The Benefits & Challenges of Remote Testing

Modis Posted 28 April 2022

The past two years of the pandemic have cemented remote working as the new normal.

In our latest white paper, Resetting Normal, 73% of tech workers say that working remotely more than they did before the pandemic will be important for them in the future.

In the last 18 months, the Modis testing community, in different states, has been testing remotely from management and the rest of their team members, development and support services, as well as the environments under assessment.

Here are some of the benefits and challenges of remote testing and the impact it has on teams and testers who are no longer co-located:

Benefits

Survey results revealed 71% of tech workers believe that set-hours contracts are no longer relevant to modern days of work. Remote testing allows not only for flexible working environments, but also flexible working hours. Moreover, testers can conduct their research anywhere at any time.

Productivity has passed the test and people have become better time managers and work-life balancers, with 82% workers saying productivity has stayed the same or improved during the last 12 months. Our remote testers noted there was less interruption, and thus they were able to work at their own pace while still managing and meeting deadlines.

Another major benefit of remote testing is that colleagues within the same country and time zone can be brought on board to assist with projects.

Challenges

One of the challenges of remote testing is the decrease in team interaction and forming relationships with new colleagues. Despite being more connected than ever, not working in the same space has created a disconnect.

Motivation has also taken a hit this past year. More than half of employees stated they have seen the largest drop in motivation over the last 12 months and remote testing has made it more challenging to keep team members engaged and motivated.

When testing remotely, support for team members has never been more important. Almost 1 in 4 workers say it is important for managers to promote and nurture strong team morale and culture. However, for remote testing teams, cooperation and support can sometimes be lacking or absent when they are not physically co-located.

While meetings are a great way to keep teams engaged and motivated, more work meetings are not necessarily a good thing as it can take away from testing time. Instead, make meetings more effective and efficient to mitigate work disruptions.

In addition, 76% of tech workers say they have all the necessary equipment/hardware for remote working, our remote testing teams still encountered some technological issues such as problems accessing systems remotely, internet speed and delays around application fixes.

Lastly, remote testing can blur the line between home and work, conflating the two into one, making it much more difficult to switch off and limit your contact with your digital devices.

How to Overcome the Challenges of Remote Testing

Create and maintain two-way communication with the project team through:

  • Daily stand-ups with the project/test team
  • Being open - use the Agile set-up in Teams for tasks (whether an agile project or not) and review status regularly
  • Good daily communication on test execution progress
  • Ensuring the test tool is up to date with test case planning, execution, and defects

The organisation can support testing teams by ensuring:

  • Support mechanisms, such as first responders, escalation points, etc., are set up in advance and well documented.
  • The test environment is set up and shaken out from the intended remote location
  • Modis testing colleagues are available
  • Subject Matter Experts are available for the application(s) you are testing and follow their guidance

Team members can overcome the challenges of remote testing by:

  • Having planned working hours – e.g. place appointments with yourself in Outlook (show as available)
  • Having a starting line and a finish line set up in Outlook
  • Having regular one-on-ones with your manager

More helpful tips on time management when working from home can be found here.

More helpful tips on time management when working from home
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