Remote teams vs On-site teams vs Distributed teams. Which one to choose for your project?

Choosing the right app development team is crucial for your app success as well as your business. Your development team should consist of experienced developers, designers, and project managers to deliver a great software product that fully meets your business requirements. Of course, personal and soft skills are also important and can affect communication between you and your team as well as the end result.

Why should you hire a development team instead of a freelance developer?

Hiring freelance developers and UX/UI designers is a much cheaper way to get your product delivered. However, skilled freelancers can cost even more than hiring an entire development team. And there are more risks associated with hiring freelancers and managing them. For example, your development time can be longer, and for any revisions, freelancers charge their usual hourly rate.

Also, hiring a development team ensures flawless in-team communication, smooth working processes, and top-notch code. But what type of team should you choose and what are the differences between remote, on-site, and distributed teams?

types of development teams

On-site development team 

Why hire an on-site team?
Availability and location are the strongest reasons to hire an on-site development team. But, you’re geographically bound. You can only hire employees who are in your city or are likely to move to your city. That’s why hiring top-notch developers may be quite challenging.
Note, you cannot fire developers as soon as your app is developed. Someone needs to take care of updates and maintenance.

How much does it cost to hire an on-site team?
Before hiring an on-site development team, you should think about paying full-time salaries, sick days, and vacations. Also, prepare to fully equip workstations and pay for additional training.

How efficient is communication?
Communication is the greatest advantage of hiring an on-site team. Working in the same office space, teams can solve problems faster and adjust the development process to meet the changing requirements in just a few minutes. It’s a lot easier to organize meetings to discuss the development or come up with new ideas while brainstorming with your team. 

How flexible is your on-site team?
On-site teams are not very flexible. You cannot scale the team when you need to. It’ll take longer to find and hire developers than it would be to add a developer to a distributed team.

Distributed development team

Why hire a distributed team?
With distributed teams, it’s easier to find and hire global talents. You’ll have a much wider pool of developers and you can find the best professionals that fit your project from any part of the world.

How much does it cost to hire a distributed team?
Hiring a distributed team is cost-effective since there is no need to pay for training, buy costly hardware and software, or rent an office. But, you will need to invest in communication apps like Slack.

How efficient is communication?
Communication is the main disadvantage when it comes to hiring a distributed team. Your team members can be located in different time zones that makes scheduling meetings a challenge.

How flexible is your distributed team?
Distributed teams work flexible hours since there is no commuting. Also, these teams are easy to scale, which means you can hire additional developers or designers whenever you need them.

Remote development team

Remote teams can be thought of as a blend of on-site and distributed teams. The main difference between on-site and distributed teams is whether or not a shared office space exists. Remote teams, however, have an office space, but developers also have the ability to work remotely

The biggest advantage of remote teams is the potential isolation of team members. If someone doesn’t like working in the office, he can work remotely and still be productive. Moreover, remote teams have a much wider pool of potential employees than on-site ones. They also offer more flexibility in terms of scalability and experience.

Sometimes, remote workers can feel isolated and detached. The easiest way to cope with this challenge is to help them feel a part of the team by creating general Slack channels, carrying out virtual hangouts, etc.


Every app development project has its own requirements. And, you should choose your development team based on those requirements.

In the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring a fully remote development team is the only way to get your software product delivered on time. This is because remote teams are the only ones that know how to manage their remote work and develop top-notch apps without visiting the office.

Have any questions about app development? Feel free to contact us.

Vitalii Makhov

CEO @ DOIT Software

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