Will Developers Working from Home Kill your Agile?
Of Course Not!
For all those who are skeptic and automatically reply “but in agile we need close face to face communication based on this statement, (“The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”-Agile manifesto), your advice will ruin the team maturity, and team performance,” I have to say you are wrong!
You’d be surprised, working from home can work!
Like anything in agile, collaboration and communication are vital. There is no one way to implement a collaborative mindset as it depends only on you and your organizational culture. There are so many distributed teams working in this tech world all around the globe, and you in no way can be saying that going agile we kill distributed teams. If you set your mind to work, it will work. After all, so many developers are keen to see this working for them!
The fact that some of the scrum team members are working from home will not fail “agile” or whatever is it that you are trying to implement
So, what happens when we have some employees working from home few times a week?
According to Gallup, 43% of U.S. employees work remotely all or some of the time. Various studies tend to back the fact that they are productive.
it’s true! Working from home benefits performance by 13%
Stanford Graduate Business School’s Nicholas Bloom tested the benefits of remote working via a Chinese travel company with some 20,000 employees.
He found the following:
“The office is an amazingly noisy environment,” Bloom says. Supporting his view, we can say that we have events and meetings, but when coworkers need instant help, they can turn to other coworkers for assistance to avoid delays. Now when you look at it, are they managing the situation or are they just talking and creating noise?
Go and ask your developers and they will probably agree that some days working from home benefits productivity for them far more than days spent in the office.
What will be the Challenges of Working from home?
So, what’s the big deal? If we were talking about distributed teams between countries, we would also have to deal with different time zones and different cultures. This is much simpler than that, right?
“Other types of work hinge on what might be called ‘collaborative efficiency’ or the speed at which a group successfully solves a problem. However, distance seems to drag collaborative efficiency down. Why? The short answer is that collaboration requires communication and the communications technology offering the highest bandwidth connection is, for the moment, anyway, still the office.” (When Working From Home Doesn’t Work – IBM pioneered telecommuting).
Ways to deal with it:
References and further readings:
1. Faculty & Research › Publications › Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment. – By Nicholas A. Bloom, James Liang, John Roberts, Zhichun Jenny Ying. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. February, 2015, Vol. 130, Issue 1, Pages 165-218.
2. Think globally, code locally: the secret to remote teams by DAN RADIGAN
3. Agile and the Remote Worker
4. When Working From Home Doesn’t Work – IBM pioneered telecommuting. Now it wants people back in the office.