EFP 105: Debate – Local Vs. Distributed Teams

Justin Cooke

August 7, 2014

The great debate, local vs. distributed teams. Although our business doesn’t require our local presence to run and we’ve hired outside of the city before, we’ve never taken ourselves out of the physical sphere of influence.

The potential for us to physically remove ourselves is there and we’re only now moving that direction.

Which is More Effective? Distributed or Local Teams?

Today, Joe and I will be debating the advantages and disadvantages to building local vs. distributed teams. Do we need to be able to meet up with our team in person over hot coffee or is Skype all well and good?

Check out our best points for both sides.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

 Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Getting things done faster with a local team.
  • Fun environmental factors you miss while being remote.
  • The limited pool of potential candidates when looking to hire locally.
  • The “management by walking around” problem.
  • Locational benefits to a distributed team.
  • Timezone advantages of having employees work around the world.


Spread The Love:

“Managing is easier in person. It can’t be done as easily when you’re remote.” – Joe – Tweet This!

“Having a distributed team gives you access to higher quality and a larger potential pool of team members.” – Justin – Tweet This!

“If you’re looking for distractions then you’ll always find them.” – Justin – Tweet This!

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you notice when running distributed teams or local teams? Which do you find most effective when running your business? Leave a message on SpeakPipe or join us in the comments below.

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  1. Thanks yet again for the mention guys and hope the workshop went well!

    • It did — we probably need to tighten it up a bit and offer more details on the selling process, but overall people like it. That’s encouraging especially since everyone said they were willing to pay to attend. Next stop Thailand.

  2. Gunnar Bengtsson says:

    I personally would have a hard time building a local team since I’m based in Sweden. Both because salaries are prohibitively high for the talent I need – web developers, content writers and graphical designers – and because I’d have a hard time finding the right people. So distributed is the way I’ve been doing business. Some full time, but mostly part time employees or independent contractors. Works well for me.

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