Business Tips

8 Tips for Managing a Remote Development Team

While remote work has many benefits for developers, notably work-life balance, it has several drawbacks. One of which is communication. 

Since remote development teams aren’t present in the same physical space, it’s often difficult to communicate, build relationships, or develop any sort of rapport. These all negatively impact collaboration, productivity, and your bottom line. 

Thankfully, companies that know how to manage remote development teams get high-quality results. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Several things need to be in place to get the best out of your remote development team. Before we share them, let’s re-examine the foundation of a remote development team.

What Is a Remote Software Development Team?

8 Tips for Managing a Remote Development Team
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A remote or virtual team refers to individuals who work across multiple cities, countries, and even continents to achieve an organizational goal. And a remote software development team is a group of technically trained people who design and create computer software programs and systems for an organization. 

Managing a remote development team requires specific approaches, which we discuss in the next section. 

Best Practices for Managing a Remote Development Team

The first step is hiring right, which means looking beyond technical expertise. 

For example, you need to make sure that candidates are the right fit culturally. You want developers who are communicative and open to new perspectives. Once you get recruitment right, you’re ready to leverage the potential of your remote team. 

1. Set Clear Expectations and Goals 

In a successful remote development team everyone understands what success looks like. From the start, set the bar on the standards of performance and output you expect from your remote development team. 

Communicate your expectations to the team regarding work hours, communication channels, deadlines, and deliverables. Document this information so team members can easily access it when they need clarification.

However, be sure to set realistic and attainable milestones. This keeps the entire team in sync and within a feasible time frame, and enhances team morale and productivity. Conversely, unrealistic goals will result in inconsistent periods of productivity and an exhausted development team. 

2. Provide the Right Tools and Resources

Although it may sound obvious, don’t forget to give your team the proper hardware and software. Consider providing funds to your remote development team to allow them to purchase or replace outdated equipment and optimize their workspace. Give them access to all the documentation needed to carry out their tasks effectively. 

8 Tips for Managing a Remote Development Team
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Ensure each developer can access a reliable internet connection and provide them with the necessary software, which includes the following:

  • Communication: Slack, Vonage, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are invaluable to stay connected and collaborate effectively.
  • Project management: Jira, Trello, Asana, and Basecamp keep remote development teams organized and on schedule.
  • Code collaboration: Popular solutions like GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket help remote development teams create code together.
  • Cloud storage: Google Drive and Dropbox allow remote teams to share files and collaborate. 
  • Time tracking: Solutions like Harvest, Toggl, and RescueTime are helpful to track hours across projects.

3. Build Trust and Communicate Effectively

Miscommunication in remote work leads to errors, delayed projects, and failure to achieve goals. So, both parties must communicate effectively. 

Poor timing is typically the cause of miscommunication. For example, if you try to communicate while the dev team is in a tricky coding session, you’re unlikely to gain their undivided attention. This is when details are lost.

It’s better to schedule regular stand-up meetings with your remote dev team. Everyone can be transparent about what they’re working on in this meeting. Then, you can identify potential roadblocks and facilitate necessary collaboration. 

Of course, it’s difficult to find a time that works for everyone — especially if you have developers around the world. In this case, reduce the number of video meetings and switch to chat. Maybe create a Slack channel for stand-ups and let team members read the thread at their convenience.

You may also improve communication by leveraging your phone system’s DID feature (what is DID? It’s direct inward dialing) to reach internal extensions directly without going through an operator. Phone conversations are often more clear and concise than emails or chats, especially when discussing complex technical issues. 

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4. Close Communication Lines During Off-Hours

While it is crucial to prioritize communication for globally distributed teams, don’t overdo it. You want your remote development team to have a healthy work-life balance. So establish clear boundaries for communication during off-hours:

  • Encourage your remote team to disconnect and recharge during their time off. To help, be sure to set clear expectations on response times. 
  • Make them understand that they don’t have to be available 24/7 and that taking time to respond to non-urgent messages is okay. The practice creates a sense of respect for personal time and allows your team to recharge. 
  • Consider implementing a rotating schedule for on-call duties. This ensures rotation among team members, provides everyone with equal time off, and reduces burnout.

