The article A Leader’s Role in Setting and Meeting Team Goals provides an overview of the importance of the leader in this process. Gathering a group of people with the right skills in a room and calling it a “team space” doesn’t necessarily make them a team. The result of a good team is not just the sum of all the skills—it is much more. People don’t just bring their professional skills to a team. They also use their individual superpowers to help the whole team grow and make the magic happen. Superpowers are each person’s unique traits that help them interact, solve problems, and make decisions, among other things.

I didn’t find a scientific research on that, but from my experience, that was what made us areal team. It can be that I perceive it totally different from the majority of people. Or, articles on the internet are written by people working in companies who have stakes in remote work. Like those, whose interest is to sell products for remote collaboration, like Jira. Or companies like Buffer that are completely remote and they would like to assure potential Buffer candidates that it’s a great model, to attract talent.

The Downside of Co-Located Teams

Many product companies opt for a distributed team model, since it provides them with access to a global pool of IT specialists. This results in better recruiting and faster business expansion. If a tech company decides to implement the co-located team model, it could encounter a time-consuming hiring process, because the pool of available developers will be much smaller . However, the onboarding of new employees goes much smoother in a co-located team than remote one, since newcomers can be easily introduced into a new working environment. The co-located team model has been practiced by companies for a long time.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

Additionally, the business needs to have a strong, reliable Internet provider. The locations can easily slip into an us-versus-them attitude, which usually can only be fixed by bringing people together periodically and taking on the expense of letting people travel between the offices. The other downside is you have to double up leadership, and it can be complex and expensive to find leaders who share the right values, strategic alignment, and capabilities. The key fact is that bridging the distance with tools is critical. Basecamp was founded in 1999, and has had a longstanding remote-friendly environment.

Why Remote Workers Are More Productive Than Co-Located Teams

Moreover, they can cut their costs by hiring IT specialists from abroad. However, to keep the remote team well-functioning it’s essential to provide its workspaces with high-quality equipment, which presupposes some expenses. Co-located teams, for their part, imply enormous allocations of funds on office rentals and maintenance, as well as additional operational costs. In many cases, such spending can be a substantial disadvantage, since most tech companies look for affordable approaches to boost business scale-up. Creating policies and procedures for remote access is a valuable information security exercise.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

Moreover, by having a distributed team of programmers, IT companies can get a round-the-clock business operation . In addition to that, the co-located team model is also beneficial to streamlining of the coding process, as it enables identifying roles in the group, assigning tasks and monitoring the progress of the project. Osmotic communications seem to be great for teams working together, but less applicable when you are not sitting with your team. Or, when the work you are doing is individual and not team-based. When people need to focus on individual heads down work, interruptions and conversations can kill productivity and stifle creativity.

We made it work and were incredibly successful in developing and launching a brand new product . We hadn’t read any of the studies above, but seemed to understand intuitively or from previous experience that we needed to put in the effort to bridge the gaps and create a cohesive, effective team. The conventional wisdom today seems to believe that co-located is significantly better. I’ve been personally told that all the research points to that. But having experienced both poorly performing, co-located teams as well as high performing distributed teams, I wanted to take a closer look at some of the research as well as experiences of others. However, success doesn’t happen without the proper framework for remote teams or teams working in one location.

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Each model requires effort to get culture right and to build shared identity and shared understanding within and across teams. Hopefully this post can help you think about the model that works for your business. This is where you have two or more sites with major teams.

  • Should you need a dedicated developer to join the existing project or a full-fledged IT team ready to embark on a new tech challenge, you can trust Mobilunity with providing you with the IT experts needed.
  • Yes, you can look over their shoulder and keep track of coffee breaks, but then you need to question whether you want team members like this in the first place.
  • When a team shares the same workspace, collaborating and sharing views among members is easy.
  • And in doing so, the overall knowledge of the team increases.
  • Team members who spend more time and effort on communication generate better results.
  • This is also common in my experience and pushes everyone to improve, especially with maintaining a well-organized backlog of tasks for these teams.
  • And some sort of synchronous interaction is needed for overcoming both social and temporal distance.

Itsfounders have long been proponents of remote work, and they have also literallywritten the bookabout working remotely. Create team workspaces for open communication as well as for deep work. To grow together, people need time and resources for team-building activities. The assumption that co-located teams can be larger than remote ones is simply a misconception.

