Collocated teams, situated within the same physical workspace, wield significant influence over the efficiency and dynamics of software companies. Understanding their impact and comparing them to innovative models like Ubiminds’ Talent-as-a-Service is crucial for modern businesses.

Why Do Some Companies Still Favor Collocated Teams?

Some software companies insist on collocated teams primarily because of the advantages they offer in terms of swift communication, stronger team bonds, and quick conflict resolution. Face-to-face interaction often facilitates rapid decision-making, which is crucial in the fast-paced environment of product development.

How Collocated Teams Affect Software Companies

Johanna Rothman, the author of “Create Your Successful Agile Project,” delves into the contrasting Agile methodologies applied in collocated versus distributed teams. The change in dynamics affects time management to documentation.

Pros:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Immediate interaction and face-to-face team working and communication.
  • Stronger Team Bonds: Fostered camaraderie and quicker conflict resolution, with room for water cooler talk.
  • Swift Problem-Solving: Immediate problem-solving leading to faster project development

Cons:

  • Limited Talent Access: Restricts access to diverse global talent pools.
  • Dependency on Physical Presence: Hinders flexibility in remote work options.
  • Higher Operational Costs: Associated with maintaining physical office infrastructure.

Truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It varies on company culture and business operations, how effective team leaders are on knowledge sharing, and how software development teams organize their processes. In his channel, Richard Khor explores his bias and evaluates how to go about maximizing efficiency of cross-functional, collaborative teams working in-office.

Addressing Pain Points in Collocated Teams

Understanding and addressing these pain points by implementing the outlined solutions can transform the operational landscape of collocated teams, unlocking access to global talent, fostering flexibility, and optimizing costs for software companies.

Talent Limitation vs. Talent Access

Collocated teams often face limitations in accessing professionals — not everyone is willing to relocate for work. Convincing people to relocate for work can be challenging, considering personal factors beyond the job itself. Companies often incur significant costs associated with relocation, including the risk of missing out on valuable talent. To mitigate this, offering substantial relocation bonuses and compensation packages becomes crucial in securing top talent and maintaining competitiveness within the industry.

Hiring in other regions presents several advantages, including access to a more diverse talent pool and varied pay grade scales, potentially leading to cost savings. Additionally, recruiting from different regions injects fresh energy into teams, especially with the appeal of remote work eliminating commuting stress. 

Integrating remote work options can address this by creating a blend of collocated and remote arrangements, thereby expanding talent acquisition beyond local boundaries.

Flexibility Constraints of Collocated Teams

Flexibility constraints in collocated work can arise during unexpected events like power outages, disrupting workflow and hindering productivity. Additionally, rigid working hours in office buildings might limit employees’ ability to accommodate personal schedules or emergencies, impacting their work-life balance.

To enhance flexibility in collocated work environments, companies can adopt strategies such as:

  • Implementing remote work policies during unforeseen circumstances;
  • Providing backup power sources and connectivity solutions; and
  • Offering flexible working hours or compressed workweeks to accommodate personal needs. 

Costly Operations

In a collocated team, operational costs typically involve expenses related to office rent, facility management, utilities, and office supplies. This includes monthly rent for office space, costs for maintenance, utilities such as electricity and water, and expenditures on office equipment and supplies.

To alleviate the financial burden of collocated work, companies can explore cost-saving measures like adopting flexible work policies that allow for remote work part of the week (hybrid schedules), thereby reducing the need for extensive office space. 

Additionally, implementing shared workspaces, utilizing technology for virtual meetings, and optimizing office layouts to accommodate more employees in a smaller area can help minimize infrastructure costs for collocated teams.

On the opposite end of the scale, partnering with global talent providers like Ubiminds offers a strategic solution, allowing for cost-effective hiring while ensuring diverse talent acquisition without the need for extensive infrastructure.

Collocated Teams vs. Ubiminds’ Talent-as-a-Service Internationalization Model

While collocated teams offer advantages in the amount of time required for collaboration, Ubiminds’ Talent-as-a-Service model widens the talent horizon. It provides access to diverse global talent, offering cost-effective solutions while maintaining quality and diversity in the workforce. Contact us to learn more about how we can add new members of the team without compromising business goals — and how we even organized collocated in-person events across continents when needed.

 

Weekly Newsletter

Receive our weekly publications in your email.
Don't worry, we take good care of your data and don't share it with third parties.