Remote developers are also known as offshore developers. Remote developers are those developers that are hired to perform certain business functions from a land different from where the company is actually situated. Remote developers will work from their current location but will have to coordinate with the company employees working at the main destination. It is not always possible to find the developers of the required skill level and expertise in the local market. In such a case, it is better to look to outsource and start looking for developers from a wider area.
Hiring remote developers has several advantages both for yourself as an employer and the developer who will be working under you.
Reasons why companies hire remote developers
- Working continuously through different time zones- Hiring developers from a different time zone from your own time zone allows work to be done around the clock
- Once you start outsourcing certain aspects of your business, you begin to move from a people-focused environment to a system-focused model.
- Expands your hiring candidate pool exponentially
- Expands your market reach massively into the areas where you hire your developers from
- Your developers would be working in an ideal work environment- Employees prefer working with a degree of freedom and less pressure. Employees nowadays prefer working from home, rather than in the high-pressure office environment.
- Allows the company to make use of the lower recruitment costs in certain areas
Despite so many obvious advantages presenting itself to the company for hiring remote developers, there are certain inhibitions that prove to be a roadblock. Some of those common misconceptions that employers have about hiring remote developers are:
1. You won’t be able to manage the remote developers effectively
Companies and employers often feel that hiring remote developers would lead to a communication barrier. They feel that communication would suffer as they are out of contact and wouldn’t be the easiest to reach in times of urgency. They feel that it will be difficult to create a bonding with your remote developers- whom you don’t get to interact with face-to-face on a daily basis. However this is not the case as the remote developers also expect and need the same level of support that the employees at your company’s headquarters get. Hence, if you try to initiate regular interactions with your remote developers, they would be as easy to communicate with as your regular employees are. So basically, the onus is on you.
2. Remote developers always over-promise but fail to deliver
Developers feel that the developers, who are too eager to please us, promise too much and fail to live up to those standards that they had set. However, developers know what their capability and capacity is, so promise us only how much ever they would be able to accomplish. You are at a risk for this myth only if you hire without assessing the developer properly. Hence, it is essential that you assess the developer’s history to check if he has made similar false-promises.
3. Remote developers take too much liberty and have too much of flexibility
Companies and employers often feel that the remote developers would take undue advantage of the relaxed working atmosphere they are provided with. Employers fear that the developers would make use of the freedom and flexible system they are afforded which would cause a dip in their output. They feel this would lead to them working inefficiently. However the fact is that developers prefer working in an atmosphere that they are comfortable working with, at their preferred time, and in their preferred surroundings. But they make sure that the work gets completed by the stipulated time.
4. Remote developers slow down the rest of the team
Employers fear that the liberty that the developers are provided results in them taking too much of advantage of it and not working to the best of their abilities. This would mean that they wouldn’t be adhering to the schedules they were supposed to stick to. This would result in the developers slowing the rest of the team due to incomplete work. However, good interactions, constant motivation and reminders would mean that the developers would gel with your team and work according to the time constraints.
5. Differences in culture, language and time-zone lead to serious problems
Yes, these are the most realistic issues that you should be worried about. However, even these can be reduced to a large extent by a thorough recruitment process. It is assumed that the remote developers won’t bind well with your team due to these differences. Time-zone issue should be used to your strength as developers working at different times due to different time zones would mean that your company is working round the clock.
Language barrier will exist due to the diverse world that we live in, and this will be prevalent when you have to recruit offshore developers. This can be reduced to an extent by encouraging your employees to converse in English as the common language for communication. It is difficult to get rid of cultural barriers completely, but its effect can be reduced comparatively by adapting your company’s environment and culture accordingly. Remote developers will feel motivated to work in an environment which embraces diverse cultures, not in a company which preaches and follows only a particular culture. An all accepting environment brings a feel good factor in the minds of the developers, which will encourage them to work to the best of their abilities.
6. Remote workers means your work is unsafe
Employers don’t instantly develop confidence and trust in remote developers due to the less interaction they have had with them and are hence hesitant to share confidential information with them. This limits the amount of work you are able to extract out of them as there is a barrier on the amount of information you would provide them to work with.
This can be avoided by two methods-
- Assess if the developer is genuinely interested in your business, and would be willing to support you through the thick and thin.
- Better personal interactions with the developer
The other worry for the employers is that the information would be transferred to a computer that is less secure and this could lead to a breach in confidentiality. This should not be a worry though, as technology has advanced to such an extent that a well-qualified IT team can reduce such an issue.
The leaders in offshore development are China, India, Russia and Ukraine. This is quite noticeable in the recruitment traits of some of the leading companies of India like Infosys, TCS, and Wipro.
This goes on to show that there are always solutions for any problem, and it is up to us to deal with those problems in the most efficient manner. Remote developers are an integral part of our development world, as the world is evolving into a period where hiring remote web developers will be the trend. Hence, it is essential that you shake off all the reservations you have about hiring remote developers, and begin recruiting effectively.