According to Fuze, providing the ability to work remotely is considered an essential part of work-life balance, with 77% of workers expecting companies to offer the option to work outside of the office. It is an expressive number, indeed. 

On the other hand, the State of Remote Work 2019, from Owl Labs, affirms that 80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time.

WeWork anticipated in 2019 what we are talking about now on distributed teams. Defining it as “composed of employees who work remotely from all around the world rather than being centralized at a single physical headquarters”.

By building and working with distributed product teams, tech leaderships from all over the world are reaping the benefits and advantages of it. That said, one of the main perks is the high retention rates they’re obtaining

Want to know why and how distributed product teams are increasing companies’  retention rates? Stay with us and keep on reading! 

Why bet or believe in distributed product teams? 

A research study on remote work co-authored by TINYpulse and Owl Labs revealed that companies that support remote work have a 25% higher retention rate than companies that don’t. Let’s start here.

But why? Well, the answer is actually very simple. People’s desire to work remotely is strong and keeps on growing – and there’s no way back. 

We can also add:

  1. Major competition to attract and maintain top performers/senior talent;
  2. The ever-existing need to balance cost-savings, efficiency and new ways of work;

Final but most importantly, the drive to find (and offer) work-life balance.

How to increase your company’s retention rates

First things first. You have to remember that is all about the people you hire, not where they’re located. When working remotely, it doesn’t matter if you’re just one block or a whole country away. As long as goals are met, of course. 

But if you want to avoid different timezones in order to have your distributed product team working together on-sync, you can always rely on nearshoring instead of hiring overseas. 

Take Automattic for example. The company responsible for developing WordPress and other products has a +400-person team distributed across 40 countries. Check out what CEO Matt Mullenweg has to say:

“This has been amazing for the company in that we can attract and retain the best talent without them having to be in New York or San Francisco or one of the traditional tech centers.”

That’s what Ubiminds proposes, too: the company brings you the sought-after top performers of Latin America, more specifically from Brazil.

Now, let’s dive into some good practices within distributed product teams in order to increase your company’s retention rates:

  • Invest in digital communication. Work tools such as Slack and SocialBase can take care of the job properly when it comes to internal communications. However, it’s also profitable to invest some time in your social media. By doing it you not only promote a safe, caretaker environment for your actual employees. But also set up a display for the upcoming ones, reinforcing your Employer Branding strategy.
  • Track progress, but no by micromanaging it. In order to track and make progress, and since not everybody can be physically at the office, meeting goals are always welcome. You can do it daily or weekly, due to your distributed product team preferences and yours, but make sure to really do it. That’s the way to certify if performance is going well or if anyone needs extra help – sometimes they don’t even know they’re urging for it. Which leads us to…
  • Build your work environment (rather it is physical or virtual)  in a foundation of trust. Great Place to Work defines a high-trust culture as a “workplace where trust-based relationships are highly valued” and one which employees believe in. In other words, companies where:
  1. Leaders are credible (i.e., competent, communicative, honest);
  2. They are treated with respect as people and professionals;
  3. The workplace is fundamentally fair. 

Finally, the GPTW added:

“We live in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, where the proliferation of technology and social media has fostered a sea of superficial connections. But people are human. They long for genuine connection, belonging, and meaningful relationships with people and institutions they trust. The companies that nurture a culture of high-trust are the ones that will move beyond surviving to thriving in the 21st century.”

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