Having no recruitment providers, the company faced the challenge of hiring senior engineers… Works within one physical location which enables its members to have regular in-person communication and interaction. Can also be reinforced with the usage of various agile tools. Co-located team we mean a group of software developers who work in one physical location, where its members practice face-to-face cooperation with no visible barriers available. People often work on many project in parallel, so moving them around wouldn’t eliminate virtual teams anyway. Social and community spirit matters – whether dispersed or co-located teams that have a sense of team identity, trust each other and get on well socially perform better than teams without any one of these.

You Don’t Need to Choose Team Collocation or Distribution When You Have Your Own Software R&D Center

The PMI’s pulse of the profession highlights how effective communication leads to more successful projects. Furthermore, effective communication can increase performance by five times. Highly skilled remote workers also tend to over-communicate – they know how crucial this is, and seek to optimize communication to overcome physical distance. Critics often say that there is nothing as effective as face-to-face communication between team members, to which I would say, you’re right! But what they do not recognize is that different activities may have distinctly effective forms of communication, just like different people have different communication styles.

Usually there were another 4 or 5 folks attending the demo and a couple that couldn’t make it. We were working in a large room with several other teams. Since we did our demos in our team area, we just walked from PC to PC looking at the work that was completed. During the demo, the developer came up, pulled the story card, then showed how the functionality worked.

Why are things easier for co-located teams

While working co-allocated the most important for me is not being interrupted when I’m doing programming. When this is manageable and people in the office treat your time with respect, my productivity is extremely high. The superb benefit I get when working together in the same office is honest and constractive feedback about my work.

How and Why a Co-Located Team Can Work

The development and testing teams can convince and convey their opinions and suggestions among them which minimizes confusions and rework. This continuous communication help teams to arrive at better decision making and problem solving – core requirements of any agile software development. Alcor’s recruitment solution allows western IT companies to expand their business capabilities by choosing either the distributed or co-located team model. Thanks to our fast and effective recruitment, our clients get a dedicated team of developers from Eastern Europe and retain full control over their expenses and team management. Alcor can also cover operational functions to ensure uninterrupted running of the offshore team.

The Bottom Line on Co-Located Teams

In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni describes that trust is the critical foundation for teams to focus on their goals and succeed. Short distances for team cooperation, greater transparency, and better overall coordination are other advantages of co-located teams. Software research and development center in Poland or Ukraine, how to build culture in a remote team you will be able to swiftly and effectively extend your team, as you will get access to a wide pool of talented programmers. In addition to that, you will be able to cut your expenses by paying lower wages and taxes. You won’t need any intermediaries to manage your IT team, which will work under your brand and stick to your corporate culture.

I know from experience that it’s possible to work with a different office or with remote employees easily, whether or not we ever meet. I can also tell you that software engineers prefer using instant messaging tools or email to actual conversation the majority of the time. Most development staff need time and space to concentrate, and many don’t care to be interrupted directly because it disrupts their ability to create and produce. It doesn’t matter what field you’re working in—being constantly interrupted is both annoying and counterproductive. Where these teams and team members are physically on any given day is mostly invisible to the customer and decision-makers.

In order to bring customer satisfaction, this matter should be highly prioritized during all stages of software development. By 2015, job-posting platforms reported an increase of 36% from companies looking for distributed agile teams to fulfill their positions. This number is predicted to grow by up to 50% in the nearest future. InVision, GitLab, HippoEducation – are examples of organizations that considered remote teams as an excellent decision for performing their remote software development in Agile. These companies claim that being fully-virtual brings them the same level of success and productivity as if they had fully-collocated teams. With the vibrant approaches to managing remote teams, they discovered that distributed teams aligned with Agile principles bring the best results.

I should add that if you are startup that is still trying to find its way, it is almost impossible to work in any model other than single-site. Things are way too chaotic, and if you can’t sit down with your teammates face to face, you will move way too slowly and with too much confusion. Some examples are empathy, creative thinking, pattern mapping, or evangelizing. If you want to find out what superpowers you have on your team, you can use the Superpowers Tool as a set of cards or an app. Leveraging the individual superpowers within a team will help it grow and become a great or high-performing team that can easily learn, adapt, and deliver great solutions.

It may be possible to have weaker leadership when a team is co-located without impacting the team. But to have a successful distributed team, there is less room for weak leadership. Zapier has been a remote company since its founding in 2011.

Most popular one was waterfall, however, those who engaged in Agile claimed to obtain more quality and productivity during the project execution. The software development in Agile can be performed by either collocated teams or distributed. Scrum, Agile Modelling and Crystal Clear are some of the most widely used methods. We will compare and contrast how a collocated team and distributed software development work with Agile methodology applied. Colocation help teams to discuss and iron out their differences at each stage of the project and work productively and efficiently.