Tips, Tools to Make Remote Development Work Productive
Remote work is getting trendy and considerably increasing by leaps and bounds. Remote work has a plethora of benefits for both company and remote developers. If you are a company, you need to spend extra bucks on space and resources for in house developers while hiring a remote worker will help you save some big bucks. At the same time, remote worker or developer will find it very helpful as he/she gets independence and peace of mind while working remotely. In fact, you can have a great balance between work and life. But, everything does not go as planned, sometimes. You come across some simple or even critical issues that you need to go over.
So, from the very beginning, you need to make a strategy and remain focused so that you may not face any issues that are inevitable. In this article we have tried to help our developers, especially those who are working remotely, to get rid of the hurdles that occur while working remotely.
What is Remote Work?
Any work, whether it is part-time, full-time, or project-based that a person is doing from outside of the office or the country, is called remote work. If you are working as a remote software developer, you can complete the task from home, coffee shop or from anywhere you are comfortable with. All you need to have a laptop, excellent internet facility, and power (when needed).
What Working Remotely Really Means
Working remotely means you are working for for someone or a company without going to the office. That's a great way to utilize your talent if you are living far off from the company or want to work for a company without getting away from your family.
Remote Work Benefits
There are plenty of benefits of remote development work, such as enhanced productivity, flexibility, freedom, better focus, and much more. However, there some other significant benefits of working remotely.
No Need to Go Office
When you are at the workplace, the formal outfit is a must-have thing, though most of offices or workplaces have set aside this rule. Huh, you don't need to arrange formal outfits and you can work wearing your pajamas. Besides, you can save on traveling expense, such as a car, fuel, Uber, etc.
Haste...? No Haste...!
Waking up early in the morning is the most irritating thing that most of us face in day-to-day life. Thankfully, you don't need to wake up two hours before the job. Yes, you can start working just after getting straight out of bed. You will save at least two to four hours a day.
Harsh Weather...? No worries!
If you are working remotely, you need not to worry about harsh weather and getting worried due to late transportation.
So, these are some of the benefits that you may get when you work remotely. However, working remotely brings you some challenges as well. So, you need to be ready to face them.
Challenges you have to face during Remote Work
Working remotely brings you many advantages and is a great way to secure a work-life balance. But, this does not mean you are going to get everything as expected as you have some challenges before you as well.
Here are some of the top challenges you might face while working as a remote professional;
- Remain focused and engaged with work
- Tackling distractions
- Keeping moral up throughout the day
- Remain productive
- Managing your time and projects
- Maintaining communication with clients
Build a Proper Strategies to Combat Remote Work Challenges
If you are working as a remote software developer, you need to know that working remotely is quite different from that of working in the office. If you are new and looking to make your career as a remote software developer, then you need to be serious a bit. A transition such as switching to remote from office may not go well with you if you are not careful. So, in the following paragraphs, we'll be discussing about strategies and tips for remote developers how they can make a remote working a successful move.
So, what are the things which you need to apply to overcome the possible challenges while working remotely? Remote workers can be of many types, though we have received questions mostly from remote developers, we will be discussing keeping remote software developers in mind. Here're some of the tips that might help you overcome every issue and challenge that you might face.
While working as a remote web developer, communication is the first challenge you may come across. A communication gap can make your initiative in vain. Hence, you are responsible for remain connected with your clients, team, partner, or whatever role you are working with. Utilizing the possible communication channel, you need to keep up regular communication. You don't need to put extra efforts to communicate with a manager or team members when you are in the office, though while working remotely, you need to put added efforts to make natural communication.
Improve Communication Skills
Being a developer, your primary focus has been over development activities, and you may not be serious regarding communication skills. However, this is a very important thing when you are working remotely. You need to be more focused on how you communicate and ensure that nothing is lost in translation. Whether you are writing an email, chatting through text, software documentation, or speaking over calls and video conferencing, excellent communication skills are the priority.
If Possible, Arrange Face to Face Meeting
If you are a local and working remotely for a local company, partner, etc., you can arrange face-to-face meetings, frequently. Apart from calls, texts, and video conferencing, you need to arrange a face-to-face meeting, frequently. However, if you are working from other countries, then you should spend more time video conferencing, utilizing the latest video chat applications such as Skype, Slack, and others.
Skimping on Workstation Set Up
While working remotely, developers often do not put much attention over their working environment and set up. So, ensure that you have a proper workstation set up, including the comfortable chair, a proper desk, monitor, laptops, and keyboard and mouse.
