At Cloud Employee, we are loud and proud advocates of remote and distributed teams to promote business growth and flexibility. Our Account Managers and dedicated developers in our Philippines offices work as an extended office of our client’s in the US, Europe and Australia. Geographic distance no longer needs to create distant relationships, and this is why.
Communication, Communication, Communication
The key to working remotely successfully is good communication. It is an old adage, but it is never the less true. We encourage our developers to speak with clients frequently and get to know how they prefer to communicate, whether that is email, instant messenger, video or audio chat. Different people prefer different means however the most important point is finding what works best and maintaining it. Early on in relationships, we have found that using video conferencing really helps to make the geographical distance seem non-existent with all parties being able to see all of those important non-verbal cues. At times clients are busy and don't have time to deal with staff, however, we recommend, without fail, that remote staff provide their manager's with an 'end of the day report' summarising what they got done.
At Cloud Employee we have lots of employees who have become very important members of our clients' teams in the UK or elsewhere. Our in-house culture is one of friendliness, efficiency, and adaptability. However, all developers hired at Cloud Employee are encouraged to be open, enthusiastic and embrace the culture of the Western client and their in-house team. First and foremost our dedicated developers are a member of the clients' team. We insist on onboarding a new employee as if they were physically in your offices and then replicating a few of clients' own office perks and ethos. Our office is the clients' office.
Technology and Internet speeds are ever improving and it is important to fully embrace the options we now have at our fingertips. Our employees love technology and are always keen to try out the latest communication and project management apps in the market. We are committed to utilising great communication technology so we can work in a seamless way with clients. We set up whatever clients instruct and may us use in-house with Skype, Slack and Github being typical. We will also make efforts to suggest technology which we think will help our clients. Hubstaff, Harvest and Jing are personal favourites of ours.
Time Zone - What Time Zone?
Having your remote staff work on the same time zone office hours as you are is much more efficient than traditional outsourcing. Some offshore providers and developers working via freelancer sites might often overlap for just a couple of hours each day which can become very frustrating when you need answers or things changing quickly. The best setup is to have your team working whilst you are working, that way you can communicate real-time as though your team was sat right next to you. At Cloud Employee our Developers clock-in the same time as their bosses do and take off clients' local holidays.
Our employees typically work thousands of miles away from their clients. However, through personality, culture, and some great technology, remote working no longer needs to feel so remote. It is true that individuals on both sides need to be committed to keeping the lines of communication open, but that is the same for any working relationship; remote or not.