across Europe and the UK, demand for tech developers is skyrocketing, and many growing economies are turning to untapped markets (such as Eastern Europe) to make up the shortfall in tech support. 

So if you’re a business owner with a mission-critical developer role unfilled, you may find yourself turning to a remote developer or development team. 

The following are our Top 3 Remote Developer Hacks: how to get the most out of your developer and manage your needs in a remote setting. 

Communication is King

  • Communication between manager and teams working remotely or via hybrid systems should be your no.1 priority. With no office-based context, communication becomes the bellwether for productivity - teams need to not only know what is expected from them, but how it fits into the ecosystem of a company. They need to know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who they’re doing it for before stepping into the role. You have to over-communicate your needs.

  • Developers specifically sit between product design, creative, IT support and brand. They have to work and embody the company, and so need to have lines of communication to every stakeholder in the process. If anything, a manager needs to take a step back, but lead by informing their developer of the right channels to get work done. 

Who is Who?

  • Following on from communication is signposting leadership and team make up: for a remote developer to constantly have to work through a manager to connect to a UX designer for example is a waste of time. 

  • You need to guide, and provide your developer with all the tools they need to do what they’re good at. They need to know the hierarchies within your firm; who monitors and manages each department; how review and testing occurs; launch or patch dates; tech onboarding and team development. If you want your tech developers to take the initiative, you need to make sure they are aware of who does what in your company. For all intents and purposes, they need to know what you know.

Empathy and Burnout

  • The pandemic has in some cases emphasised mental health struggles across Europe. For many millions of workers across the continent having to rapidly work from home, some while homeschooling, meant work pressure often increased. The lines blurred between work and home exacerbated difficulties in taking time away from work and relaxing, the pressure on working parents was immense, and many people missed the social aspect of work. 

  • Human beings are social creatures - they need purpose and to work with people for a common held goal. For managers working in a post-pandemic world, you must lead with empathy and enshrine psychological safety into your remote and hybrid working arrangements - your teams’ mental health will only benefit from it, your own pressures as a leader dealing with absenteeism will diminish and your company culture will improve. 

  • For your remote development team, the effort you put into making sure your team are happy, have purpose, and crucially know that their work is in aid of a wider company vision are integral in making them feel listened to and trusted.