The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely vs. With a Team

Determining the Best Outsourcing Strategy

It is possible to tailor the regional team distribution of an outsourced solution to meet your specific requirements. Finding the right strategic partner, while providing a solution to the client that is both more economical and faster than that which is available through the local market or the organisation’s own recruitment process, is a key challenge associated with outsourcing.

Due to the abundance of text, audio and video-based communication tools, customers and decision-makers are no longer required to know the physical location of teams and team members. While many daily tasks can now be completed remotely, some software development activities, such as whiteboard sessions, are best undertaken face-to-face. This allows for more efficient communication, encourages a strong team culture and builds trust between team members.

Martin Fowler’s article “Remote vs Co-Located Work” lauds the advantages of dispersed teams, but does not advocate for virtual or remote teams. He acknowledges his own bias in this discussion, due to the technological advances that were not available to his parents’ generation, and the lack of statistical evidence to support his viewpoint. It is challenging to accurately assess the impact of location on remote work, as it is so pervasive. However, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) enables us to hide our geographic location while securely accessing network resources, by assigning us a different IP address.

As someone who has benefited much from telecommuting over the course of a decade, I am a strong advocate of this practice. When you are your own boss, you have the flexibility to arrange your schedule and workspace in a way that maximises productivity and efficiency. This can be beneficial to both the employer and the employee, as it can potentially save a lot of time and money. Although a physical office may not always be necessary, especially if you are not in the real estate sector, it is still possible to seek out specialist software development services that are tailored to your individual needs.

An additional danger is presented, according to critics, when employees work remotely. If you are unable to supervise your employees in person, how can you ensure that they are reaching the expected standards of performance? When will you be able to assess if they are performing effectively? Are they capable of managing their own workload? In what areas are they failing to meet your expectations?

My response to these inquiries is straightforward. Top workers will lessen your exposure to harm.

As someone who has experience working in remote teams, I can affirm that allowing a high achiever the freedom to set their own priorities and craft their own schedule is a great way to get the most out of their efforts. Having a balanced work-life ratio is an essential goal for this type of individual and it is important to ensure that any security or productivity issues are addressed accordingly.

Despite the fact that an office environment may help to keep tabs on members of staff who are not performing, I do not believe that this alone will be enough to significantly improve their performance. Of course, an office setting may help to monitor coffee breaks, but this raises the question of whether these individuals should be part of the team in the first place.

Professionals who operate from a distance often have the tendency to overshare their thoughts and ideas. The team are conscious of the significance of this issue and are striving to enhance their methods of communication in order to offset the hindrance of distance. It is true that, as many people have previously stated, nothing can compare to direct contact between team members. However, what some people overlook is that, similarly to how people favour different communication styles, certain tasks may require distinct forms of communication to be successful.

At the start of any new venture, it is essential that the team come together in person, to plan and design the project, exchange information, and establish principles to abide by. In my experience, this process should take place over the course of a week or two, as it is not possible to replicate the same level of effectiveness online.

In comparison to other approaches, we do not initiate new projects or hold whiteboard meetings on a regular basis. Once the team has devised the epics and stories, and assigned them to the relevant sprints, the majority of their time is devoted to implementation. For most of these tasks, it is essential to be able to focus without any distractions.

In order to make the most of everyone’s current situation, we could consider implementing a hybrid approach, combining physical and virtual collaboration, whereby remote employees come together in person for certain tasks while conducting others remotely. The cost savings derived from not having to continually upgrade and expand large office spaces could easily cover the expenses associated with occasional business trips. The advantages of team working are now easier to demonstrate, given the current availability of competitive airfares and the possibility of accessing shared workspaces.

It is understandable that we are creatures of habit, and it may take a while for us to mentally adjust to a new way of working. In order to make the most of the resources available to us, it is advisable to ensure that your team is diverse and located in distinct areas. These concerns can often include:

  • Productivity
  • Security
  • Communication

Productivity

With the abundance of tools now available to us for assessing efficiency, it is essential that processes are as transparent as possible and that expectations are clearly defined through measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This is especially true when collaborating with colleagues remotely. It is not uncommon to be surprised by how quickly team members exceed expectations and request further responsibility. I have witnessed this often, and it can be a great motivator for those involved, particularly when striving to keep the team’s work backlog up to date.

Security

In order to enhance information security, it is important to create and enforce rules and regulations for remote access. Before setting up a virtual workforce, it is essential to ensure that all the necessary components, such as computers, software and Internet connectivity, are provided. It is also important to implement strict safeguards to protect sensitive information from being copied or downloaded. In my experience, obfuscating and creating dummy data sets can often eliminate the need for accessing confidential data for most software development and testing tasks.

Despite the regulations and procedures that may be in place in physical workplaces, I have noticed that they are often disregarded. When I am working remotely, I take it upon myself to treat my workspace as if it were an additional room in my home. Those who are proficient in remote working are keen to adhere to their organisation’s rules and regulations, and this makes them more aware of security issues.

Communication

It is essential that clear channels of communication are defined, agreed upon and recorded before any work can be started. When team members are in close physical proximity, it can often lead to breakdowns in communication and misalignment of objectives. As we strive to ensure the security of our project, we must also ensure that the same level of discipline is applied when working with remote teams. Whilst it is often more convenient to simply use Slack to communicate with one another, this should not be done at the expense of maintaining standard procedures and norms. For example, teams should establish a timeline for responding to communications in the appropriate channels or email threads, taking into account both urgency and importance.

It is important to remember that the level of interaction required for different tasks can vary. It is always worth considering the cost of bringing together geographically dispersed teams in person, to mark important milestones or ceremonies, in comparison to the potential benefits of forming virtual teams.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs