Do you also feel like we are living in one of those movies they used to make about pandemics? Like, contagion. That movie gives you the chills. We are all living it now. At the risk of sounding alarmist, we might have to get used to living like this. It’s unfortunate. But it is what it is.
At this point, the first thing to consider is obviously your mental health, and then your finances. Of course, you are living through a major crisis, a pandemic, and a historical revolution. You are allowed to be concerned about everything around you - your life, your family, and your work.
How to manage remote developers in uncertain times —
A two-minute video guide for tech leaders
How has COVID-19 affected companies?
Unfortunately, the coronavirus scare has affected us all. There is no industry in the world that has not been hit. Tech companies have taken some major hits, and they are all trying to stay afloat. As per the regular anonymous surveys conducted by Blind, about 53.8% of technologists and developers are worried about their job security.
About 62.2% of workers believe that their total gross income will be poorly affected at the end of this year. In fact, companies like Cisco, Uber, Expedia, and even Facebook are concerned about their finances. All companies are down with their stocks.
Now is the right time for managers to put together a contingency plan to make it through this pandemic without losing to the cause.
Before we delve into tips on how to manage your teams remotely, especially programmers and engineers, let us highlight one key point for the managers first.
This is important: Take care of yourself
If you are fine, you will be able to manage your remote developers and teams better. At this point, we urge the managers to ensure that they are taking extra care and keeping sound. After all, there is a huge jump in the numbers for anxiety and illness in the world. A team manager/leader needs to be protecting their mental health in the midst of this global crisis. It’s only fair.
Five essential tips for managing your remote programmers
#1. Implement clear remote work policies and communication
Around the globe, all the companies are working remotely. This has led to a substantial increase in the number of employees working from home and learning to adjust to the new normal. This is a difficult time and especially for developers or programmers who require a specific set of infrastructure.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you outline the challenges your software engineers and programmers face. In most cases, the problems will come down to reduced productivity, lack of well-functioning equipment, and clarity in terms of communication.
The key is to ensure that meetings are held face-to-face, it brings a sense of presence to a certain extent. During meetings, you can communicate faster, acknowledge the blocks, find solutions, brainstorm, and get it together at a much faster pace. When you are working with programmers in different time zones individually, make sure video conferencing and meetings are mandatory once a week. More like a standup video meeting where you can learn about the progress of projects. This way, you are keeping your team together, and no one is feeling lost.
#2. Set clear responsibilities
We are all used to working in an environment of collaboration. When it comes to software developers, they work in collaboration with many teams, from web solutions to coders. Now suddenly, they are all scattered, and that can hinder productivity in terms of deliverables. As a manager, it is vital to make sure you take the notch up from your employees self-managing. Set clear responsibilities, make sure you are working towards maximizing productivity for yourself and your team of programmers. If you are developing a big project, make sure to divide and conquer.
#3. Help offsite programmers with self-organization
Programmers have a reputation for working on their own terms, partly because their job is tough. You cannot replace a programmer in a matter of days, thinking someone else can pick up where they left. So it is crucial to make sure your team of software engineers and remote programmers know that they are valuable. Suggest guidelines and clear vision to them and ensure they are working both with you and towards their own growth. Self-organization plays a very crucial role when working from home. As a manager, you can team up with human resources and ensure that your team is getting regular nudges on being their best self during a pandemic.
#4. Ensure data protection
With remote productivity technology comes big responsibility. However, all other industries should be practicing data protection. Still, when working in tech and with software developers, people must ensure that the data shared between the teams is well-protected. As a manager of remote programmers, you must ensure that your employees/teammates are informed about protecting data.
The idea is to make sure they are advised against transferring work data, emails, and other collaborating material to their personal devices. Also, they have an antivirus installed in their own devices in case of emergencies when they have to work from a particular personal device. Make the most of cloud-based software and storage solutions to avoid any mishappening.
#5. Invest in project-collaboration tools
The world of online collaboration is beyond Skype. Many teams consisting of software developers and engineers working remotely make extensive use of tools like Zoom, GitHub, Google Jamboards, Slack, Owl video, and even G-suite. This makes their work much more organized and up to date.
For instance, in case you need to use tools for file sharing and synchronization, you can even use tools like OneDrive, Wimi, and Sampage. These tools are cloud-based and offer regular audit trails, instant messaging, access controls, and workflow management. Your remote teams can be working from different time zones and still be at ease.
This is not it, there are also productivity tools there to enhance the efficiency of programmers in your team, like iDoneThis, Atlassian Stash, and Todoist. As a manager, you need to make sure you invest in the right tools, so your team is able to work with convenience. For yourself to manage various projects at once, you can be using tools like Jira, Trello, and even Zoom to plan daily tasks and assign them to specific programmers.
Believe us, it gets easier once you get the hang of all these tools. They will make your life easy, and your workflow a lot more efficient. After all, this is the new normal now.