How do we ensure high engagement of remote and hybrid software developers for our clients

Remote software developers can present unique challenges in ensuring high engagement and productivity levels. Find out how we have successfully overcome these challenges at Codepole.

Marek Pietrzak
Marek Pietrzak

8 tips how we ensure high engagement of remote and hybrid software developers for our clients

Working structure of tech teams in 2023

Since Covid, there are rarely companies that do not hire software developers outside of their primary location. Some companies are forced to do it due to scarcity of software developers in a given niche technology such as Go or Flutter, but even with more common programming languages such as Java or Javascript companies wanting to scale fast need to look for developers outside of their headquarters.

The common challenge shared among companies with disparate tech teams is the engagement and motivation of the software developers which is often far below that of onsite developers. It is hard for the remote software engineers to feel the culture of the company, identify themselves with it and feel motivated to stay long-term or give consistent high performance throughout the employment.

We believe in creating an environment that treats remote and onsite developers equally. We aim to create a culture of inclusivity where remote developers feel they are an integral part of the team. To achieve this, we ensure that all developers have access to the same tools, communication channels, and opportunities.

Here are a few tips of how we are able to boost motivation and integrity of disparate tech teams when working for our clients.

1. Onsite onboarding

Onboarding is crucial for any new hire, but it becomes even more important for remote developers who do not have regular in-person contact with their colleagues. Therefore we strongly recommend to have an onsite onboarding for 3-4 days to meet all the colleagues, hang out a bit and get to know the culture of the company better. 

Our onboarding process includes a detailed introduction program, onboarding tasks, regular check-ins to help new hires acclimate to their roles and the team culture. Ideally we also try to go out for lunches and a beer after work.

We see a significant difference in engagement especially long-term when we really try to invest in those first few days to involve our new colleagues and get to know them better.

2. Regular ceremonies such as standups, planning, all hands

We conduct daily standups and bi-weekly planning meetings on projects to keep everyone updated on project progress, priorities, and challenges. We also conduct general all-hands meetings to ensure that every developer is aware of the company's goals and vision but also feels included and well informed about what is happening in the business.

Our all-hands usually comprise of general company section, HR, marketing and extra initiatives, and also a short presentation from someone to share their work on a specific project. We take turns to present an interesting topic. Such a structure helps to keep everyone more engaged and care more about the meetings. Everyone is also less afraid to be active during other company or project specific meetings.

Codepole All hands presentation

3. Video-on policy

To create a more engaging and interactive environment, we have a policy of turning on video during meetings. This helps to create a more personal connection and helps remote developers feel like they are part of the conversation. We are quite strict about it in the initial weeks and then afterwards there is usually no need to remind about that. We see a meaningful difference in employee’s engagement with videos turned on.

4. Demos and presentations with mandatory participation

We conduct regular demos and presentations to showcase the progress and achievements of the team. We encourage all developers to participate, and we ensure that remote developers have equal opportunities to present their work. We make sure that they are able to participate, to see and hear what is happening but also to voice their opinions. We also ask remote developers to present their work during demos. It is mandatory for everyone to present at least once during the demos.

With our colleagues we are doing Tech Talks where we discuss interesting technical topics and learn new technologies together. A result of one of our tech talks can be seen here: Spock, Instancio and Testcontainers - 3 powerful testing tools.

Codepole Tech Talk: Spock, Instancio, Testcontainers

5. Regular in person meetings or offsites

While remote work is the norm, we also believe in the importance of in-person meetings and offsites. We conduct regular team-building events, offsites, and retreats to help build a stronger team culture and foster better relationships between the developers. This does not need to happen every month. Every quarter or so should be enough and not interfere with your employees lives.

During our offsites we’re always trying to satisfy our explorers’ souls so we try to do something fun and exciting together. Some examples below:

  • Riding a speedboat at 200km/h around Stockholm archipelago
  • Driving jeeps in Polish mountains
Codepole expedition: Stockholm
Codepole expedition: Polish mountains

6. Regular 1on1s

Speaking in front of others is not always comfortable hence it’s key to always plan a time when a remote developer (or any other employee for that matter ;)) can speek freely. We usually start with a weekly 1on1 with a manager, and then move on to bi-weekly meetings. There does not always need to be a set agenda. You can let the remote employee set the plan for the meeting and speek about whatever they feel like. It is important though to ask how they feel in their role, if are they learning, do they look positively at the changes ahead and how you could help them.

7. Celebrate birthdays or other occasions

We believe in celebrating personal milestones of our developers, such as birthdays, work anniversaries, or other special occasions. We ensure that remote developers are included in these celebrations by sending gifts or arranging virtual celebrations.

Codepole - Celebrations of colleague's birthday

8. Try to avoid satellite developers and focus on one new location at a time

When expanding our development team, we try to avoid having satellite developers scattered across different locations. Instead, we focus on establishing a strong team in one location at a time. This helps us to build a cohesive team culture and improve collaboration among team members and significantly increases the opportunities for the team to hang out together. 

Let’s say you have your main location in Stockholm or Zurich, and you are in need of hiring more developers. Choose one location, say Warsaw as your hub and try to build a team there. You could even decide to rent a room in a coworking space if the team would like to work from an office. Even if they don’t, it’s much easier to hang out for lunch or after-work dinner.


In conclusion,hiring  remote and hybrid software developers can present unique challenges in ensuring high engagement and productivity levels. At Codepole, we have successfully overcome these challenges by treating all developers equally, conducting regular meetings and ceremonies, turning on video during meetings, celebrating personal milestones, and avoiding scattered satellite developers. By following these tips, we have managed to create a cohesive team culture and improve collaboration among team members, resulting in high-quality software development for our clients.

Published by
Marek Pietrzak
March 2023