Tips for Managing Remote IT Employees

IT projects are collaborative efforts. There usually isn’t a solo programmer sitting alone in a room, cranking out code. Even if there is a single programmer, getting an application from concept to deployment requires other people to perform testing, packaging, and support.

When the tech workers are remote from each other or from the product owner defining the project requirements, coordinating and collaborating becomes more challenging and effective management of a team is even more critical. Use these tips to ensure that your remote IT workers are able to succeed despite being separated from the rest of the organization.

1. Make sure local and remote employees communicate about the project. Include the remote team in team meetings through videoconferencing and conference calls. Solicit input from the people on the phone as well as the people in the room. Use other collaboration tools to encourage team members to communicate no matter where they’re located.

2. Make sure remote employees know what their responsibilities are. Because there’s less opportunity to intervene with a remote team, it’s important that they know from the beginning what they’re expected to do and how they’re expected to respond to problems they encounter, particularly if they’re in a different time zone from the rest of the team.

3. Don’t expect a remote team to perform functions that are best handled locally. Some IT functions, like requirements analysis, require spending significant time talking with a business expert. It’s best to perform that task in person, so that nuances of tone aren’t lost in static during a bad connection.

4. Take advantage of time zone differences. When possible, assign work so that dependent tasks are in different time zones. For instance, if testers and coders are in different time zones, testers can send a bug report at the end of their day and find fixes ready to be retested when they come back in the next morning.

5. Make sure remote employees have all the technical tools they need. It’s hard to work effectively when you don’t have the tools. Give remote employees the software and licenses they need to perform their tasks.

Whether you need to staff a local office or want to hire a remote employee, InReach will apply its 20 years of IT recruiting experience to help you find the best possible worker. Contact us to learn how our Dallas IT staffing services can help you meet your hiring needs.