Remote working is filled with obstacles. Project Managers feel tense in tracking the progress. Developers often cannot understand the requirements because it is easier to explain them in words. Here are other potential issues and how to overcome them.
The difficulty with this aspect can emerge if you have different time-zones. How do you plan your call sessions if your team works as you sleep, and they sleep as you work? Well, in this case, there should be a one-way convenience from time to time. One day, you’ll sacrifice your sleep. Then you’ll switch the roles. Or you can arrange results and requirements sharing that don’t require face-to-face talking.
Language and cultural barriers
If you collaborate with people from another country, there’s a chance some of them will be skilled experts with terrible English. Google translator, although not a perfect interpreter at all, can help your teammates to overcome the language barrier. However, we would advise you to test English language skills because it influences the communication process a lot.
Lack of trust
“I have to see to believe”, some of us think and we are right in it. However, working with remote crews, it is necessary to trust what they do. As soon as they meet all deadlines and give you a great quality product, there’s no need to raise doubts. However, know that many tools not only track the process but also show what other resources the devs use during their work. So, you will see if they watch YouTube videos on their laptops (but not smartphones)
One of the most important things to create a successful group of people, not just the guys who do their tasks for the sake of it. Working remotely deteriorates communication. In an office, people often chat about their personal lives or share opinions while making coffee. When the problem emerges, you can resolve it in no time because of your teammates in the same room. Virtual teams lack it.
Can you go without communication tools?
Yes, if you have strong pigeons who will deliver the letters across all the teammates in no time – yeah, sure, you don’t need them. However, we strongly support pigeons and their rights to the fair hourly wages and convenient hooting conditions. So advise you to spend some time, and choose a set of collaborative tools. You also can communicate on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, theoretically. However, you will mix personal and working chats. And, well, they are not created for project supervision. We don’t think your team wants to be interrupted by bloggers’ posts about Bali and unsupported news about the next American Election. You do need special collaboration tools if you live in 2020.
- to track productivity;
- to automate mundane processes, like scheduling;
- to have good-quality communication solutions (calls, chats);
- to have the implemented time management solutions (or integrate with them);
- to divide working and personal environments.
Features to look for
- Chat and messaging;
- Audio and video conferencing;
- Discussion threads;
- Files sharing;
- Security solution (two-facet verification, end-to-end encryption);
- Integrations with Excel tables, Google Docs, and other productivity-boosting apps);
- Progress checker.
Tools for communicating with your remote team.
Slack – messenger for virtual teams
- pinning important messages, links, and files to chats;
- convenient search engine for messages and files;
- ability to divide different workplaces or projects;
- customizable notifications (e.g. “notify only if the user writes the word “deadline”)
- useful bots (for stand up, to-do lists, and translating the time-zones);
- mentions (@jackhr, ask Jane about her working hours!);
- integrations with many office tools;
- starred items;
- shortcut commands (e.g. /archive – to archive the current chat);
- audio and video calls;
- emojis, stickers, and gifs.