Cope up with Time Zone Difficulties
If you are working from country like India for your clients, or company in London, New York or Canada, then you need to ensure the timing as to when you are working on the projects, they would be sleeping. So, you need to pre-plan it and schedule every day meeting based the comfort and availability of both parties to discuss about the projects and daily plans. It will help you avoid the communication gap and increases response time.
We have focused more on communication, and that is the most important thing when you work remotely. So, you need to remain focused on communication. As you have gone through some important tips, now we'll explore some tools which help dedicated remote developers to stay productive, connected, and keep you on the right track. But before we get some tools,
let's discuss on...
Some Important Facts about Remote Job
Remote working is continuously growing, and around 50% of the global workforce work remotely atleast for 2.5 days a week. And the same survey suggest that, Remote job is beneficial for both remote workers and company as flexible working results in increased productivity, creativity and maintains high retention rate while it also provides job satisfaction to remote workers and keeps manager and boss happy. (Source: International Workplace Group)
Overall, remote working comes up with plenty of benefits for both company and remote workers and helps them maintain a balance between work and life.
Furthermore, apart from being self-motivated, experienced, and strong communication skills, it is important for remote workers to be tech-savvy as collaboration is the most important thing to help you become better and productive.
There are many, many tools which help you stay collaborating, communicating, and right on track. Here's what.
List of Tools best Suitable for Remote Developers
When it comes to remote working, the communication gap is the first thing you need to solve. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools which help you make better communication than what it used to be in the past. Let's check them out.
Slack is the most popular team collaboration tool, used within the organization, offering a range of IRC-like features such as persistent chat rooms, private groups, and direct messaging. Importantly, you can search all your messages, files, and documents shared between you and your team.
Slack can be connected with many other tools, customized according to the business environment, set up a notification, and much more. You are just a push away and you are connected to your entire team in no time.
One app where you can chat and jump on calls (Video or Audio) without switching to a different system is 'Skype.' You may have heard about it and even may have used it. It's a great communication platform where you can initiate chat, switch to video or audio calls, including group calls, and much more. Furthermore, Skype is compatible with your mobile, desktop, tab, etc.
Development and Design Collaboration Tools
If you are working as a remote software developer, designer, or programmer, real-time collaboration is important. You need to establish a system which will work for everyone in your team -thanks to the technological advancement which makes things possible today.
The tools, InVision, help you design, create and share the projects with all your team members by creating an interactive prototype so other members, especially the one who is working remotely, can understand the project properly. All members in the team are connected through the InVision can track feedback from everyone and allow every member in the team to wireframe, plan, and design together.
You may be aware of GitHub as it is the most popular and important source-code hosting platform which help both remote workers and in-house team. By utilizing the most popular collabrative code sharing tool, you get a multi-level access system. GitHub offers a secure development environment which can be integrated easily with other services.
Managing Project & Maintaining Workflow
If you are not with the team, managing project and maintaining workflows can be complicated for both manager and remote developers. Here are some tools which can help you beat the issue with ease.
One of the best issue and project tracking software tools, Atlassian Jira has developed to help your development team plan, track, and release great software. It's a cross-platform Agile software development and team collaboration which help every member in the team to enhance productivity by tracking issues and solving them quickly.
Being one of the best web-based list-making applications, Trello helps to create products, lists, cards, and boards and organize and prioritize projects. It enables you to manage and assign tasks to freelancers or remote software developers. You can create a to-do list so that you can work according to the plan. If you have some files and images to attach or share, Trello has this feature to help do that and share with every member of the team.
When you work remotely, security is one of the significant concerns you have to look after. You need to have a strong password for every account. However, it will be very tough to remember all of them. That is where security tools come into play, helping you fix the issues smartly. Here is some important one.
It acts as a gatekeeper and enables you to store your passwords and licenses, including other sensitive information which is guarded by PBKDF2-guarded master password. You can add new members and permit them to access files and passwords. You can access and log in to all sites in just one click.
As its tagline suggests, "LastPass remembers all your passwords, so you don't have to." LastPass helps you can share the passwords with a team with plenty of other options. Not only passwords, but it can also secure your notes and protect it using the master password. Being a remote developer, these tools will help you keep your docs, and passwords safe and protected from breaches.
If you are working remotely or looking for full-time remote development work, then you have some challenging obstacles ahead that you need to short them out smartly to work like a pro in the industry. Having gone through the tips and tools above, you may get some robust and long term solutions to remain productive while working as remote software development. In case as company, if you want to leverage the benefits of remote developers, then here is a guideline to hire remote developers which helps you to make a better decision.