Top tips to get the best out of your remote product teams

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Maulik Sailor
Maulik Sailor
July 27, 2021
Based on our experience, we would like to share some of the tips that we believe can help you to get the best out of your product teams.
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A product team that’s collectively working towards the same goal can prove worthwhile to your goals. Such a team collaboratively solves problems, notwithstanding their physical location. They highly perform and will go out of their way to deliver the best quality service.

Keep in mind that remote working often comes with the ability to set flexible working schedules. That means your team gets to work when they feel the most productive. Thus, they are able to deliver top-notch products that create a positive reputation for your business.

Many organizations have gradually adopted remote working as the new normal. As a company, both Innovify and CodeMonk have been remote-first from the start, and we didn’t encounter any disruptions in our normal day-to-day operations from the 2020 scrambles. In fact, we found our teams to be a lot more productive during the lock-downs.

Based on our experience, we would like to share some of the tips that we believe can help you to get the best out of your product teams.

1. Remote is not the same as isolation

Even if you have your teams working remotely, that does not mean they should work in isolation. Make sure that you set mechanisms for interacting via the Internet while at the same time without disrupting each other’s working time. We ensured that there was daily catch-up with all team members amongst their individual teams but also allowed them to reach out to executives as and when needed.

We also organized weekly socials across the company that all could attend and talk about anything that they liked. This enabled the team members to connect with each other, share their experiences and discover their colleagues better. With this arrangement, we achieved more interaction among team members when working remotely than from the office.

2. Encourage shared learning

We created an open learning panel where all employees could join and ask specific questions that they may have regarding their work. The learning panel made it possible for all to ask questions without hesitation, got wider support, and facilitated employee-employee learning without wasting time Googling for solutions.

3. Simplify processes

The physical workspace often has the limitation of including unnecessary and limiting processes. As a consequence, such a setup delays the decision-making process and many other undertakings. That is something you should be careful not to let happen as you transition to fully working remotely.

To establish a highly successful remote team, you must be ready to let your employees work under flexible processes. One such change we made was related to employee time tracking. Unlike in the past when employees were required to work for certain hours, clock in/out at particular times, among other limitations, we took a different approach. We got rid of all these requirements and allowed them to work as and when they want to. We started looking at tasks not based on how many hours they worked but on the simple deliverables that they achieved. They can now take time-offs as and when they want without any lengthy approval processes.

4. Simplify compliance

One of the key annoyances for employees is to follow various security processes etc. We re-looked into all these and removed everything that was not required. We implemented better software and tools to make things easier for the employees without compromising security policy. It increased our costs, but it was compensated with better productivity.

5. Take care of the costs of working from home

When employees start working from home, you may save in terms of expenses that would go to the on-premise infrastructure. However, you need to keep in mind that the employees may also be incurring costs to set up their work-from-home office. They may have to buy new chairs and a workstation, in addition to better Internet connectivity.

Take time to understand the various costs incurred by the employees and how the company can help take the pressure off some of the costs incurred. Your goal here is to avoid having a remote team that is discontented because they used a lot of money to set up the home office. Additionally, you want to avoid excuses of them not being online due to Internet and other issues. Keep in mind that their online availability is now an important part of your organization’s operations.

6. Collaboration tools

You cannot talk about remote working if your team does not have access to the tools that they need to work remotely. Ensure that you invest in right collaboration tools and upgrade plans if need be so that your team is not forced to make compromises.

From a practical point of view, remote working will involve a lot of video-calling and screen sharing. Do they have access to tools that permit them to do so without compromising on their security.

Investing in these collaboration tools is justifiable because the business already saves on overhead when it has a remote team. The tools are part of your essential operations infrastructure and shouldn’t be compromised.

7. Updated hardware

Just like the physical working environment, remote working normally involves the use of hardware devices. The hardware can break down and may prove challenging to repair for your IT folks.

Thus, you want to make sure that your team has up-to-date hardware that would need minimal support. Focus more on replacements instead of repairs to mitigate disruptions.

8. Evaluate your perks

Each employee is unique and has different preferences for the perks extended to them. Unlike in the physical office, where you can generalize perks such as free lunch, remote teams require a unique approach. Understand the needs of each team and aim at meeting them as much as you can. For instance, in exchange for the office lunch extended, you may start giving two company-paid Uber rides per month. It’s all about how you want to do it.

9. Reward the increased productivity

As your team members get used to the concept of working remotely, you will notice an increase in productivity. That mainly happens because they have better work-life balance and no longer deal with stressful traffic, among other factors. Show that you appreciate the increased productivity through appraisals and other rewarding schemes. We do that at CodeMonk, and the results have been phenomenal. It shows we value our employees, and in return, they also value us.

These are interesting times when all employers must reassess their employee relations and re-think whether the old ways still make sense. If not, then just change those to make it work for you. CodeMonk promises to be there for you as you set up an effective remote team. Visit www.codemonk.ai for more information.


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