Companies like Amazon, Disney, Twitter, and Google are backpedaling on remote-work in 2023. But everyone isn’t giving up on the advantages of remote-first work environments. Spotify, Lyft, Airbnb, and 3M are just a few of the global companies sticking with how their employees work best.
Hiring a remote-first software development company has some major advantages. You can get top talent, save costs on office space and hiring, and work with happier, more productive senior software engineers. Instead of wasting time on long commutes and days of time-sucking meetings, a remote-first software development company can build modern applications and infrastructure faster.
Here’s a look at the advantages of hiring a software development company with a remote-first culture and product development process. Of course, there are some challenges, but they’re easily overcome by choosing a company that works in your time zone, invests in senior software engineering resources, and already knows modern application development.
Why should I hire a remote-first software development company?
Access to global talent, speed and agility, and cost savings are some of the biggest advantages of hiring a remote-first software development company. With the rising need for modern application development (MAD) services (e.g. cloud-native, APIs, microservices, containerization, etc.), it makes even more sense for technology leaders to hire a remote-first team.
When building isolated, scalable, and highly flexible architecture and apps in the cloud, a remote team works faster and produces better results. They can get to work much sooner than large consultancies, too. Traditional software development consultancies can take 3-6 months to build a team for you and get them on-site – delaying your roadmap.
Remote-first software companies can assemble a team for you in 3-6 weeks and start delivering world-class software fast.
Here’s what you can expect when you hire a remote-first company:
- Access to global talent: When a company adopts a remote-first policy, it isn't restricted to hiring talent in a specific geographical location. This gives you immediate access to a larger pool of senior software engineers, agile product managers, and DevOps professionals.
- Cost savings: Remote work saves companies money by reducing the need for physical office space and related costs such as utilities, office supplies, and commuting benefits.
- Increased productivity: Some studies suggest that remote workers are up to 20% happier and can be more productive than those working in traditional office environments. This is often attributed to fewer distractions and interruptions, more flexible working hours, and less time spent commuting.
- Employee satisfaction and retention: Many people appreciate the flexibility of remote work. They can set their hours and work in an environment they choose. This leads to higher job satisfaction and, in turn, lower turnover rates.
- Sustainability: Remote work reduces carbon emissions by eliminating the need for daily commutes. Hiring a remote-first software development company contributes to your sustainability goals and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
- Business continuity: A remote-first team is typically better prepared to handle disruptions that could impact a co-located team. Local emergencies, disasters, or global events like the COVID-19 pandemic won’t disrupt remote-first teams as much.
- Flexible scaling: A remote-first company can often adapt more quickly if you need to scale your project up or down. They're typically more equipped to bring on team members from different regions as needed without relocation or workspace setup delays.
- Onboarding at speed: Remote-first software development companies can assemble a senior product team in 3-6 weeks. Traditional software development companies can take 3-6 months to get a team on-site and start building software for you.
Of course, remote work comes with some challenges. But a good software development company with a remote-first culture will already have these taken care of.
Common challenges of working with remote-first software development companies
Big time zone gaps, language barriers, and inconsistent communications are what many people expect from outside software development teams.
And while this list of challenges is common with offshore, near-shore, and on-site software development companies, the best remote-first companies have already solved each of them:
- Big time zone differences
- Lack of consistent communication
- Low trust and accountability
- Inadequate data security
- Unmanageable cultural differences
- Poor cultural fit and team integration
Remote-first software development companies that deliver modern application development (MAD) services, have case studies from global brands, and can give you strong customer testimonials have already solved these problems. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be in business.
But you’ll still have to sort through potential service providers and check for yourself.
How can I vet a remote-first software development company?
Sometimes you’ll get direct referrals from peers and colleagues. That’s the gold standard for knowing how a software development company handles remote-first work. But you might have to rely on a website, case studies, and testimonials when hiring senior software resources to get started on your product roadmap.
Company decision-makers do it all the time, and it’s effective. Just make sure you run through this list with a real person when shopping around for software development companies:
- Check their track record: Past performance is a good indicator of future results. Ask for case studies, client testimonials, or references from past or current clients. You can also look for independent reviews online.
- Ask about their project management methodology: Find out what project management methods they use. Companies that follow agile methodologies, for instance, typically have regular sprints and deliverables, which can help ensure the project stays on track. If they practice CI/CD, even better.
- Understand their communication practices: Regular and clear communication is vital in remote work. Ask about their communication practices, including how often they plan to update you on progress, which platforms they use for communication, and how quickly they typically respond to queries. Remote-first companies are typical experts at distributed and asynchronous communication.
- Get a read on availability and responsiveness: Time zone differences can impact communication, so it's important to understand how this will be managed. Ask about their work hours and how they handle urgent issues or requests outside those hours. Software development companies that work in your time zone are often the best fit.
- Learn which project management tools they use: Ask about the project management tools they use. Tools like Jira, Trello, Asana, and others can provide visibility into the project's progress and help keep everything on track. Your ideal remote-first software development company can work in your suite of project management tools.
- Ask for a dedicated project or product manager: A dedicated project manager who is your primary point of contact can help ensure the project stays on schedule. Ask whether such a role will be part of your team.
- See how they handle risk management: Ask about their approach to risk management, including how they anticipate and mitigate potential delays.
Finding a software development company that works in your time zone, communicates clearly, delivers on time, and builds high-quality software faster than you can internally is possible. You just have to know where to look.
How do I find a remote-first software development company I can trust?
You don’t have to wait 3-6 months for a software development company to build a team and get the job done on-site with your DevOps resources. Codingscape can assemble a remote-first team in 3-6 weeks, coordinate in your time zone, and start delivering on your product roadmap quickly. And you don’t have to add headcount or pay for more employee benefits, training, and development.
Zappos, Twilio, and Veho are just a few companies that trust us to build software with a remote-first approach. We’ve also built solutions for Amazon and Apple. We know every layer of modern application development and love to help companies transition to cloud-native architecture, microservices, APIs, and scalable apps.
You can schedule a time to talk with us here. No hassle, no expectations, just answers.
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Cole is Codingscape's Content Marketing Strategist & Copywriter.