5. Establish and Follow Clear Guidelines

There must be guidelines for managing a remote development team to ensure consistent expectations. These guidelines should cover various aspects of team collaboration, such as project deadlines, communication protocols, and task management. 

The remote software dev team should know when to collaborate with external stakeholders and how to communicate. If you use outbound call center outsourcing services for market research and surveys, let the development team understand the specific requirements and expectations. 

When developing guidelines, be sure to:

  • Identify what needs to be accomplished and when: Team members can prioritize the most critical tasks and allocate their time effectively.
  • Decide on the primary communication channel: This helps maintain continuity and context across email, chat platforms like Slack, or video conferencing tools.
  • Encourage open communications and regular updates: Regular check-ins and status updates help keep everyone aligned and ensure that work progresses smoothly.
  • Establish guidelines for handling conflicts and resolving issues: Open communications put team members at ease to express their views. It is also important to monitor remote employees on their goals and productivity levels.

6. Promote Collaboration and Teamwork

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Among the qualities you want in your remote development team is the ability to work independently. However, it is equally crucial for them to be team players when necessary. Several tasks, like brainstorming sessions and code reviews, require remote team members to work together.

But this doesn’t happen overnight. It needs to be ingrained in your culture and reinforced regularly. To develop this culture:

  • Create clear communication channels and expectations.
  • Provide your remote development team with the tools they need to collaborate, like chat, video conferencing, and project management software.
  • Facilitate team collaboration by simplifying communication. For example, registering a domain to create personalized email addresses for each team member can improve communication. Domain registrations also help establish a sense of professionalism within your remote development team. 
  • Schedule regular check-ins and team meetings to discuss progress and identify potential issues. This is a good time for team members to ask for help when they need it and provide constructive feedback to one another.

It’s important to foster a supportive and inclusive environment to promote collaboration. Success becomes inevitable when everyone is happy to work together and invested in the same goal.

7. Implement Clear Log-On and Log-Off Hours

When team members have set hours for work, it helps establish a routine and creates a sense of structure. This is especially important when working across different time zones.

Encourage your team to determine their log-on and log-off hours based on their productivity and availability. Some team members may prefer early mornings, while others may be more productive in the afternoon or evening. 

Allowing flexibility within these hours empowers your team to work at their optimal times.

Communicate these log-on and log-off hours to the entire team so everyone knows each other’s availability. It helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that employees are reachable during work hours.

8. Account for Asynchronous Scheduling

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With team members spread across different time zones, finding a balance that allows everyone to collaborate effectively is crucial. 

Encourage your team to use tools and practices that enable asynchronous communication. This includes project management software with task assignments and deadlines. Team members can work independently and provide clear instructions and documentation for each project.

Asynchronous scheduling allows your team to work on their own schedule and meet project deadlines at the same time. It helps team members maintain a healthy work-life balance since they can choose when to work based on their preferences.


Managing a successful remote development team doesn’t happen overnight. It requires effort, commitment, dedication, and time. 

You must communicate on a different level since your development team is in a different physical location. You also need to provide the proper communication tools. 

Remember to create a culture where your team feels safe to share their views without judgment or criticism. Also encourage your team to take time off to recharge and avoid burnout. 

Managing a remote development team has its challenges. But by following the tips above, you can achieve success. 


ryan yee
Ryan Yee – Copywriter 

Ryan is an award-winning copywriter, with 20+ years of experience working alongside major US brands, emerging start-ups, and leading tech enterprises. His copy and creative have helped companies in the B2B marketing, education, and software sectors reach new customer bases and enjoy improved results. Here is his LinkedIn.
Community Tips

How to Optimize Workspace to Improve Developer’s Productivity

Enhancing developers’ productivity goes beyond giving them the latest gadgets, gift packs, healthy snacks, or gym membership — these help, too. But the workspace is just as crucial. It is, after all, where the development team will spend most of their day. 

