Fundamentals of Working with Remote Teams
Working with remote software development team operating nearshore or offshore you as the Client take a number of commitments. They, just to name a few, are:
1. You commit to devoting a specific time to communicating with your team. What you may have not tracked in the office with your inhouse people (chit-chat at the coffee machine or during the break) will count with your remote team – if you do not hop on a call (or flight) the conversation will not happen.
2. You commit to understanding that while your nearshore team is likely to share your loyalty and love to the Company of yours, they are physically located in another country and this location defines their needs and expectations to what is considered obvious and solved locally to you. These needs may be anything from preferred food to the lunch schedule to have that food. These needs may be resulting into additional medical insurance that your HQ does not need – just because your state health services are so good and do not require a private healthcare extension.
3. You commit to building a relationship with your Vendor where you may 100% be sure they (Vendor) will be an augmentation of your management style, your management decisions. But this will only come if you will be building that, at least your part of it.
Hiring a remote software development team having 40% in cuts of your ownership expenses has its flip side of the coin.
Your team’s expense will grow faster than what your local team would have costed you extra.
An annual raise of 2.32% you make to your local hire may be in line with local benchmark. And may bring your annual expense from lets say 100k to 103k.
An annual raise of 2.32% may be not enough for the hire done nearshore or offshore. As their local market benchmark may be less steady than your local labor market. And the raise they may have expected could be from 30k annually to 33k. Same 3k as for local. But not 2.32% anymore, it’s a whole 10%, eh?
This concept understanding is fundamental to working with remote hires off your country.
While I always insist for best performance they need to be treated exactly as your onsite inhouse people, these remote people motivation can never be “copied” from what you typically do onsite. In most cases this won’t work, as going nearshore you not only extend your hiring geography but you also benefit from number of things different from your own local labor market. Such as, cost of team ownership, quantity/quality of the talent, employment legal constraints, and so on. That difference made you come out of your local market. And that difference will result into else differences in how the teams will be working effectively vs what you would have locally.
Your vendor should know this all better than you. They work with dozens of clients, various size & industries. They face these questions more or less monthly, and they have answers.