In the face of global lockdowns, individuals were able to rapidly adapt to what was once thought of as “the future of work” – the ability to be productive from any geographical location. Surprisingly, many software teams have discovered that working remotely can in fact increase productivity.
A recent poll of financial software executives has revealed that, according to one company, productivity in software development teams has increased. Moreover, the majority of top-level managers reported that the quality of their teams’ output has either remained stable or improved.
An Equitable Playing Field
Brian Kardon, Chief Marketing Officer of InVision, a product design software developer, is not surprised by these results. Since its inception, InVision has operated as a fully remote organisation and its team members have quickly realised that by using the same tools and adhering to the same processes, they could collaborate more effectively and achieve better outcomes.
Kardon asserted that, by utilising the same tools and adhering to the same practices, everyone could be on equal footing. Furthermore, he suggested that this could lead to a culture of cooperation and solidarity, unifying individuals regardless of physical distance.
Retaining the Alteration After the Covid
As businesses begin to reopen, many software teams are faced with the challenge of finding a suitable way to continue operating. With some team members returning to the office and others preferring to remain working from home, different perspectives are likely to arise, as Kardon mentioned. For example, some meetings may take place in person while others are conducted online, and certain groups may have access to privileges that are not available to others. As a result, uneven adherence to procedures that should typically be standard may be observed.
It is possible that the difference between remote learning and in-person learning could become entrenched in the long-term. This disparity could become more pronounced over time, indicating the ultimate danger in predominantly remote workforces: the potential emergence of two distinct organisations.
Effectively Using Mixed-Skill Groups
It is not mandatory to keep using the same processes and tools once remote work has been adopted. Establishing best practices to maximise progress while working remotely can help hybrid teams sustain their accomplishments. To maintain uniformity and avoid disparities, it is essential to treat one’s office, home, and shared workspace equally. Doing so will erase any contrast between remote and in-office team members, thus reinstating parity, which will further drive productivity and team morale.
With an extensive background in establishing and managing successful remote software teams that work well alongside in-house teams, Works has developed a set of best practices to help hybrid teams achieve their desired outcome. These best practices typically include:
- Codebase, development process, architecture, and tool use should all have authoritative documentation.
- In order to ensure that all parties involved are given a fair and equal opportunity to participate in any form of electronic communication, it is essential to establish a set of guidelines that must be followed. This includes, but is not limited to, making attendance at video conferences mandatory for all participants. Additionally, the use of email, instant messaging, and other forms of electronic communication should be implemented in accordance with these guidelines in order to ensure a productive and efficient exchange.
- Culture: Create rituals to honour team successes and reinforce the company’s guiding principles.
Advances in technology that were once believed to be the exclusive realm of software engineers of the future are now readily available, and they are demonstrating their effectiveness. To ensure that the progress made while working remotely is sustained, teams should continue to adhere to the highest standards of practice that were established during the period of remote work.