Top-6 Challenges Tech Startups Face When Hiring Remotely in 2023

hiring remotely

By Slava Todavchich

Remote work has been popular worldwide for the past five years and has become a necessity since the Covid pandemic outbreak. According to LinkedIn, the number of remote jobs increased by 357% in 2021. And this is relevant only for full-time employees, despite the fact the changes have affected all business niches.

As remote work has become the norm, you should know the challenges and benefits managers face. Moqod has distributed tech teams since its foundation in 2013. Additionally, we conducted our own industry research and determined how to manage processes and project development effectively.

Challenges of Remote Work

No matter how idealistic the idea of self-management and time planning may sound, it causes problems for individual employees and company managers.

Moqod analysts surveyed the complexity of managing remote IT teams in the USA and Europe. The survey results show that poor communication, time tracking and productivity monitoring, difficulties in preventing developer burnout, compatibility with corporate culture, cultural differences, security issues, and timezone overlap are among the biggest challenges of managing remote teams.

The numbers are the following:

These challenges are solvable, but often most companies ignore them. And in vain, because overall work productivity and efficiency depend on competent management. Surveyed companies are taking a holistic approach to address the challenges posed by remote work and are looking to create a positive and supportive work environment. This includes improving HR processes, focusing on communication, and making the use of technology more effective. 

Let’s dive deeper into these key challenges of managing remote teams and explore effective methods to make this process easier.

1. Poor Communication

When hiring remote employees or outsourcing a project, you will likely encounter communication issues like misunderstandings. It’s true, especially for multicultural remote teams. Also, corrections may be received by subordinates with delays, and work difficulties may remain silent. As a result, this will lead to disruptions in the company’s schedules and productivity, thus losing budget targets and perceived reputation.

Of course, popular tools like Trello, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack, and others help to support collaboration and solve communication issues. These tools partially level out the difficulties of communication and re-establish a remote workflow.

But it’s not enough. Here are usefull tips to help improve communication and reduce misunderstandings among remote tech teams:

  • Establish clear communication protocols: Create guidelines for communication to ensure everyone knows what to expect. For example, specify response times for emails, how often to check in, and when to use which communication method.
  • Schedule regular check-ins: Schedule regular meetings or check-ins to discuss progress, clarify tasks and address issues. This could be a weekly team meeting or daily stand-up calls.
  • Clarify expectations: Ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and deadlines. This can be done through regular communication, project planning, and setting up clear goals.
  • Encourage feedback: Encourage open communication and constructive feedback within the team. This can help identify potential issues or misunderstandings before they become critical problems.
  • Foster a positive team culture: Promote a positive team culture that values collaboration, diversity, and mutual respect. Encourage team members to share ideas and opinions and create a safe space for open communication.

By implementing these strategies, you can help your remote tech team to improve communication, increase productivity, and build a more collaborative and positive work environment.

2. Time Tracking and Productivity Monitoring

Similar to the previous challenge, time tracking is one of the key issues of remote work. You will need technology solutions to synchronize the interaction between all distant team members to effectively manage contractors or remote employees: Slack, YouTrack, Pivotal Tracker, Asana, Connecteam, or others. 

To measure employee productivity in tech companies, various methods are employed, such as the widely-known SPACE and OKR frameworks. The SPACE framework evaluates the satisfaction of specialists, team performance, employee activity, communication within the team, and effectiveness and flow. However, note, that too many metrics can lead to decreased productivity. 

On the other hand, OKR, which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a method used in project management that allows organizations to define their own metrics, such as the frequency of code checks and commits, to measure developers’ productivity. While OKR may not provide enough information to evaluate the whole team’s effectiveness, it enables comparison of several IT professionals.

As a rule, dedicated or outsourcing teams and companies providing services for remote development already have their own methods and proving tools, which level out productivity issues. Therefore working with contractors can really help with this challenge.

