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Hackernoon logoHow to Administer A Team of Developers In Crisis Like COVID-19 by@tim-colman

How to Administer A Team of Developers In Crisis Like COVID-19

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@tim-colmanTim Colman

Amateur Developer and a Part-time Social Media Influencer

Being a manager at any post comes with a lot of responsibilities and accountability which cannot be shared, you are solely responsible for you and your team.

 A few years back when I was promoted as a software development manager, I was on cloud nine, but when a few months passed I realized that it's not an easy task to manage and supervise a team. 

I came across many obstacles but anyhow I managed to tackle those smartly (as is the job of a manager), but the positive aspect was that I was connected with my team personally - as we all were into one place.

When the COVID-19 crisis, arose most of the organizations ordered their employees to work remotely (work from home) and that made me anxious - as it becomes very difficult to communicate on a personal level, and you can’t exactly measure the motivational level of employees. Thankfully, I diligently dealt with the situation and me and my team are now putting ten times more efforts than we used to in the office.

But then the question was that would working remotely will be beneficial in the long run?

And the answer I found is Yes! According to Gallup, remote workers put in long hours and are more productive than their non-remote peers. 

Moreover, it gives the employers an ability to hire global talent and reduce cost, as well as allow remote workers to save their commute time, round-the-clock work schedule, and travel around the world.

Source: Medium

As per the study conducted by Flexjobs 80% of  Remote Workers experience less work stress and are more productive than the workers who are regularly commuting to a single workplace.

Despite all the benefits, working remotely can have its disadvantages, especially for employers and managers. 

But when I followed some techniques ( listed below ) I saw a tremendous positive change in the overall outlook of the workings, and then I thought that many of us must be passing through the same situation so I decided to share my tips and techniques that helped me and hopefully will also help you fellows.

Few Approaches that Turned To Be A Game Changer For Me

If you are also leading a team of developers then this is a must read article.

Here are few important tips that I followed which worked really well and I am sure these will equally work well for you also. 

1. Transparent and Meticulous Communication

First of all, it's about communication and most importantly organizational communication. 

That is the secret sauce to getting your remote team to deliver the same performance level that you would a team working together.

As remote developers don't have the luxury to swing by their desk to ask a question, so be certain to use a reliable medium for Team Communication to get connected with them via call, email, text, and video call as well as video conference calls. 

You must schedule uniform check-ins, and ensure all of their queries are acknowledged on time.

You need to positively and proactively ensure that there is no communication gap between you and your team members because even minute communication gaps can make all the work drop in a bucket.

2. Appointing the Right People For The Right Task

Handing over the wrong task to the wrong people can destroy all your efforts in one go, as a manager, your fundamental duty is to allocate the right tasks to the right employees. 

I have seen most of my manager peers messing up the employee’s skill with the organizational requirements, which is one of the primary reasons that employees are unable to give their hundred percent.

Not all developers are capable of working independently and remotely. 

Remote working is only useful if the developer is sincere, hardworking, use-to of working remotely, and brave enough to be accountable and transparent about the work he/she is assigned with. 

So for the best results, it is suggested to get the right people who are up for this challenge.

3. Endow Them with the Right Equipment

Developers without proper equipment are as inefficient as soldiers without weapons. 

So you, as a team manager or employer, have to make sure your remote developers are as equipped as onsite developers. 

They must have a proper laptop or desktop computer with required specifications along with an appropriate internet connection and a dedicated work phone. 

Source: Flexjobs.com

Without making them well equipped as per the organizational needs, it leads to work delays and passing the authorities from one person to another.

 At first, it was becoming difficult for me to get all my team workers equipped but then after making a proper plan ( as per the needs and requirements of employees ) I provided them with all the necessary resources and equipment.

They must also have comprehensive and secure access to all resources online. 

Moreover, you have to make sure all the software programs required by developers for work and communication are authentic with an authorized subscription.

4. Keep Track Of Time, Productivity And Payroll Of Your Developers

To ensure smooth and quality work from developers, it is essential to use the right tools for time and productivity measurement. 

There are applications and programs available that can track the work of each developer, and some even take automated screenshots. It keeps your developers more responsible and more productive to work when they can tell you about their progress. 

Moreover, it will also help you foresee any issues that your developers are facing and their required extra support.

Additionally, you should also keep track of your developer’s time card or hours worked, and use the right tool to further process the data for payroll calculation. 

This will help you maintain your finance, pay your employees on time, and build the trust of your employees. 

keeping a track record of everything will make sure that you do not miss anything important. 

At starting I was facing tracking issues as there was chaos going on everyone was blaming their responsibilities on one another but then I started making a track record of every member of the team and it has assisted me in getting the work precise and timely.

5. Elucidate Your Developers accordingly

Due to the lack of physical interaction, it sometimes becomes flinty for the remote developers and other employees to understand the task they are assigned. 

Therefore, it is essential for you as a manager or employer to explain every requirement to your developers with proper illustrations. You must make sure they understand how you like work to be completed. 

Moreover, if you require regular updates or periodic updates, then also communicate the same to them.

I use to prepare some diagrams and representations for more definite understanding as visuals are much more memorable than simple delineated text. 

You can also share those visuals with your team so that whenever they get bewildered they can refer to those resources.

6. Indoctrinate your Developers

To improve the productivity of your developers, it is vital to give them proper training. You must educate them to: 

  • Develop better work-life balance
  • Schedule suitable work hours
  • Designate an adequate work space at their homes with less distraction
  • Planning and prioritizing their tasks
  • Develop proper and effective communication with teammates and manager
  • Use flexible time wisely
  • Track their progress
  • Be accountable and transparent
  • Take adequate breaks from work to improve productivity

Will Remote Working Become A New Norm In Subsequent Years?

According to predictions made by Fast Company remote working will be the most preferred choice for many organizations in the near future or we can say remote working  will be the new organizational norm.

Source: Flexjobs.com

In practical terms remote working comes with added advantage for both organizations and employees as a significant amount of resources ( notably financial ) can be conserved that is otherwise required to maintain a bricks and mortar.

And employees can blatantly work independently which gives them more sense of freedom and belonging towards family.

As per the study conducted by Flex jobs 80% of remote workers experience less job stress and are more productive in their remote offices.

Source: Flexjobs.com

So by throwing the light at various recent studies it can be consummated that remote working can become a new industrious norm in the forthcoming years and we need to get ourselves aligned with this new upcoming norm.

Final Thoughts

These were some of the techniques that I applied to manage my team to get the best out of the situation like these and it also gets me prepared for new challenges shortly.

So to make remote working successful and prosperous, both team-leaders and developers have to work collectively and take the pioneer mentioned tips on board. We hope you have enjoyed the read!

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