How remote team can help your business

We were 100% remote in HappyTeam from day one. That was one of the first things we’ve all agreed to. And we’re more than happy to see this approach spreading all over the world with more and more companies that are going remote or remote friendly at least.

You can find many articles over the web that will tell you how much better life of a remote developer is, but have you ever considered how being remote or working with a remote team could help your business? Let’s analyse this problem from a few perspectives.

Broader talent pool

Right now we have people working from 4 different cities already. By being remote we’re not limited to searching people only in one city or area. We can find great people all over the world, ones that share our values, present great expertise and are as passionate about helping our clients as we are!

Remote workers are happier

TINYpulse - a company specializing in improving other companies’ culture and employee engagement - prepared a survey “What leaders need to know about remote workers”. They have collected answers from over 500 remote employees and compared their responses with benchmarks calculated from “over 200,000 employees across all work arrangements”. They found that remote workers are happier (based on answers to the question “How happy are you at work?”) and feel more valued (based on answer to the questions “How valued do you feel at work?”). What does it mean for you? I hope you are at least aware of many publications about how general happiness influences employee performance. Happy employee is more engaged with your product, it’s more likely he will share his ideas and go that extra mile if needed.

Work-life balance

Being remote also helps in keeping a healthy work-life balance. Removing daily commute from your schedule (traffic jams can spoil the mood for rest of the day!) lets us spend more time with our families or on hobbies. There is nothing more refreshing than leaving my home office for a short while to play a bit with my little daughter in the next room. Even 10 minutes makes me smile, not mentioning it’s a good exercise too! And I feel that I’m there when she is rising, not in an office, seeing her just for a moment before sleep.

You often get more organised engineers

That’s not an obvious one. Not every great engineer is a great remote worker. Being successful remotely needs a bit more focus, self organization and motivation. That results in people that feel more self-reliant, ask questions, act by themselves instead of just reacting to your actions. I’m not saying people in the office can’t be similar, they just don’t need to.

We’ve got you covered

Right now the whole HappyTeam works in one timezone, but even now, with flexible hours we have someone working almost 247. People can organize their work to suit their natural rythm, no matter if it’s because someone is an early bird or a night owl.
That means that even if something bad happens, there is a great possibility that someone will be around to help, and with a remote organisation you don’t need to wait until someone comes to the office.

Better communication

There is one rule, that’s very important while working with remote people — even if only one employee is remote, whole communication in the organization needs to suit working remotely. That’s a game changer. As communication cannot be done in person, remote teams put special attention to communicate more deliberately, with more clarity. You can’t just talk to someone in the kitchen or tap the shoulder of your colleague in the next cubicle. That is why remote teams make extensive use of tools. Less decisions are made over coffee, more are leaving a mark in documentation. It’s easier to share knowledge, because more things are written down and decisions are easier to track.

Longer ‘zone’

You’ve probably already heard about ‘the zone’, a state in which a developer is completely focused on his task, understands the context and all implications of what needs to be done. This is humorous way to show how ‘getting in the zone’ works in the office :)

And it’s not a myth. Today’s applications are big and complicated products with thousands of lines of code, often scattered across many interoperating services. It takes an effort to build a map of what’s going on in a developer’s head. Without this we wouldn’t be able to follow data flows and understand how our code impacts the rest of application and what side effect could it cause. In an office it’s not an easy task. We’re usually sitting in a big open space (although there are number of publications stating it’s counterproductive), surrounded by various distractions like a group of guys talking about yesterday’s football game, another team having a standup meeting few steps away or  someone talking over the phone next to you. It does not help when you need to stay focused. And how does it end? You rent this nice and cosy office in a city centre, as you heard that open space can help collaboration, you hire your developers, but when you enter the room all you can see is headphones :)

Working remotely helps you manage those interruptions. You can choose where you work and when you work, limiting all the interruptions that could happen and choose what’s best for the moment.

As you can see, hiring remote teams has way more advantages than reducing costs. It’s not a new passing trend, but rather a continuous industry effort to increase productivity and quality in IT and in our lives.

Share the happiness :)
Marcin Biegała
Marcin Biegała
Dev, motorcyclist, dreamer and coffee lover. He starts every day with a new idea and strives to be at least a bit better by sunset. No one told him that some things are not possible in code, so he does it all.