The Benefits Of Distributed Teams.

Hiring outstanding individuals and building high-performing teams requires us to think outside of the box and look at the bigger picture, and sometimes into the future. In the era of remote work, that may include hiring outside of your city/state and even national borders.

Global, distributed teams unlock an unprecedented level of flexibility and diversity for their organisations. As remote work becomes more commonplace (particularly post-pandemic) and hiring internationally becomes more straightforward, the shift from centralised to distributed teams hasn’t resulted in effortless processes but some may say the pros outweigh the cons. Research suggests that work from a distance may surpass office labour by 2025.

Organisations such as GitLab and Zapier are big advocates of distributed teams. But what exactly does that mean?

A distributed team is when a group of people work together from various locations. They can work from home, a coworking space, or their local coffee shop. They can also reside in the same country or somewhere around the world. Fully distributed teams operate a remote first model and usually have no headquarters or office spaces.

Even though more and more organisations are embracing this working model, there are still some who have their reservations. A few of these concerns are: 

Poor Quality of Work / Lack of Trust

If you can’t see your team, how do you know they are working? The nature of distributed teams, with employees working at different times and locations, makes it hard for some managers to trust remote members of their team. However, this can easily be rectified with managers setting clear expectations, guidelines and measurable goals. There are a plethora of online project management workflow tools that support this process and make it easy to effectively manage team productivity.

Lack of company culture

One of the biggest challenges that comes with having a global workforce is that of trying to build and maintain a unified company culture across the board. With the lack of in person interaction, remote employees may often feel left out and excluded from the company culture. This can be resolved by creating opportunities for team building / bonding. Think beyond traditional in-office parties.

Different Time Zones

If a distributed team is made up of employees that span multiple time zones it can be difficult to get your team in the same place at the same time, for example for meetings. Scheduling team meetings or getting quick responses from remote coworkers is more difficult than when you sit next to them in an office environment. The key to solving this problem is by finding a time that overlaps across the board to help choose meeting times that are during everyone’s typical work hours. For some, this might be in the morning while for others, it’s the afternoon or early evening. This also lets you know when you can expect quick responses from remote members of your team.

More recently, advancements in cloud-based productivity tools, video conferencing and collaboration apps have made the popularity of distributed work explode. The globalisation of business (including newer start-up organisations) necessitates distributed work and here are some of the reasons why they should:

Access to Global Talent

Geographic boundaries and distance don’t matter anymore. Probably the greatest benefit of having a distributed workforce is the ability to find and employ the absolute best talent from all over the world. Not being limited to hiring only local candidates living within a commuting distance from the office means having access to a massive pool of qualified and skilled workers from all across the globe.

Bigger reach and more accessibility

Hiring people from around the world increases your organisation’s time-effectiveness. Not only that but distributed companies also have multilingual coverage. By having employees in different time zones, a company can strategically increase its daily working hours and have at least one team/person always available.

Increased Productivity

Distributed work allows employees to prioritise their workload, giving liberation from commuting and spending on-the-clock hours getting it done. They’re also able to take breaks whenever they need and design a schedule that suits them, in turn boosting productivity. Remote staff have a lower attrition rate and more working hours per year because they usually have fewer sick days and take shorter breaks.

Cost - effective

Drawing from the deepest pool of talent usually means you’ll have to rent that space in the city with a high cost. With a remote operation, you can increase headcount without additional office space rent, furniture, electricity, food and beverage costs, and other expenses. 

As well as cost savings with the above, “varying wages based on geography can help people to afford a similar standard of living for similar work, in different locations. Salary data shows wide variations in people's perception of how much compensation equates to emotional well-being, so pay based on geography can help even out living standard disparities.” - 

Salaries across the globe for Software Engineers, for example, give an indication of the kind of savings you can expect with distributed teams.

Overall, a happier workforce is the best workforce to have, however it is that you decide is the best way for your business to achieve that. At 4zero, we pride ourselves on helping you to find the best talent for your business. We put a huge emphasis on the importance of value alignment and are happy to support you to build your distributed workforce. 

If you’d like to hear how we can give you the edge in the hunt for distributed talent, please get in touch with a member of the team today:

UK & Europe: +44208 089 8300
US: +1(929) 566 2860

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