Remote Devs Outshine In-Office Teams, Collaborate Better: Study

According to a new study from GitLab, remote developers and tech pros may be more productive (and feel better about working) in a team setting.

In its most recent Global Developer Report, GitLab notes only 31 percent of respondents say their entire teams work at an office. Some 48 percent say “most” work at an office, while 11 percent say the entire team is remote. Another 10 percent say most on their team work remotely.

Remote developers aren’t bound by constraints, either. Some 54 percent say they don’t track time, while 22 percent report using an app to log their progress. The rest (18 percent) just estimate their hours, or don’t know how they track time.

Agile development may be helping remote teams. A full 69 percent say they’re using this methodology, where continuous integration (CI) and results-oriented practices are paramount. And 63 percent of respondents say their team’s use of CI is good (or better).

Interestingly, remote tech pros feel like they’re more aware of what other teams or developers are working on: 67 percent say they “have visibility into what other teams are working on,” while only 56 percent of in-office devs feel the same way. That ten-percent gap is polarized, too; 17 percent of remote workers disagree entirely that they know what others are working on, while 27 percent of in-office tech pros feel the same. GitLab chalks this up to remote teams feeling more inclined to discuss what they’re working on and collaborating.

Those in an office setting feel more strongly about collaboration: 95 percent say it’s “important” to work in a collaborative environment, which dips slightly to 91 percent for remote employees. Both remote and office employees feel similarly capable that they can propose new practices and collaborate with their team successfully.

As GitLab points out, performant teams “have access to better tools, spend less time context-switching, and are more likely to work remotely than their lower-performing counterparts.” In addition:

Overall, remote teams report higher levels of satisfaction than those working in-office, including higher levels of visibility, better good insight into the deployment process, and a strong DevOps culture.

Tech pros want to work remotely, and the Dice Salary Survey shows that now is a great time to do so. It’s a benefit more employers are offering, and you won’t even have to take a reduction in pay to work from your couch.