Categories: Remote developer

Productivity and happy developers

It is a known fact that if an individual is joyful, he/she can function at their best. A common theme in the several talks at Lead Dev was that happy developers show better productivity. Let us have a look at the requisites (meetings, deep work and maintaining common ground) to keep the remote developers and teams happy.

Inclusive meetings

It seems like in some cases not everyone gets equal opportunity to talk and share their thoughts and some people tend to miss out. If there is/are remote workers, either they are not taking part in the conversations or it could become hard to keep up being the only one remote. This is rampant especially if some or all the developers are remote.

A well-organized meeting where everyone gets to talk without any inhibitions is essential. Just for everyone. A place where each attendee can look at every other participant. Adding a mediator who decides who talks in what order seems like a good idea. A meeting experience needs to be wholesome and engaging. A clearly concluded meeting ensures that the participants understand their tasks fully. Consequently, they are expected to work with good productivity.

Concept of deep work: Its role in productivity

One important aspect to boost productivity is to minimize the distractions involved. That is, getting several hundred messages on Slack during work hampers focus. This situation is more prevalent if there are developers working at different time zones. Before beginning the work, the members check from a bundle of messages which are relevant to them. This consumes some time. The more remote developers engage in deep work, the better they will make use of time. Also, it is essential for the organization/team.

As an engineering meeting, you would not want to witness scattered attention among developers where time gets wasted in Slack messages. A solution to kill distractions is to assign a certain time within the working hours. During the time period, there will be a prohibition of Slack conversations. Remote developers do deep work and produce better results. This time can be set with a common agreement among remote developers when they have optimum efficiency. There are several other ways to achieve better focus and deep work practices, but most importantly, clear instructions to the developers about conversations comes handy.

Common ground

Common ground is a set of appropriate knowledge, mutual beliefs and mutual perspectives that help teams operate effectively and faster. Losing common ground is easy. Let us take a situation where important information is overlooked or lost inside several conversations. Hence optimization of common ground becomes necessary.

Here is an approach to communicate common ground. An app named Reacji channeler can be installed on Slack. This tool “allows your team to swiftly, seamlessly copy a message from one channel into another. After installing the app, these tasks need to be done:

(a) Identify common ground

(b) Summarize it and its context

(c) “Reacji” the message

This approach takes a lot of behavior modeling.

A team also needs happy managers

Finally, it is the manager’s responsibility to keep the employees happy. Besides, it is a requirement for the personal development and growth of the team. The development of the current team or scaling the team to take on more projects is vital. Healthy relationships with team members lead to happiness and better quality and quantity of work.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude that remote developers are the future. Remote teams are hard to manage, but if done well, they can lead projects to innumerable heights. More companies should aim at hiring remote developers, as they are incredibly talented and passionate about what they do. Remote developers can potentially provide valuable and satisfactory work.

Adam Davidson

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