Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Unlocking the Secret to Long-Term Happiness and Productivity for Your Remote Developers
Does your organisation have remote developers like Morrow? Are you looking for better ways to engage, upskill, and nurture them so that you can retain your top talent?
In this guest blog, fully remote AI-driven EdTech company TechTalent give their take on how to make the most out of remote working developers to increase productivity and keep your team on track.
Agile working is a project management methodology that emphasises collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. It’s a popular approach among development teams because it offers a range of benefits that can help developers work more efficiently and effectively, especially remotely. Here are some of the ways agile working is great for remote developers:
- Better collaboration: Agile working emphasises collaboration and communication between team members, which is crucial for software development and remote teams alike. By working together closely, developers can share knowledge, resolve issues more quickly, and develop better solutions.
- Increased flexibility: Agile working allows teams to be more flexible in how they approach projects. Developers can adapt to changing requirements, feedback, and new insights without having to go through a lengthy planning phase.
- Faster delivery: Agile working involves breaking down projects into smaller, manageable pieces that can be delivered quickly, eliminating any progress blockers. This approach enables developers to deliver working software faster, which can help them meet tight deadlines and respond to changing business needs.
- Improved quality: Agile working emphasises continuous testing and feedback, which helps developers catch and fix issues earlier in the development process. This can improve the overall quality of the software and reduce the risk of defects in the final product.
- Greater job satisfaction: Agile working puts developers in control of their work and empowers them to make decisions about how they approach their tasks. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and a stronger sense of ownership over their work.
Daily stand-ups, also known as daily scrums, are short daily meetings that development teams use to plan their work for the day and stay up to date with the progress of the project. Remote developers can often feel stuck and isolated on a task, these daily meetings are great to make sure that no one feels trapped in a problem. Here are some more reasons why daily stand-ups are good for software developers:
- Improved communication: Daily stand-ups facilitate communication among team members. Each team member is required to give a brief update on what they worked on the previous day, what they plan to work on that day, and any obstacles they are facing.
- This enables team members to share information, ask questions, and get clarification on issues they may be unsure of.
- Increased transparency: Daily stand-ups make the progress of the project visible to everyone on the team. This helps team members to understand what their colleagues are working on, identify dependencies between different tasks, and track progress towards the project’s goals.
- Better collaboration: Daily stand-ups encourage collaboration among team members.
- By keeping everyone updated on their progress and any obstacles they face, team members can work together to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.
- Faster problem-solving: Daily stand-ups provide a forum for team members to raise issues and brainstorm solutions. This helps to identify and address problems early before they become more difficult to solve.
- Improved productivity: Daily stand-ups help to keep team members accountable for their work. By setting daily goals and reporting progress towards them, team members are more likely to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
Use cloud technology
Systems such as Github are a great way for remote developers to collaborate effectively. GitHub stores code in the cloud, syncing with local computers and enabling everyone in your team to see your projects. Another great way that code repositories like this aid in efficiency are their ability to merge codes and track versions. For example, if a bug gets introduced to the code, you can track where and when the problem was introduced and roll back to the previous version to solve the issue. This means that remote developers can collaborate with each other more efficiently.
Take a break!
TechTalent Director of Training Sam Board has been working in development for over 20 years. Sam emphasises the importance of taking a break when working as a remote developer.
“As a remote developer, you can often be sat working on the same piece of code for hours at a time, it's important to encourage employees to take a break, be that a walk outside or just making yourself some lunch. It’s especially important to take breaks between goals.”
“Semi-regular one-to-ones can also be really helpful in making sure that you developers feel listened to and show that you are invested in their growth,” Sam says that setting out clear KPIs and achievable milestones for your team in terms of growth will motivate them to work hard to get to the next stage of their career, it will also show them how you want them to do well and grow within the company and will help you to retain talent.
Upskilling is another important factor in keeping your remote workforce engaged and productive. This can look many different ways, including:
- Assigning your junior employees with a mentor to learn from - many junior developers don’t have an understanding of the foundations and history of development. Providing them with a mentor will ensure that your developers will understand the basics and everything that came before, making them well-rounded employees.
- Online bootcamps and courses have become an increasingly popular way for individuals to upskill and advance their careers. These courses offer a flexible and accessible way to learn new skills or deepen existing ones, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional education programs. One key advantage of online bootcamps and courses is the ability to learn at your own pace, making them ideal for individuals who want to balance their learning with work and other commitments.
- AI-driven skills benchmarking is a powerful tool that can help organisations create personalised employee training plans. By analysing large amounts of data on an individual’s performance, the AI can identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and develop a customised training plan tailored to their specific needs.
The AI-driven approach to skills benchmarking provides a more accurate and objective assessment of an individual’s capabilities, leading to a more effective training plan and, ultimately, a more skilled and productive workforce.
Work on your culture
According to a study by Glassdoor, 77% of UK employees consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and 56% say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.
“Engineering your company culture to perfectly reflect your values will not only attract high-quality talent, but it will also ensure that your workforce has values which align with yours.”
Employees with similar values will get along better and ultimately form more productive and efficient teams. Here are some things you may want to consider when establishing and fostering your company culture:
- Recognition- weekly shoutouts, monthly internal newsletters or even just the odd message will create a positive and productive work culture
- Socials- even though you are a primarily remote business, you can still encourage employees to meet up regularly for fun activities such as dinner, drinks or team building
- Trust and autonomy- It’s important to give your remote developers autonomy within their roles and also autonomy on a daily basis. No one likes to be micro-managed, and motivated workers will thrive when trusted.
- Prioritise employee mental health- showing that you care for your remote workforce provides big returns when it comes to productivity and morale.
- Inclusion and diversity strategies- ensuring that you include people from all walks of life will not only lead to a better product, as we recently discussed with ex Morrow developer Bruno, but it will also make for a happier workforce. Employees who value inclusivity and diversity also tend to be much kinder, more understanding colleagues.
- Workplace benefits - benefits including healthcare or discounts will ensure that your employees are happier and, therefore, more engaged with their day-to-day work and, in turn, your missions.
Use technology to your advantage
Recently Morrow Co-Founder and Lead Strategist Tom Riglar spoke with TechTalent about the gap in remote working technology, and there is definitely scope for improvement in this area, but there are also many innovative solutions that can be used for remote working, including Teams, GitHub and Slack. To find out more about how to keep your workforce engaged and which technologies you can use, read our blog.
Work out the best structure for you
Another great option for remote developers is flexible working. This will allow developers to work when they feel most productive. Here is what Sam had to say about flexible working:
“Don’t spend all night working - people are only functional at a high level for 8 hours. When I was working as a developer, I worked much better in the evenings. But it’s still important to give your day some structure, set yourself deadlines and a schedule.”
It’s important to allow remote developers to work to the best schedule for them while still ensuring that they work the core hours needed for the business. This will guarantee that productivity increases and also employee satisfaction.
Invest in entry-level talent
It’s important to see the potential in everyone, and at TechTalent, we truly believe that the tech skills gap of recent years can be filled with diverse, entry-level talent if companies simply put the time in to nurture these employees. Not only will you be giving someone who is just starting out a chance, but you will also gain an employee who can mould in your image and foster their growth in a way that works best for your business. Employees who feel invested in will feel a great deal of gratitude towards you, making them likely to stick with you for longer.
See TechTalent's recent graduates here.