The old school “9 to 5” work day doesn’t exist when you have teammates in different time zones, and let’s just say this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
VentureDevs is composed of our tech team in Poland and our business team located in the US. Within each country we have offices or central working hubs in Poznan, Lublin, New York, and Los Angeles. On top of that, we work with companies across the globe — in cities ranging from Hong Kong to Sydney, Los Angeles to New York, and Stockholm to Berlin. And, we set up project teams to augment our clients’ existing operations, which varies greatly from client to client. As a result, we support a flexible working environment that allows for collaboration across the varying time zones and working styles. This results in a better relationship with our clients and a more accommodating working schedule for our team members.Venturedevs has always been a partially distributed team, and we in turn build and manage teams to work remotely for our clients. We’ve found there are many benefits to supporting this working style, including these two major business advantages: Increased productivity and access to better talent. Let’s dive into each:
Differing schedules pushes you to better prioritize your meetings and working methods for more productivity. Face-to-face meetings are essential to working together, but modern technology allows us to expand the definition of face-to-face. For a full or partial remote team this often means connecting via video conference or VOIP with fewer yet more meaningful meetings. Internally, we make sure to have a monthly company-wide meeting held via video conference to maintain open communication across the company, despite location.What’s more, studies show that having fewer meetings actually promotes productivity across your team. One study conducted by the Harvard Business Review reported that 71% of managers feel meetings are unproductive. But when you’re working with a remote team, this can help you to be more organized because there is less available facetime. It pushes you to consider what is important for you to talk about in the time frame you have with each other and what can be done on your own.At VentureDevs, we ensure each of our meetings is well prepared for and documented, wasting no time, as opposed to standard meetings which are typically bogged down by unnecessary discussion. This is a great benefit to our team and our clients alike. We like to joke with our clients that our teammates are “coding while they sleep,” but for some clients, this is truly the case. Because of the time difference, our US-based clients wake up to serious progress made on their product, which allows them to be much more productive during the work day ahead.When you work with colleagues on different schedules, you are actually able to get more done. It calls on you to be more concise in your meetings and to better prioritize how and when you deliver your work. On top of this, studies show that supporting different work styles not only leads to higher productivity, but higher overall job satisfaction. Enabling your teammates to make active choices about their personal work style and environment helps them both feel more engaged with their work and lead overall healthier lives.
Everyone’s work style is different, this we know for sure. Setting strict office hours adds pressure to teammates and often stifles productivity. We have worked hard to create a pretty epic office environment for our tech teams in Poznan and Lublin, so people working on projects together come into the office daily to meet and collaborate on the tasks at hand.By having centralized tech offices, our clients can rest assured that their project team can work together in one place, instead of being scattered across unknown locations. We create this space for them to brainstorm, have daily standups, and conduct whiteboard sessions that help them come up with solutions and suggestions to continue improving the client’s product. Our tech office is a place for creativity and collaboration, as it also serves as a space for us to hold workshops, hackathons, and other events that bring together the larger tech community and foster knowledge sharing and skill growth.That said, our teammates are all able to work from home when they need to and do not have to adhere to a strict 9–5 schedule. Instead, we encourage each individual project team to work together and come up with a working agreement that makes sense for them. What is important for the success of our client projects is that at the beginning of each project, the team and the client agree with each other on a set of working norms to adhere to — including meeting times, hours of availability, methods of communication, etc. That way, everyone respects each other’s schedule and is held accountable for getting work done on time.Opening yourself up to distributed teams helps shift your company mentality away from attempting to find or recruit talent in the city your office is in and towards something more meaningful, and that is results. Working with us, our clients benefit from far superior tech talent than can be found in leading US tech hubs like San Francisco and Los Angeles. They also benefit from our experience managing those teams and creating work environments where each individual will be able to achieve peak performance. Beyond that, creating a flexible work environment has internally helped us to develop a strong culture centered around communication, accountability, and teamwork.