Smart working is not just another phrase for remote work as people usually think. It’s all about having the best talent for a specific need, working together regardless of the geographic location. It also has much to do with tools, agile methodologies, processes, empowerment, and trust. Remote work, distributed teams, different and changed working practices, and flexible hours all go under the umbrella of smart working.
Working from the office has become passé
The traditional in-office way of working doesn’t work anymore, and it hasn’t been working for years. Over the last ten years, the trend of remote working has grown by 115%. That’s mainly because job performance depends on technology and skills rather than the location of the job.
The advancement of technology and the pandemic-infused change in humanity’s mindset made us all realize how easy it is to do the job we love. COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken a lot from us. Still, it has taught us a precious lesson: to value our time and make good use of it, focusing on the things that bring us joy. Everything is speeding up, so we must improve our work-life balance and reclaim control over it.
Remote work is here to stay
Leading technology talent becomes easier to acquire when the whole world is the talent pool. In the past, many quality developers had no choice but to settle for a physically available job, even though they didn’t find it fulfilling or inspiring enough. That’s not an issue anymore.
Luckily, more and more companies realize that going back to the old ways of working, i.e., going back to the office, is not something software developers will warmly welcome. That’s why so many companies have started hiring remote workers from all over the globe. What’s more, some companies have completely switched to remote work, forming high-quality distributed teams. Companies refusing to accept that remote work is here to stay are already facing an increased talent turnover, which will worsen as time passes unless they adjust their attitude.
Benefits of working with distributed teams
Distributed software outsourcing teams consist of experienced software developers or software engineers from different geographical locations working on the same project, carefully selected through the vetting process, based on their skill set and experience, to perfectly correspond to the client’s needs and task.
Members of our distributed teams work very well together. They tend to be more productive since people are happier and more interested in their work when they are allowed to work on their terms. They progress faster and their creativity continuously gets boosted. This usually results in them thinking of innovative ideas for working smarter, not harder, thus speeding up the production process.
In addition, having people in many different time zones means that the company never stops working, attracting more clients.
Trust and empower your employees
Employees should be given the benefit of the doubt, and they should be trusted. Results speak for themselves. People should work from home (or elsewhere) if that suits them best. If the work is done, nobody should care from where it was done. Always looking for skills and accountability, rather than physical presence, is crucial.
We all function in different ways, both in private life and at work. The creative process starts to unfold when people are allowed to work at their own pace, still meeting (even being ahead of) deadlines.
If somebody is hired for their skills and knowledge, they have to be given the freedom to do what they do best in a way that they believe works best. It is the only way for them to reach their full potential. The result is: satisfied employees plus a job well done. It’s high time we start treating our talent as the professionals they indeed are.
How management feels about distributed teams
Working with distributed teams improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the whole company. Software engineers and developers have more autonomy and flexibility. Team leads don’t have to bury themselves in work since coordination and motivation are always on a satisfactory level. Managers find it easier to keep track of the process because everything is going smoothly. Clients are happy since deadlines are met and respected, mostly without production delays. The whole C-level is proud because the entire company is in sync, resulting in clients extending their contracts and increasing the revenue. So, it’s a win-win-win-win-win situation.
Managers report an increase in overall productivity, developer satisfaction, and interpersonal relations. In fact, 91% of remote workers claim they feel more productive when working from home, which has become one of the ultimate recipes for talent retention. Augmented productivity and successful project completion are the main results of smart working.
Smart working saves money
Smart working has numerous advantages, not just for employees but for employers as well. It saves companies a significant amount of capital due to lower operating and employee costs, which translates to having additional growth resources at the company’s disposal. A great thing about smart working is that it can easily be adapted to suit any company’s needs.
People are proven to be happier and more productive when working from home. A high level of satisfaction among developers leads to a higher talent retention rate, saving the company even more money.
Not needing to rent a working space significantly adds to any company’s budget. There are no rental fees, bills, or planned or unplanned costs.
Smart working is eco-friendly
There’s no point in saving money if we don’t consider protecting the environment. Working with distributed teams significantly decreases every company’s carbon footprint, thus lowering the negative impact of the business on the environment.
Aside from saving your people from chaotic morning commutes, you are at the same time being responsible towards your surroundings. Always make sure that if you’re making an impact, it’s never a negative one.
Happy people = Productive people
Encouraging remote work allows employees to improve the quality of their lives by achieving a better work-life balance. That is something one can’t put a price on. Employee empowerment results in increased productivity and therefore ensures success. Remote work allows new parents to spend more time together with their newborns or for parents of older children to organize their daily activities more efficiently. Remote work saves people time and money, making them more energized and focused and less stressed. They feel supported and seen.
The autonomy you give your employees comes back to you in the form of loyalty.
There are several tools created to support smart working. From different devices through management systems, communication tools, and virtual attendance systems to cybersecurity, they are here to make our lives easier.
The tools that are probably most important for the majority of remote-friendly and remote-first companies and that all remote workers are familiar with are Slack, Google Calendar, and Zoom.
Slack is an online office with separate rooms for different purposes. Teams use these rooms (called “channels”) to talk to each other, make appointments, brainstorm ideas, send files, and even share funny stuff — just like in a real office and maybe even better.
Google Calendar helps with individual organization, keeping all the daily tasks in order and one place. It also allows others to have insight into our availability, making scheduling meetings less time-consuming.
Zoom serves as an online conference room but the one in which you can be sitting comfortably in your PJs while looking sharp on the screen. (Yes, we all do it, and it’s fantastic!).
There’s no smart working without agile working
A crucial part of smart working is the agile way of thinking and the daily use of agile methodologies. Agile methodologies are frameworks teams and companies use to help them put the agile way of thinking into practice. Scrum has shown to be the most popular agile methodology, alongside XP.
Agile is defined as the ability to create and respond to change as a way of dealing with and ultimately succeeding in an uncertain and turbulent environment. It is similar to the saying: ‘Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.’
We can apply the agile way of thinking to personal and professional life, making it easier for people to accept the changes and challenges that await them. The use of agile methodologies is crucial in the work of every successful software outsourcing company.
If problems are caught early on, it’s easier to get to grips with them and solve them. The same goes for all stages of the process. Following the work and progress daily is essential, so there is enough time for a proper response to change. It doesn’t only increase success and productivity but also collaboration among team members.
Work smarter, not harder. Smart working is the present, and it is the future. As part of a remote-first company that has embraced smart working long ago, I can promise you that this approach can reshape your entire business, boosting your productivity, increasing your employees’ engagement, and streamlining your operations. Try it. I’m sure you won’t regret it.