Complete Guide to Remote Teams: How to Hire and Manage Remote Developers

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Julia Sakovich
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Oct 25, 2022

If some years or, better say, decades ago, remote work was something extraordinary. Today it has become a standard for the IT industry. These days many businesses hire remote developers instead of building in-house teams that are supposed to work in companies’ offices.

The modern business environment provides a lot of freedom and flexibility when choosing the model for establishing cooperation with remote specialists. With an IT staff augmentation model and the possibility of hiring a dedicated software development team, companies can avoid many issues associated with hiring and onboarding. That’s why the demand for remote specialists is growing.

This article is for those who are planning to hire remote development teams. We explain the benefits of this work model and share practical tips that will help you understand how cooperation with remote developers can be organized.

Remote workers: statistics and numbers

In 2020 the world faced a global pandemic. Governments and businesses had no idea how to deal with the consequences, protect people, and minimize financial losses. The winners were companies that adapted to a new reality. It was the beginning of a work-from-home era.

Even though today we are not experiencing any serious COVID-19 measures, we can travel practically without any restrictions and attend offices if we want to; many businesses prefer to continue working remotely.

According to the studies conducted by Upwork, in 2025, over 36 million US residents will work from home, which means that this number will practically double from the pre-pandemic period.

Upwork’s analysis has also revealed that more than 70% of all the departments will have remote employees by 2028.

Of course, when we say there will be remote employees in different departments, it doesn’t mean all team members will work from home five days a week. Companies can also introduce hybrid models when they hire remote programmers or other experts. And we will touch on this topic a little bit further.

What is a remote team?

Remote teams are also known as distributed teams. They comprise workers (independent contractors and employees) who perform their job responsibilities from different locations. They can live in different towns, countries, and time zones.

Though this business model is not something extremely new, with cloud-based tools, it became significantly easier to build remote collaboration, assign tasks, monitor progress, and communicate with team members who live in another corner of the world.

Remote-first vs. remote-friendly

If you have already started to research the topic of remote work, you probably already know that two types of companies support this model: remote-first and remote-friendly. Companies from the first category allow their teams to work from any corner of the world without visiting an office. The second group of companies (also called hybrid) lets workers fulfill their job responsibilities from home, but there can be occasions when employees are required to work from the office.

Remote-first companies have to organize all the processes so that the members of their teams can comfortably work without any interruptions and issues caused by the fact that they cannot cooperate with their colleagues in person.

Remote-friendly businesses have to create and implement processes for both work-from-home and traditional office formats. And usually, this task is more complicated than creating solid remote work experiences for employees.

Of course, both approaches have pluses and minuses. But it is important to bear in mind that if you choose a hybrid model, you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of global hiring. Instead, you will have to hire specialists who live in such proximity that allows them to come to the office semi-regularly.

Why should you consider hiring a remote team?

Working with a remote team of software developers has a lot of advantages that positively influence overall business productivity and profitability. So let’s have a closer look at them.

Employees can enjoy a better work-life balance

In one of our previously published blog posts, we’ve already told readers about the importance of workers’ mental health. Happy employees can work with enthusiasm and cope with all tasks faster and more efficiently than those who are depressed and dissatisfied. In addition, by working from home, developers can better plan their time, have some rest when needed, and schedule various activities after working hours without spending time on their travels from their offices to home.

You, as an employer, should clearly understand that the more comfortable your team members feel, the better results you can expect.

You get access to a rich pool of the most talented employees

If you decide to hire remote programmers, you do not need to look for those specialists who live in your town or city, or even country. The global talent pool is available for you; all you need to do is find the experts whose skills and knowledge will suit your project and business specificity.

You do not need to spend your budget on a physical office

If you do not need to pay rental fees, regularly update equipment and buy many things your employees will use in their everyday work, you can save huge amounts of money annually.

You can expand to new regions

When you have a remote team, especially international, you can organize practically a 24/7 work regime due to the time zones that your employees live in. Moreover, such an approach can help you establish your brand’s presence worldwide and increase social awareness with less effort.

Given all the mentioned benefits, hiring remote developers can be a very cool idea but do not forget about the challenges and pitfalls traditionally associated with this kind of work.

Have a look at our article, where we’ve shared practical tips that will facilitate this task for you!

Read it now

Challenges of remote work for companies

We are not going to talk about such things as difficulties in concentrating. These are purely individual challenges, and every person should decide whether remote work suits them. So instead, let’s focus on those issues companies have to deal with.

