Home Insights Global team Remote developer vs developer relocation: In-depth comparison

Remote developer vs developer relocation: In-depth comparison

COVID-19 has changed the way we work. To give you some perspective, the European Commission reports that around 40% of EU citizens currently working remotely began doing so as a result of the pandemic.  

Whereas previously remote workers were mostly freelancers, an increasing number of employees in companies both big and small are now working remotely, too.

Remote work plays a huge role in the global IT sector. In fact, 59% of companies worldwide work with remote development teams–they must be on to something.  

In the post-pandemic world, we will need to rethink the way we work.

This applies to the recruitment process, especially in IT. Companies that have a hard time filling job postings in their locale must search elsewhere, which begs the question: should you work with a remote development team or invest in developer relocation?

Before exploring the pros and cons of both options, let’s first establish the differences between them.

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What is developer relocation?

Developer relocation involves a professional moving to another city or country for their work.

Usually, a company will assist their new employee with work permits, transportation, and finding new accommodations. The entire recruitment and relocation process can take up to several months.

What is a remote development team?

A remote development team complements your in-house team from another location. With the right infrastructure, client, developer and administrative support to keep the development process flowing smoothly, it’s an cost-efficient alternative to attracting top talent.

Ukraine is the place

In recent years DACH countries (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and the Netherlands have been recruiting software developers from talent pools in Central and Eastern Europe.

Ukraine is at the top of that list, thanks to Ukrainian developers’ high-level of education and years of experience in the global IT sphere.

Ukraine is only a one hour flight from its European neighbors, meaning that a talent pool of over 200,000 qualified developers is within arm’s reach, whether you go for a remote developer team or developer relocation.

Let’s examine the pros and cons of both.

  Remote Developer Developer Relocation


Platforms like Zoom or Slack keep line of communication open 

In-house team members communicate directly

Company culture

Deep level of integration despite different locations

Team building under the same roof


You save time and money

Time consuming and more costly


Easy to upsize or downsize

Hard to upsize or downsize


Takes a few weeks

Takes several months

Remote Developer and Developer Relocation comparison

Pros of developer relocation

  • Company culture

  • Direct communication

Company culture

Some companies, especially larger ones, prefer to have all of their workers under one roof because it’s part of their culture.

These companies invest a lot of money and time into making offices as comfortable as possible for their employees. If software engineers and web developers feel at home in your office, they’re likely to be more productive.  

What’s the catch?

A remote office gives you the same thing but at a much better price, making it much easier to work with top IT professionals worldwide.  

Our Extended Team Model, for example, provides you with a dedicated software development team that includes the necessary infrastructure, such as a workstation, onboarding, and remote tools.  

We also offer client support, such as a dedicated HR manager facilitating communication between you and your team. 

Direct communication

When all employees are located in the same office team members work together more efficiently. Your team can resolve any potential issues in real-time, rather than wait for someone to respond to a message or answer a phone call.  

What’s the catch?

You, your tech lead, or your project manager can still communicate directly with a remote development team. There’s no third party that can cause any miscommunications.

Ukraine’s close proximity to its Western European neighbors also means that time zone differences aren’t an issue. 47% of Ukrainian developers speak fluent English, so you are united by a common language.

Cons of developer relocation

  • Recruitment 
  • Costs
  • Lack of flexibility


It can take a long time to recruit the right developer for your team, and finding them is only the beginning of the hiring process. 

When you invest in developer relocation, you also need to consider how much time it takes to file paperwork for visas and other necessary documents, ultimately delaying the start of your project. 


How much does it cost to relocate? It depends on the situation, but the costs can add up pretty quickly.

There are multiple factors in the relocation process and the costs associated with them add up quickly, such as obtaining visas, providing short term housing, or even language lessons. 

Developers with families also need to consider how relocation will affect their loved ones.

Lack of flexibility

Sometimes you need to rapidly upsize or downsize the scale of your development team based on the status of your project. This can get complicated after having invested a lot of time and money in relocating developers.

Pros of remote development team

  • You save time and money 
  • A strong team
  • Flexibility
  • Company culture
  • Direct communication

You save time and money

Working with a remote development team means that you don’t have to factor the costs of relocation into your budget. 

This is why so many companies are choosing to work with Ukrainian software engineers and web developers. It’s cost-effective, especially when you consider their high level of education and work experience.

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Neither you nor members of your development team have to worry about the hassle of moving and settling down in a new area, meaning that you also save time with the hiring process.

A strong team

Many companies appreciate how remote development teams complement their in-house team. Increasingly, they’re turning to software developers in Central and Eastern Europe.

According to a recent SkillValue report, Ukraine ranks fifth globally (93.17% score index) in the countries with the best programmers, and ranks fourth overall in Europe. 

Many Ukrainian developers possess a high level of education and specialize in rare and high-demand programming languages

47% of them speak fluent English, so they’re more than ready to work with foreigners. 

The Ukrainian business mentality is data-driven, meaning that developers are motivated and ready to get the job done. 


Our extended team model allows you to change team size with only one month’s notice. This is convenient when you need to upsize or downsize in a short period of time.

Company culture

You don’t have to worry about sacrificing your company’s values while working with a remote development team. We offer a deep level of integration between clients and developers.

Extended development team

Your remote team works from an office in one of the top tech regions (Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Latin America) and office managers make sure they have everything they need to get the job done. 

A dedicated HR/Client Manager keeps the line of communication between you and your team open. There is constant feedback on the development team’s performance. 

Direct communication

You might think that managing remote developers is complicated, but don’t worry– online platforms like Zoom or Slack allow you, your tech lead or your project manager to remain in constant communication with your development team. 

Our clients have repeatedly expressed their appreciation for this level of transparency. 

You can check out their reviews on websites like Clutch, a leading ratings platform for IT and business service providers. 

In this review from a German computer software company that has worked with us since 2017, for example, the Managing Director wrote that “timeliness, responsiveness, and openness to feedback have been key to the remote development team’s success.” 

Work with Grid Dynamics

Grid Dynamics is a technology solutions provider with deep expertise in driving digital transformation for startup, SMEs, and large enterprises. Our company has over 15 years of experience delivering impactful software innovation programs, most notably in strategic application of emerging open source and cloud native technologies.

Our clients have flexibility to customize their engagement model based on internal capabilities, business goals, and project objectives. Options include team extension, dedicated teams, pod teams, and remote development centers. With offices across the Americas, Europe, and India, Grid Dynamics can assemble talent appropriately to meet each client’s unique requirements.

Our extended team model allows your remote development team to work in sync with your in-house team. With this kind of support, you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t chosen to work with a remote development team sooner! Connect with us today and learn more.

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