3. Preventing Developers’ Burnout

Preventing developer burnout can be a challenge even in a traditional office setting, and it becomes even more difficult in a remote work environment. However, there are several things you can do to help prevent burnout among remote developers:

  • Encourage work-life balance: Remote work can blur the line between work and personal life. Encourage your developers to set clear boundaries between their work and personal life, and prioritize taking time off to recharge.
  • Provide regular feedback: Providing timely feedback is essential to keep developers motivated and engaged. This can help developers to feel valued and appreciated, which can help prevent burnout.
  • Encourage breaks: It’s easy for remote developers to fall into the trap of working for long hours without taking breaks. Motivate your developers to take regular breaks for mental decompress and rest their eyes, stretch, or take a short walk.
  • Provide support for mental health: Burnout can often be caused by stress and anxiety. Consider providing external access to mental health professionals and resources such as therapy or counseling and internal resources like brochures or booklets on mental health.
  • Promote social interaction: Working remotely can be isolating, and social interaction is essential to maintain morale and prevent burnout. Encourage your developers to participate in team-building activities, such as virtual team lunches and happy hours.

4. Compatibility with Corporate Culture

It’s important to ensure that remote teams are aligned with the organization’s values and culture to maintain a sense of belonging and achieve shared goals.

Here are some tips to help you maintain compatibility with corporate culture when working with remote tech teams:

  • Clearly communicate the company’s values, mission, and goals to the remote tech team. Make sure everyone understands the company’s culture and how their work aligns with the overall vision.
  • Establish team culture and norms that respect with the company’s culture. Encourage team members to participate in the creation of team norms and identify ways to maintain a shared sense of culture despite working remotely.
  • Ensure inclusion: As we mention before, remote work can be isolating, so it’s important to ensure that everyone feels included and valued. Consider the level of diversity and inclusion initiatives in your company and ensure that everyone has an equal voice and is heard.
  • Collaboration is key to building a cohesive team and fostering a strong culture. Use collaboration tools to ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute to projects and initiatives, and encourage cross-functional team collaboration.
  • Emphasize the importance of results. Remote work requires a focus on results, not just activities. Emphasize the importance of meeting deadlines, delivering high-quality work, and achieving measurable results.

As you can see, these tips are strongly related to the previous ones. By creating a positive and productive work environment you can overcome most of the remote work issues and not just follow the company’s overall mission and values.

5. Cultural Differences

This issue is relevant for those teams who hire employees globally. Differences in communication styles, work ethic, and expectations can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and reduced productivity. The tips are similar to those above we considered speaking of communication challenges.

Additionally, you should remind team members to respect and value each other’s cultural differences. Provide training on cultural differences and promote open communication to address any misunderstandings. 

Another piece of advice we use in our distributed team of Moqod is celebrating cultural events and holidays. That’s how we promote understanding and appreciation for diversity. We encourage team members to share their cultural traditions. 

6. Security issues

Security is a critical aspect of the development cycle, particularly in the context of remote work. Of course, you should have security policies that outline the acceptable use of company devices, networks, and data. Also, it’s crucial to educate employees on the importance of security and provide training on how to recognize and avoid security threats. 

Working with contractors and outsourcing companies, you need to ensure that the partner will protect your data and product. They have the responsibility to guarantee a high level of security for their infrastructure, processes, and code.

Another tip is to implement monitoring tools and systems to detect and respond to security threats. Conducting regular security audits and assessments can help to identify potential vulnerabilities.

Let’s Summarize

Remote international teams can help startups to expand their reach and tap into new markets. With team members located in different parts of the world, startups can gain a better understanding of local customs and cultures, which can be useful when expanding into new markets globally.

Therefore, you should think about working with remote development teams to develop your project. Besides, this approach could save your budget and provide the best collaboration experience.

About the Author

slave todavchichSlava Todavchich is the CEO and founder of Moqod, a software development company with a global approach headquartered in Amsterdam. As a Dutch tech entrepreneur with a Ukrainian background, Slava has a unique perspective on the global business landscape. He is passionate about sharing his wealth of experience in starting businesses in different countries, launching startups, relocating teams, and providing high-level software development services.

Slava is committed to driving innovation and excellence in the tech industry. He has a proven track record of building startup tech teams and empowering teams to achieve their full potential. 

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