  • Time zones. On the one hand, as we’ve mentioned above, you can use this peculiarity as a benefit. On the other hand, however, it can become a problem when organizing a meeting with your team. But it is always possible to find a solution that will be at least comparatively comfortable for all participants.
  • Lack of control and coordination. At first glance, it can seem that your developers are far away from you, so you can’t control their work. But thanks to various modern apps and tools, you can easily manage tasks, track progress, and communicate with programmers even at a distance. You can also read out tips for managing remote teams.
  • Payroll and tax compliance. Yes, this point can seem frightening if you have never had an international team. When you start hiring specialists in a country for the first time, you need to consider the used currency and exchange rates, minimum wage requirements, payment methods approved as legal, tax rates, mandatory benefits for employees, etc. But the good news is that when you work with one of the outsourcing software development companies, you do not need to care about all these things. Your software partner will be responsible for all these administrative tasks.
  • Compliance with labor laws in different countries. All countries have legislation and requirements regarding termination, annual leave, employment, taxes, and documentation. When working with an outstaffing vendor, everything is not painful.

How to hire remote developers?

Today there are several approaches you can use if you have decided to build a remote team.

You can:

  1. Hire developers (and other specialists) as independent contractors. Cooperation with independent contractors (freelancers) can be a good and cost-efficient choice. You get access to a global pool of talents and can hire someone whose expertise and skills perfectly suit you, but there are some risks that you should be aware of. Usually, contractors are not fully engaged in your project, which may cause serious issues.
  2. Open a branch office/subsidiary in a foreign country. If you want to strengthen your positions in a particular market and are confident that you want to hire specialists in that one location, opening a subsidiary or a branch can be rather sensible. However, it requires investments and a deep analysis of the country’s requirements regarding its taxation system and labor laws.
  3. Establish cooperation with an outsourcing company. This option is the best for those who want to hire specialists from all over the world and avoid any issues related to regulation compliance, payrolls, and taxation. You just need to find a reliable vendor, share your requirements and relax as all the recruiting, onboarding, and other administrative processes won’t be your responsibility. In addition, you will not need to sign any contracts with remote employees directly. Instead, your outsourcing company will do it for you.

We can provide you with access to a huge pool of talent.

How to pay remote workers?

This is one of the fundamental questions for those who hire remote development teams. And the answer will depend on the hiring model you’ve chosen and where your remote employees live.

If this specialist lives in the same country where your business is registered, the payment process will be the same as when you pay your office-based staff. You will add this employee to your payroll system and deduct necessary taxes.

The same principles will be applied when you have a foreign subsidiary. But in that case, you must be attentive to the local rules and laws. However, generally, there won’t be any differences between the cases when your developer works from home or in the office.

If you hire a freelancer, you usually establish cooperation with such a specialist via platforms like Upwork and conduct payments at a set period of time via digital payment services like Paypal or bank and ACH transfers. You are responsible for making payments but not taxes. Independent contractors have to deal with these questions on their own.

And finally, when you work with a third-party partner, such as Geomotiv, that provides outsourcing services, all tasks related to salary payments, taxation, employees’ benefits, etc. will be fulfilled for you. Therefore, when you work with us, you can be sure that you will avoid any possible mistakes and penalties related to the peculiarities of legislation in different countries.

Useful tips for managing remote teams

It may seem challenging for traditional businesses to manage remote teams as it is impossible to rebuild a business structure fully. However, let us share some tips to help you efficiently manage your remote employees.

  1. Track employees’ performance. It is highly recommended to track the performance of your staff, define new achievements and show your appreciation. As a manager, people should feel that you take care of them even if you never meet them in person.
  2. Conduct remote team-building activities and training. Though your employees work remotely, they should still feel they are a team. Online informal meetings and games will help them to feel more relaxed and comfortable, and training activities will help to develop new skills.
  3. Provide tools for effective communication and collaboration. Thanks to modern apps, it is quite simple to coordinate remote work. Among the best tools for remote workers, we can mention Slack, Asana, Google Meet, Trello, Jira, and many others.
  4. Quickly solve technical issues. The less time you need to deal with tech issues, the more loyal developers you have.
  5. Mind time zones. Though it is obvious that with different time zones, there can be some challenges in finding time for meetings or calls that will suit everyone perfectly well, try to find the time that at least won’t break your employees’ private lives.
  6. Set clear processes. As all your employees work from different locations, ensure that all of them understand all the steps of the business processes you follow.

Instead of a final word

Hiring remote developers can be a great solution for many businesses. But, of course, working with employees from abroad can be a challenge. But if you do not want to dive deep into all the peculiarities of the onboarding process, payrolls, and taxation, you can find a partner who will take all these responsibilities. 

Suppose you choose Geomotiv as your outsourcing company. In that case, you can fully focus on your core business activities while we do everything for you: hiring and onboarding to making payments and dealing with documentation. Sounds interesting? Just contact us! We will be happy to hear from you and to discuss our possible cooperation.

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