COVID-19 has transformed how we work with its remote and hybrid work cultures.
The prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled organisations to adopt remote work settings for their software development teams and non-essential staff. To support this transition, companies have integrated diverse digital tools, including Zoom for virtual meetings, Slack for casual chats and recognition, and sturdy virtual project management systems, to sustain their functionalities.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, several enterprises primarily situated in Silicon Valley had already initiated offshore software development teams, hence making the shift to remote work not entirely unfamiliar to this particular industry.
Moreover, you can read more about overcoming remote work concerns in the software development sector here.
Although vaccinations have been introduced, not all enterprises have reverted to their pre-pandemic office arrangements. Several firms have favoured alternative work structures, extending the option of remote or adaptable work settings to their personnel. Consequently, this transition has facilitated employees in efficiently balancing their professional and personal lives while meeting their employer’s expectations.
The results of a survey conducted by WFH Research, which reached 5,000 participants, suggested that a majority of 73% indicated an inclination towards hybrid work culture, enabling them with enhanced flexibility pertaining to both their work locations and work hours.
Recent developments have made businesses slowly recognise the opportunities in building a remote workforce comprising individuals from around the world, resulting in a shift towards hybrid work culture. With the lessons learned during the pandemic, companies are preparing for the future and adopting a combination of office-based and remote work to achieve the ongoing prosperity of their organisation.
The shift from a geographically scattered workforce to a hybrid model could potentially exert strain on a company’s digital transformation.
Juan Hoyos, Chief Commercial Officer for Cinq North America, suggests several tactics that managers can consider utilising to enable their software development teams to flourish in a hybrid work setting. He stresses the significance of clear communication and collaboration and fostering a sense of trust and camaraderie among personnel, to ensure that their teams function efficiently while working remotely. Furthermore, Mr Hoyos recommends that managers consider incorporating tools and practices that promote transparency, create a safe and conducive space for feedback, and cultivate a work environment grounded in mutual respect. With these methods in place, managers can rest assured that their software development teams can thrive in a hybrid work environment.
Establish an all-encompassing culture for the hybrid workplace.
While dealing with a hybrid workforce, it is crucial to prioritise creating a hospitable work setting.
It is crucial to provide equitable accessibility to required resources such as essential technologies and other tools, whether individuals work onsite or remotely. These resources facilitate personnel in executing their job-related tasks, communicating with clients, contacting their supervisors and the Human Resource department, and fulfilling their duties effectively.
Managing a hybrid workforce of staff working remotely and those based in the office can often lead to complacency. It is prevalent to have spontaneous and casual office meetings with quick decisions made, inadvertently contributing to a feeling of remoteness and exclusion among employees working from a distance, which is unfavourable.
According to Hoyos, the most effective method to promote all-encompassing hybrid work culture is to conduct client meetings either entirely virtually or entirely in-person.
It is crucial to ensure that all personnel, regardless of their physical presence onsite or remotely, have equal access to training and career development opportunities. It is significant that every employee is given fair chances to advance their career and enhance their skills. By providing such equal opportunities, organisations exhibit their dedication to encouraging an environment of growth and inclusivity.
Planning a well-organised onboarding process is critical to ensure that all team members have sufficient opportunities to be acquainted with each other. One approach similar to a client meeting could be developing a primarily virtual onboarding process for software engineers, which could create a relaxed yet productive atmosphere to encourage team members in getting to know one another.
Collaboration, Idea Generation and Sharing of Information
Personnel are accustomed to spontaneous meetings and physically brainstorming sessions. However, since departing from the office, there has been a considerable impact on teamwork, idea sharing and, as a result, the degree of innovation within software development teams. This shift has had an indirect but undeniable effect on producing imaginative and progressive concepts.
As engineering managers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our teams collaborate effectively, even while working remotely. To bridge the gap between hybrid work culture and innovation, we must utilise the latest remote collaboration tools to encourage interaction and communication amongst all personnel. These tools aid in keeping the team connected, promoting collaboration, and allowing ideas to flow seamlessly. Ultimately, this facilitates more productive teamwork and helps our teams to achieve their full potential.
Software development teams can utilise numerous remote communication tools for various purposes, including daily syncs and check-ins with clients and colleagues. Click here for more information.
In office setups, it’s standard for workers to physically approach their colleagues’ workstations for clarifications on their assignments. Such direct communication practices help in constructing and reinforcing inter-colleague relationships, thereby encouraging an environment of support and collaboration in the workplace.
In a hybrid work environment, comprising of remote and in-person work, technical heads may not have the opportunity to contact their colleagues in person. Nonetheless, they should still encourage their teams to engage in prompt discussions and “instant” meetings with their coworkers just as they would have in the office, in order to foster collaboration and strengthen team bonds.
Rather than seeking clarifications from a colleague via email or Slack, consider requesting a speedy 5-minute video call with your developers to resolve complex queries.
To ensure a successful hybrid work culture, engineering managers must enable their teams to efficiently communicate, share information and collaborate with one another.
Hybrid Workplace Culture: Trust Your Team Members
A current report from the Harvard Business Review revealed that 34% of staff believed that their managers had doubts about their competencies. Furthermore, a higher ratio of respondents reported that their managers questioned their skills to complete tasks and compelled them to remain online to prove their worth.
This lack of confidence has a considerable influence on the productivity and output of the software development team.
With engineers and developers increasingly working remotely, engineering managers must consider the various time zones in which their team members operate. Furthermore, each member may have different hours of peak productivity when they perform best. As a result, it is crucial that engineering managers avoid micromanaging their remote teams, as this could disrupt their productivity or lead to feelings of frustration.
Foster a culture of accountability in which developers are responsible for the results they produce, rather than the tasks they perform.
Nurturing a culture of honesty and trust is crucial for hybrid team members, as it makes them feel valued and motivated to collaborate, leading to successful innovation in software development. Hence, sustaining communication channels and providing all teammates with chances to contribute is vital.
Businesses are progressively capitalising on the global talent pool by forming software development teams made up of highly-skilled developers from all over the world, irrespective of their geographic proximity to the office Click here for further information. To maximise on the digital revolution and enhance productivity, collaboration, and culture, organisations should consider implementing a hybrid work culture while gradually transitioning back to office environments.
Employ the tactics covered in this blog to guarantee your software development team’s productivity in a hybrid work setting.
Recruiting competent and skilled remote software developers is necessary to develop advanced technology with a hybrid team.