The problem: most employers are unaware of how an optimized workspace can enhance the development team’s productivity or how to go about it. 

The good news is that we’ve got the solution and created this guide. We will share how to get the creative juice of your tech whizzes flowing. But first, let’s understand the importance of an optimized workspace for developers’ productivity.

Why is it Important to Optimize a Developer’s Workspace?


Developers, like most professionals, spend 8 hours at work on average. That’s a third of the day. So, their work environment must be comfortable to get the best out of them. 

When developers are comfortable, it puts them in the right headspace, and they can focus. In the realm of software development, focus cannot be underestimated. 

An optimized workspace for developers fosters innovation and collaboration. Knocking the manager’s door or going to the engineering department for clarification or resources can be awkward—especially if you’re unfamiliar. That’s a problem an optimized workspace with an open office layout can solve. 

In a shared space, employees can build rapport, which increases collaboration. When everyone feels comfortable with each other, they can share ideas, boosting innovation.

Thus, it is clear why creating an optimized workspace can improve developers’ productivity. This brings us to the ‘how,’ which we discuss in the next section. 

How to Optimize a Developer’s Workspace

Optimizing a workspace to boost a developer’s productivity combines the physical environment, technology infrastructure, and the company’s culture. Let’s see how these factors impact creating an optimal workspace for developers. 

Physical environment

Aside from algorithms and codes, the physical setup in which a developer operates influences their success or failure.

Create a comfortable and ergonomic workspace

Developers spend a lot of time writing codes and solving complex tasks in the workspace. Even though most of this happens sitting down, it can lead to muscular-skeletal disorders like muscle strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, back injury, etc. Thus, developers are exposed to many potential injuries, leading to more sick days and lower productivity. 

Designing an ergonomic workspace for developers can significantly reduce these issues. Provide adjustable desks and chairs that provide a good level of support. That means the chair should support their lower back and allow their feet to rest on the floor. The desk should also be comfortable for their arms and wrists. 

Consider multiple monitor screens to manage different tasks. There are special keyboards for coding, such as mechanical, and split. Additionally a mouse pad with wrist support can be beneficial during extended coding sessions. Allow your developers to decorate their space— for example, hanging up pictures or art. 

Also, since developers type for long hours, a voice call app can facilitate seamless communication, reducing the risk of hand strain.

Provide developers with access to natural light and fresh air

working together

Lighting is critical for developers’ productivity and well-being. If it is overly bright or dim, it can cause eyestrain, fatigue, and a loss of focus. The key is to find the right balance. 

LED lighting is widely used today because it can provide bright and more uniform lighting. As a result, it reduces headaches and high strain, which are associated with fluorescent lighting. Another option is to install transparent glass walls, which can open up the space and increase the amount of natural light employees receive.

In 2021, researchers from Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered a link between workplace indoor air quality and cognitive function. The study revealed that respondents showed lower cognitive function when indoor air pollution was higher. 

Maintaining a healthy level of humidity — typically between 30% and 50% can keep mites, dust, and other allergens under control. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels under control. 

Office plants have also been found to improve indoor air quality. Their ability to absorb toxins and produce more oxygen which can be beneficial for your workers, especially if they are in enclosed spaces with limited ventilation. Additionally, replace the air filter frequently and keep your office clean. 

Reduce noise and environmental distractions

Many tech companies use an open-office floor plan, which is great because it enhances collaboration. However, since there are no physical barriers to block the noise, it can lead to distractions. Software development often requires an intense focus and distractions can potentially disrupt a developer’s flow. This, in turn, can lead to delays and reduced productivity. 

Having private rooms where developers can work without distractions can be beneficial. You may dedicate some office space as “quiet zones” where phone calls and chit-chat aren’t allowed to maintain a peaceful and focused environment. 

Another solution is to employ voicemail drops to control the influx of phone calls and minimize disruptions. Noise-cancelling headphones can also help developers suppress distractions and focus on their tasks. 

girl with headphones on

Establish boundaries between work and home space

With the rise of remote work, many developers work from their homes. While this offers flexibility, it can blur the lines between work and personal life — which can be a recipe for decreased productivity and burnout. 

