In today’s world, remote work has become a norm, and companies all around the globe are trying to adapt to this new culture. Remote work is not only cost-effective but also provides flexibility to employees. However, remote software development teams can face unique challenges, such as communication barriers, lack of face-to-face interaction, and the need to foster a sense of belonging and collaboration. Creating a successful remote software development team culture is challenging but possible. At Evolvice, we have established and spread it across all our nearshore locations in Ukraine, Portugal, Egypt, and Germany and are ready to share the experience.
Communication is the key. Building a culture where everyone can speak up, and everything can be discussed is extremely important. To reach this in the remote team, you must take care of proper communication channels, transparency in responsibilities, and regular contacts. At Evolvice, we understand the significance of effective communication in ensuring client satisfaction and project success.
The first task is to ensure that everyone can be reached quickly, regardless of the distance between the team members. At Evolvice, we use Microsoft Teams, which proved to be a perfect tool for real-time interactions, file sharing, and instant messaging. It helps bridge geographical and time-zone gaps, fostering seamless communication across distributed teams.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 74% of organizations believe that clear communication is a critical factor in teamwork and outsourcing software success. Additionally, the Project Management Institute found that inadequate communication is the primary cause of project failure in 56% of cases.
Precise and efficient communication can be tricky, especially for people with different cultural backgrounds. Being an international nearshore service provider, we know how challenging it can be, but we also learned how to overcome these challenges. At Evolvice, we implemented mandatory training for all our developers, starting with intercultural training in partnership with Goethe Institut, dedicated training on feedback sharing and giving, business communication, etc.
Establish a straightforward escalation process to address any communication bottlenecks or conflicts promptly. This process defines the steps to be taken when communication breakdowns occur, ensuring that issues are resolved swiftly and effectively. At Evolvice, each dedicated software development team is supported by the Account manager and/or People and Culture manager, whose task is supporting the integration of people into the customer’s environment. The team members and the customer know they can always address any issues with this person, and the proper solution will be found.
Implementing feedback loops, such as regular client reviews and team retrospectives, promotes open communication and continuous improvement. At Evolvice GmbH, we value feedback and actively seek input from all stakeholders to enhance our communication practices. Our Account managers schedule regular sync calls with the customers to get feedback about team performance and plans and to be able to support them proactively. Our commitment to effective communication helps minimize risks, enhance productivity, and deliver high-quality software solutions.
Clear Expectations and Goals
Setting clear expectations and goals is vital for remote teams to stay aligned and focused. According to a Gallup poll, employees who receive regular feedback and have clear expectations are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged in their work. Our team at Evolvice GmbH emphasizes setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and provides regular feedback to ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Every 6 months, we conduct Development Interviews with the team members, where we exchange feedback about the performance and set up goals for the next half a year. That helps to focus on continuous improvement and align with company/project goals and strategy.
Virtual Team-Building Activities
Building camaraderie and fostering team spirit is equally important in remote teams. We organize virtual team-building activities, such as online games, virtual happy hours, and knowledge-sharing sessions, to strengthen relationships among team members. Research by Harvard Business Review shows virtual team-building activities significantly improve team collaboration and trust. A Gallup poll revealed that close work friendships can boost employee satisfaction by up to 50%.
Recognize and Reward Achievements
Acknowledge and reward individual and team achievements. Recognizing the contributions of team members encourages engagement and boosts morale. At Evolvice, we actively use Kudo cards and have Kudo boxes in all our locations.
Build a Strong Company Culture
Building a solid company culture is essential for creating a successful remote software development team culture. You must understand the significance of fostering a positive and cohesive work environment, even in a remote setup. Here are some key strategies we employ to build a robust company culture within our remote software development teams:
Communicate company values
Company values must resonate with every team member. At Evolvice, our values are diversity, flexibility, responsibility, transparency, passion, and enthusiasm. In our recruitment process, we are looking for people who have the same values and share our clients‘ values.
Establish Trust and Autonomy
Trust is the foundation of any successful remote team. Research conducted by Harvard Business Review highlights that remote employees who feel trusted are more engaged and productive.
Encourage Regular Feedback and Recognition
Regular feedback and recognition are essential for remote teams to feel valued and motivated. According to a survey by TinyPulse, 77% of employees appreciate feedback from their managers. At Evolvice GmbH, we have implemented a structured feedback system and recognize team members‘ achievements to create a continuous growth and appreciation culture.
At Evolvice GmbH, we empower our remote teams by providing autonomy and fostering a culture of trust, enabling them to take ownership of their work and make impactful contributions.
Provide Opportunities for Professional Development and Growth
Providing Opportunities for growth through guidance, feedback, and learning is crucial for businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive market.
Emphasize Continuous Learning
Encourage team members to continually upskill and expand their knowledge by offering access to online courses, webinars, and workshops. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. We at Evolvice offer our employees many courses like, for example, GBDR training. We also have an allocated budget per person per year, which every employee can use for any educational topic.
Establish Mentorship Programs
Pairing experienced team members with those who are new or seeking career growth can facilitate knowledge sharing and provide valuable guidance. A 2019 Association for Talent Development study showed that companies with formal mentoring programs had higher employee engagement levels. We have conducted several technical boot camps, giving fresh candidates on the market opportunities to level up their skills and get their first job.
Provide Clear Feedback and Guidance
Communicate objectives and expectations for each team member and provide regular feedback on their performance. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 72% of employees believed that their performance would improve if their managers provided more precise guidance.
Promote Open Communication
Encourage open and transparent communication channels within the team, ensuring everyone feels comfortable discussing issues, ideas, and achievements. A Salesforce research report found that 86% of employees and executives cited lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as the primary reason for workplace failures.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for any employee’s well-being, and it becomes even more critical in a remote work setting. Without a clear separation between work and home life, remote workers may experience burnout and stress. Therefore, it is essential to encourage work-life balance within the team. According to a survey by Buffer, 22% of remote workers struggle with unplugging after work, which can lead to burnout.
Evolvice prioritizes work-life balance by offering flexible work schedules and encouraging team members to take daily breaks. They also promote healthy habits and wellness initiatives, such as exercise challenges and mindfulness sessions. By prioritizing work-life balance, Evolvice ensures that team members are happy, healthy, and productive. We can check more about our values here.
Embrace Diversity and Inclusion
Embracing diversity and inclusion is crucial for creating a thriving remote software development team culture. In today’s global market, having a diverse and inclusive team is essential to meet the demands of a wide range of clients and customers. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more likely to have financial returns above their industry average. This statistic highlights the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion not just from a moral standpoint but also from a business perspective.
At Evolvice GmbH, we understand the significance of a diverse and inclusive team. As an outsourcing software company, we have developers from different cultural backgrounds, including Ukraine, Egypt, Portugal, and Germany. This diversity brings various perspectives, experiences, and skills to our team, enabling us to deliver innovative solutions to our clients.
Creating a thriving remote software development team culture requires a deliberate effort from the outset. By establishing clear communication channels, fostering trust, building a solid company culture, providing opportunities for professional development, encouraging work-life balance, and embracing diversity and inclusion, you can create a culture that promotes productivity, engagement, and happiness among team members. Promoting these best practices can create a culture that will help your remote software development team thrive. At Evolvice, we have established an outstanding team culture for more than 11 years. Contact us today to help with your questions.