You've probably noticed that remote working has become more popular lately. The coronavirus has indeed forced many companies to go remote, but even before then, several software companies already adopted this trend.
The idea of having developers in remote locations working together on a single project is known as distributed development, and the people who work under this system are called a distributed development team. Are you interested in creating a distributed development team? Here at Cloud Employee, we work with companies looking to hire professional offshore developers in the Philippines. In this article, all the advantages of having a distributed team.
Advantages of Distributed Development Teams
Distributed development is a software development model where geographically-separated developers work together to complete a project. Under this system, companies can take advantage of a skilled workforce located in different geographical areas.
Distributed Software Development allows team members to be spread across various remote sites during the software project's entire duration. Sometimes, the members of a distributed team are from the same organization; other times, they comprise developers hired by an outsourcing company.
There are two types of distributed development companies, the first one being the partially distributed organization. These organizations have both in-office workers and dedicated remote workers. The second category is fully distributed organizations that are 100% remote.
Running a distributed team comes with its challenges holster for instance:
- It isn't easy to ensure that high-quality work is delivered all the time.
- Managing a remote team is not as easy as managing an on-site team.
- Regular and effective communication is a significant challenge for all remote teams.
Despite these challenges, the number of remote teams has increased by about 159% in the last year. This is because of the advantages of having distributed teams far outweigh the disadvantages.
Take a look now at some of the advantages you can expect from running a distributed development team.
1. Access to a large talent pool
This is one of the most significant benefits of a distributed development team. It gives companies the chance to hire any skilled developer of their choice. It doesn't matter whether the person lives next door or on the next continent. Rather than limit yourself to the locally situated developers, you can access a bigger pool of qualified employees if you are willing to embrace distributed development.
Running a distributed development team is a cheaper alternative for several reasons. Firstly, you can outsource work from countries like the Philippines, which have a lower cost of living and therefore charge lower rates for their services. Secondly, having a distributed team spares you the expense of having to set up an office. There's no need to rent office space or pay any administrative overheads.
3. Increased productivity
Recent studies have shown that remote workers are more productive than their on-site counterparts. Working from home and working in an office both come with distractions. But the distractions you experience at home are more within your control. This is probably what accounts for the higher productivity levels of remote workers.
4. Wider reach
Companies that have workers in different time zones can strategically increase the number of working hours per day. This way, there will always be people available to meet clients' needs, regardless of the time of day. It also means that companies can widen their client base to accommodate clients from every part of the world.
5. Better retention and employee satisfaction
Companies that adopt distributed development systems tend to have higher retention rates than other companies. Because distributed teams offer maximum flexibility, employees are generally less stressed out. Additionally, distributed development rules out the possibility of employees experiencing poor working conditions. It also reduces the incidents of friction between team members.
6. Better access to essential knowledge
Sometimes, in the middle of a project, you may suddenly discover that your team is lacking in a particular field of knowledge, which is crucial to the success of the project. Thanks to distributed development, you can simply outsource that aspect of the work to a skilled offshore developer. You can hire someone from any part of the world, and they will still function as temporary members of your team.
7. Work-life balance
One of the important perks of distributed development is that it gives both managers and employees a lot of flexibility. Team members can plan their working hours to fit in with family time and other aspects of their lives. The result of such flexibility is a better work-life balance, and ultimately, a happier team. In fact, working from home can also improve performance —this was revealed by a study that showed that employees are 29% more satisfied than employees working in an office.
8. Opportunity to create a diverse team
The software industry is a very competitive and fast-paced one. Businesses are looking for innovation, creativity, and unconventional solutions. One of the best ways to achieve this is to introduce cultural diversity in your team structure. One study showed that teams that are more culturally diverse can think out of the box and generate more creative and unconventional ideas. If you only focus on recruiting workers from within your local area, it's unlikely that you will achieve much in terms of cultural diversity.
However, distributed development allows you to hire developers from anywhere in the world. That means you can employ people from different cultural backgrounds; you can even choose the particular cultures you want to be represented on your team.
I have already mentioned that distributed development teams offer maximum flexibility. Workers are free to manage their schedules and to plan working times according to what suits them. Employees are not the only ones who benefit from the flexibility of distributed teams. Several employers will agree that distributed teams give them peace of mind.
They don't have to worry about their employees traveling or relocating to a different place. No matter what happens, the company can still run because it is not tied to a physical location.
10. Remote workers make more money
Distributed development is quite an interesting concept. On the one hand, it helps organizations save money, and on the other hand, it gives workers the chance to earn more money. At the end of the day, everyone is happy. Organizations save money because they do not have to deal with the cost of setting up and maintaining office space. Even more, workers can earn more because they can work for more hours without spending any money on transportation bills, lunch at work, etc.
11. Better developed soft skills
Working on a distributed development team gives employees the opportunity to hone specific crucial soft skills. For instance, you'll develop the ability to be a team player. For a distributed development team to work, every member must learn to cooperate and collaborate to achieve the team's vision. Another important soft skill that's often developed in a distributed development team is communication. Because team members do not meet in person, they have to make extra efforts to keep the communication lines active.
12. Schedule meetings easily
Scheduling virtual meetings is a lot easier than scheduling physical meetings. For physical meetings, you'll need to check that everyone is available and can physically be present at a given time. Considering how busy the world is today, it often takes a while to find a time that works for everyone. Virtual meetings are a lot easier because there's no need to get everyone in one location at the same time. Employees can join in from wherever they are.
13. Meetings are shorter and more focused
Here is a point that is related to the previous ones. Distributed teams have all their meetings virtually. Because of this, managers can hold more frequent meetings with team members. Rather than having long meetings to tackle several issues at once, virtual meetings can be streamlined, with each meeting focusing on a particular matter. This way, discussions are more productive, with fewer side conversations.
14. Business market proximity
Large organizations with international clients will find distributed teams particularly useful. You can make an effort to have remote workers in the countries where your clients are located. This will provide better knowledge of the clients and the local conditions in those countries.
15. Best performance
Employees in distributed development teams tend to perform better than non-remote workers. This is because the flexibility of remote working empowers workers to explore new ideas on their own. Employees feel a sense of ownership and responsibility towards the products they're working on. The result is better performance and higher quality software.
To conclude, the world seems to be headed in the direction of having more distributed development teams. Some prominent companies like Zapier and GitLab have taken the lead by going fully remote. Closely behind them, we have companies like Trello and GitHub, which are partially remote. But there's no reason to think that they won't go fully remote in the near future. Distributed teams have their challenges, but they also have several undeniable advantages for both employers and employees.
Hopefully, this article has provided the information you need. If you enjoyed it, please leave a comment and share this post.
We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.
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