Encourage developers to create a designated workspace within their homes, separate from their living areas. This can be a spare room, a corner of a room, or even just a specific desk. 

A designated workspace ensures developers can mentally switch into work mode when they enter that space — and switch back to their personal life when they leave it.


The development team needs access to the right technology to work efficiently. 

Provide developers with the latest hardware and software

Outdated or slow equipment can hinder a developer’s productivity and cause frustration. So, invest in powerful computers, high-speed internet connections, and up-to-date software programs. 

This includes specialized tools that cater to their specific needs, such as development environments, version control systems, collaboration platforms, and invoicing software for freelancers. These tools ensure that developers have the necessary resources to excel in their roles.

From a screen share app for remote collaboration to code editors with efficient debugging tools, having the right tools can significantly enhance a developer’s workflow.

Ensure developers have access to the tools and resources they need

Technology is rapidly evolving, and developers always try to keep up. Whether acquiring new skills or perusing an industry publication, access to current information can be beneficial.

These publications or periodicals offer information on the latest technology trends, frameworks, and best practices.

Maintain a curated collection to get the most out of the development team. Regularly update the library with the latest books on frameworks, programming languages, and software development methodologies.


The same goes for tools. Developers often need to work together, whether it’s through code review, pair programming, or team meetings. Use project management software, version control systems, and communication platforms to facilitate efficient collaboration and communication. It streamlines the development process and fosters teamwork.

Create a system for managing and tracking resources

Most organizations have finite resources. How you oversee them can determine whether or not your development team is productive. Proper resource management and tracking can give you insight into developers’ workflow, availability, skills, and project time requirements.

The obvious solution is to invest in resource management software. This tool comes with features designed to improve resource management and productivity. For example, the time-tracking feature allows developers to log their working hours and track how they allocate their time.

Applying data science methods can also help optimize resource allocation and efficiency. A data-driven approach identifies patterns and trends in resource usage, enabling better allocation and optimization of resources.


Your organizational culture also plays a crucial role in developers’ productivity. An environment encouraging learning, growth, and open communication produces positive outcomes.

Create a culture that values productivity and efficiency


A productive work culture boosts morale, fosters collaboration, increases productivity and efficiency —and supports employee retention. 

To achieve this, set clear goals for the development team. Let them understand the metrics by which their work will be measured. This way, they can dedicate their efforts toward achieving those goals. A culture that values productivity will provide developers with the necessary tools, resources, and services, from companies such as Vonage, to help them excel. 

Diversity in your development team is also essential for a productive work culture. With different experiences, skills, and perspectives, team members can bring fresh ideas and innovative solutions. 

Empowering the GenZ workforce, who are often at the forefront of emerging technologies, is crucial for the future of the tech industry. The goal is to create an environment where developers feel safe and supported to take risks and think outside the box. 

Encourage developers to take breaks and recharge

This is especially important for remote development teams. Remote work can result in getting sucked into work and losing track of time. While this may seem harmless at first, in the long run, it leads to burnout and decreased productivity. 

Encourage developers to take regular breaks throughout the day. Staring at a monitor for extended periods can strain the eyes and lead to fatigue. Productivity doesn’t also mean sitting down all day long. 

Provide opportunities for developers to learn and grow

Always offer developers the chance to expand their skills and knowledge. This can be via paying for courses from reputable online platforms or bringing in experts to conduct workshops and training sessions. Encourage them to attend conferences, webinars, and meetups relevant to their expertise.


Improving developers’ productivity is vital to business success. Optimizing the workspace is a critical step in this process. Creating a work environment where developers can do their best is crucial for maximizing productivity. Focus on improving their physical environment, investing in the right technologies, and supportive work culture.

ryan yee
Ryan Yee – Copywriter 

Ryan is an award-winning copywriter, with 20+ years of experience working alongside major US brands, emerging start-ups, and leading tech enterprises. His copy and creative have helped companies in the B2B marketing, education, and software sectors reach new customer bases and enjoy improved results. Here is his LinkedIn.