A team that operates in multiple time zones and has members who are geographically separated from one another is referred to as a “distributed team.” This implies that members of the team work alone, whether it be from their homes, cafés, or co-working facilities. For instance, you may be a marketing director headquartered in London, supervising an SEO manager in Jakarta, a content writer in Brooklyn, and a Stockholm based web designer.
Remote work v virtual work v distributed work
With businesses increasingly adapting to the new metric of global work, we’ve been introduced to a lot of new terminology – remote, virtual & distributed. So, what is the meaning of a global workforce, or a distributed workforce?
- Remote teams could be located all over the world, and they might or might not interact in person with their coworkers or management. Essentially, they’d be a part of a geographical distributed team.
- Virtual teams are made up of individuals who communicate and work together using digital tools.
- Companies that employ one or more people who work remotely are known as distributed workplaces. This may include on-site groups at one, maybe more office sites as well as remote workers who conduct their business from their homes, coworkers’ spaces, or public venues, or while traveling.
The multiple benefits of a distributed workforce
The advantages of hiring geographically distributed teams have been acknowledged by some of the best remote employers, such as Amazon, Intuit, and Johnson & Johnson. The recent COVID-19 outbreak, and the ensuing economic disruption have only served to confirm this.
Access to an unlimited pool of talent
Finding the ideal mix of talents is essential for hiring the top candidates, wherever they may be. If you want your business to be successful, you need to be able to access a wider talent pool. To do this, you need to hire full time employees, contractors and freelancers who can help you accomplish project-specific objectives instead of people who live close to your office.
Reduction in cost
The decrease in location-based overhead expenses is one of the advantages that many remote businesses have grown to appreciate. Remote firms provide better salaries and more perks to their distributed workforce by not paying for a bigger facility and the accompanying maintenance costs.
Increase in employee engagement and satisfaction
Additionally, remote workers are 83% happier in their employment than on-site employees are, and they would accept a wage drop of up to 10% to work remotely. Costs and stress are considerably increased by commuting from and to work, office politics, and workplace conflict.
Decrease in employee attrition
58% of remote employees say that they would look for new jobs if they cannot continue remote work. Most individuals can agree that greater pay paired with better work-life balance, professional advancement prospects, and lower conflict chances boost the likelihood of sticking with a company over the long term.
Increase in productivity
Employees or independent contractors that operate as a global team are much more likely to feel invested in the project, buy in, and generally put in more effort. Remote workers reported working more than 40+ hours/week and 43% more times than on-site employees.
Benefits of setting up distributed tech teams
Every year, an increasing number of software organizations are adopting the distributed development model. In distributed development, several IT teams operate remotely from different parts of the globe, in essence removing any geographical restrictions from both employees and businesses.
Being less dependent on actual workplaces implies being more scalable. Compared to traditional office workers, remote IT teams are considerably more than just economically advantageous. The success of several distributed businesses demonstrates the indisputable advantages of this work paradigm, with companies like GitLab, Slack and Automattic pioneering the global workforce movement.
The right tech for a remote distributed team
Although the sheer quantity of online tools for remote work might appear fairly daunting, it’s crucial to choose the ones that fit your team’s needs and help eliminate its difficulties.
- Slack – With the help of this instant messaging service, organizations can connect with team members located anywhere in the globe by organizing conversations into common channels.
- Hubspot – You can specify your availability in HubSpot Meetings, sync your calendar with Google Calendar or Office 365, and invite customers or colleagues to organize meetings with you. To preserve contact information, the tool includes textboxes for your conference page.
- Basecamp is an administration solution that consolidates all the resources your group needs to do its job in one location. Your team receives message forums, to-do lists, data storage, in-project group chat, and automatic check-in questions for each project. Additional third-party desktop and mobile applications that Basecamp may link with include TaskClone, Zapier, Project Buddy, and Zoho Flow.
- Dropbox is a file-sharing platform that provides file synchronization and cloud storage in a single, centralized workspace. You may use it to create, save, and share cloud material from Microsoft Office documents, Dropbox Paper, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
- Clockify is a free tool that’s easy to use. The programme stands out for its ability to accommodate an infinite number of people and unrestricted projects. Virtual timers are used to log hours, and prefilled timesheets and project-specific classifications are included. Timesheets can be marked as deductible or paid by users.
Best practices for a fully distributed workforce
Prioritize good communication
High-performing companies are built on effective communication. Teams must communicate concepts, developments, and deliverables as effectively and unambiguously as they can. Every business should have a culture that values effective communication.
Distributed teams should also leverage the complete potential of asynchronous communication. By giving each team member the opportunity to respond according to their convenience, it enhances productivity and control over the workday.
Set short but regular meetings
For distributed teams, regular meetings are essential for accountability and cohesion, collaboration and time management. Teams are brought together when they meet and do video chats for brainstorming or conversation, especially when they are geographically distant. However, it is important to keep these meetings short and to-the-point. The average recommended length of a video call should not exceed 45 minutes.
Promote team bonding
Leaders of distributed teams must host regular off-site or online gatherings for socializing and team building, so that distant workers may meet up in person or through a video conference. Companies like Automattic ensure that their employees unplug, unwind and meet at least once annually. The morale of your distributed workforce may be significantly affected by these social gatherings.
Set clear goals
A team that works well and performs well is a production machine. Teams should be provided well-defined briefings that point them in the direction of a certain goal. Make sure you include detailed milestones and timelines so that your team has a clear idea of what is expected from them.
There is little doubt today that distributed teams result in greater productivity, creativity, and financial success. More importantly, the increased flexibility and autonomy that it provides to professionals results in heightened employee engagement, increased retention and lower rates of attrition.
Take the first step towards building your distributed team with Talent500. With our pre-vetted talent & AI-powered tools, we get to the core of your distributed teams and offer personalized solutions. Book a consultation now to learn just how you can get the best out of your remote workforce.