What is a distributed team

Definition of Distributed Team

  1. : a collection of people working within a decentralized structure toward a common goal
  2. : a better, faster, and smarter way to work with people

Remote work has changed things. Some people’s eyes have been opened, and now we can get on with it. Stop making people come into an office every day when they don’t need to. Are you willing to at least go that far? Then why not go farther? If no one HAS to come into an office, then no one has to live NEAR an office. It’s time to stop solving new problems in old ways. Do you want the best team? Stop settling for the people that live next door, and open up your team to a world of possibilities.

How Will A Distributed Team Help Your Business?

Let’s be blunt, we don’t know your business, but there are certain problems that every business has in common. The truth is, when you plug a distributed team into your daily business operation, some problems simply disappear. It’s not magic. Just a smarter, more modern way of doing things.

  • Stop Renting Offices—Offices could become a thing of the past, and when you start building a distributed team, your bottom line is going to enjoy the missing cost of extra office space. We could quote numbers back and forth, but you know how much it costs simply to have a place for people to go to not to mention all the costs that real estate agents and property managers don’t want you to think about like cleaning, maintenance, IT, and countless more ways to spend money that don’t improve your product.
  • People Are Happier—Did you know that after the pandemic, 70% of workers spent at least some time working from home? Of those millions, 77% wanted to keep doing it. People like it. Happier employees are never a negative. No commute times are an obvious benefit, but why stop there? Many positions can give people the opportunity to work when they can or when they want to.
  • More Work Gets Done—Most wouldn’t have predicted it, but oddly enough, happy employees get more stuff done. It can be hard to come to terms with, but forcing people to drive to an office tired, and then surrounding them with potential distractions, has a negative impact on their productivity. A recent study suggests that working from home can boost productivity up to 5%. 
  • Diversity—You’ve heard it said a million times and a million ways. A diverse workforce is a better workforce. Often just one different perspective can give your team a whole new outlook on the tasks at hand. Before, you were limited. You hired people next door, and they probably thought a lot like you. With the old work model, it can just be hard to build a diverse team, but with a distributed model, especially one across the globe, that diversity comes naturally.
  • Evolve While You Sleep—Speaking of the world, if you hire people from all over, then you have people in vastly different time zones. This means a problem that comes up at 5 o’clock no longer has to be a problem for tomorrow or even a problem that keeps everyone at work late. The problem can get worked while you sleep!

Hire the Best Talent—Software development, more so than most skills, is a skill without borders. There are people in every country learning how to program, and many of them are simply better than what the current local talent pool has available. Let’s be blunt, the best, don’t live here. With a distributed team, you open up your hiring horizons, especially if you partner with a skilled Employer of Record like Truss.

How Can You Prepare?

Have you already been doing a lot of remote work in your business? With the last 2 years behind us, a lot of businesses have learned that remote work is okay, and the growing pains of opening up that option have already been endured. There are some challenges though.

On the software side, you need to ensure that you have the infrastructure in place to share files, manage security, chat, video conference, and manage projects. Additionally, anything that’s specific to your business and the functioning of your teams needs to be made available remotely.

Working across time zones can be a benefit, but without proper management, it can be a struggle too. It’s mostly due to a lack of live communication. Interestingly though, live communication can often lead to decreased productivity. Instead, you can shift to asynchronous communication to keep everyone on the same page. It can also help to arrange some overlap time between your schedules. If not with the whole team, then at least with key members.

People are ultimately social animals. Even programmers. A lack of face-to-face interaction can be a bummer for anyone. You have multiple ways to solve this though. Remember that video conferencing software that we said is a must? Well use it, and ensure that people have the ability to turn those cameras on. You can even do virtual team building and don’t rule out the option of occasional face-to-face meet-ups in the real world. Even if it’s just some of your employees getting together in their home country, encourage and enable it.

Distributed Teams Aren’t Going Away

Every industry, especially tech, is prone to fads, trends, and bubbles. Some ideas come and go. Others stay and revolutionize. Distributed teams fall into the latter category. The benefits simply outweigh any costs, and when that happens in any industry, it’s the early adopters that will be able to benefit the most. If you aren’t at least considering a distributed team, then you are behind the curve. And if you are considering a distributed team, then Truss is here to help.