A Guide to Running a Remote Software Development Team in 2021

Tips from startup CEOs and CTOs managing distributed teams on how to run a remote development team

Remote work has been all the rage lately. People have often wanted more flexibility, less time wasted commuting even before the global pandemic, which was quite understandable.

Still, even during the global pandemic, despite examples provided by Facebook or Spotify, many businesses are still skeptical about hiring remotely when things get back to normal. Plus, there are a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes particularly related to remote software development. Outsourcing is thought to be designed for small tasks and MVPs rather than a way to build great products.

We at YouTeam know it firsthand. Helping our clients extend their development teams, we often deal with skepticism and lack of trust surrounding remote workers which, however, changes as soon as they give it a try.

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Despite certain risks involved, there are multiple examples of successful tech startups and great products built entirely or partially by the distributed tech teams. To prove this, we’ve decided to reach out to some of such companies, including Zapier, Doist, Toggl, Hubstaff, Buffer, Wistia, Product Hunt, TMetric, and ask them about their best practices for hiring and managing remote development teams.

I. Why do companies go remote?
Сompanies decide to go remote for a number of reasons: to be able to tap into the global talent pool and hire the best specialists (including remote developers), regardless of their location; to optimize operation costs by running a virtual office instead of a physical one, or to get a competitive edge as an employer by offering more workplace flexibility to the staff. Still, what is the company’s main motivation when hiring remote developers? Learn more about the benefits of running a distributed team in Part I.

II. Where to find developers for a remote team?
Where companies that want to hire a remote development team can find tech talent? There are dozens of hiring platforms focused on remote work, e.g. RemoteOK, FlexJobs, WeWorkRemotely, etc. And there are even more job search websites that also feature remote job opportunities, e.g. Hired.com and Indeed.com. However, the demand for workplace flexibility is remarkably high among the candidates, so it is not always so easy to find and hire remote developers. Learn more about the key sources of remote tech talent in Part II.

III. The geography of the remote work
What are the best locations to hire remote software developers? Many US companies hire developers in Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin America. The locations have been quite popular lately due to the growing talent pool and more affordable rates. Yet, most companies don’t consider time difference, language, or culture as a barrier and are open to hiring remote developers regardless of their location. Learn more about geographical preferences for hiring remote developers in Part III.

IV. Best practices for running a remote team
How not to fail with transitioning to remote? Despite multiple evidence proving the positive effect remote work has on employee performance and overall happiness, workplace productivity is still considered one of the top concerns when hiring remotely.  This is especially important for remote developers whose work requires minimum distractions. How companies that hire remote development teams can prepare for the onboarding of new employees? What are the common challenges when working with remote developers and how to overcome them? Should the company use remote employee monitoring software? How to manage developers? Explore Part IV.

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Part I. Why do companies go remote?

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Written by
YouTeam Editorial Team

We love featuring verified solutions to outsourcing problems and coverage of remote work trends. We want our blog to be a source of inspiration for tech entrepreneurs and product people who are looking to build distributed development teams across continents.

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