While the work from home concept has been around for the past two years, with the ongoing pandemic, work from home is slowly becoming non-negotiable. Over 69% of organizations have been moving more employees to work remotely, while a massive 16% have moved their entire operations to remote execution. There are several benefits to an organization moving more employees towards working remotely. These include lower onboarding costs, overheads, and investment into infrastructure.
Any organization’s success in these work-from-home endeavors is contingent on exceptional management skills adapted to the modern work environment. Ensuring professionals equipped with a PMP certification training assures any business that strong management skills can be translated to employees sitting at different locations for strong and optimized business activity execution. While work from home or remote productivity can seem intimidating for businesses to adopt, given current environmental and social circumstances, finding the best policies to adapt to the organization may differ between staying afloat or sinking during this trying time.
What is Remote Project Management?
Remote Project Management is the act of organizing a team of professionals that work off-premise. Despite the geographical differences between team members, the objective is to ensure that relevant information is shared and activities conducted to ensure the business continues as usual. Team members may be seated at a distance of a few kilometers away, but others may be located in different cities and time zones. As a result, 87% of employees claim they feel less pressure or stress within their work environment, and 30% complete more activities within less than the allocated time. In addition, the organization’s rising productivity rates and benefits in terms of costs and expenditures are moving more teams to remote management.
There are three core types of teams that conduct business activities remotely;
- Flex Teams: Execution teams are offered the option to work remotely and from a unified space as needed or as instructed by the organization.
- Hybrid Teams: Comprised of team members that work remotely full time while the rest work from a suitable location.
- Fully Remote Teams: As the name implies, fully remote teams consist of professionals that coordinate projects and activities from the comfort of their homes or separate working spaces.
Remote Project Management offers several benefits. As previously mentioned, the need to invest in infrastructure, overhead costs month on month, and onboarding/training new employees can cost heavily without adequate returns. Remote Project Management allows businesses to invest in the bare minimum and encourage employees to institute better working practices and regulations to enjoy the perks they experience with remote working.
Employees enjoy flexible working hours and the ability to work at any location. Spending more time with their families and building their lives outside of work allows increased productivity. This is caused by the ability to adapt their natural energy cycles to more efficient time dedication. The flexibility of working from anywhere, at any time, with the understanding of deadlines helps businesses reduce their turnover rates and achieve a better quality of performance. The reduced stress also makes for happier employees and a more comfortable corporate environment.
Businesses are only as good as the willingness and execution abilities of their teams. Limiting professional hiring to the surrounding geographical area can often coax businesses to make rash decisions that are ultimately not as beneficial as expected. With a growing number of Generation Z professionals penetrating the workforce, their skills allow them to optimize the quality of their work with the comfort of using technology as needed.
Efficient Remote Project Management
While there are a growing number of benefits with remote Project Management, there are also some drawbacks. Coordination across different cities and time zones can be stressful. When meetings are missed, putting activities back on schedule can be time-consuming. Additionally, building a corporate culture fostering unity can be difficult with team members who aren’t too familiar with each other and are unlikely to meet and bond.
Therefore it is up to the Project Management professional (a project manager or business manager) to consider the best tools and practices to create strong remote management. Considerations include;
1. Giving Team Members Room and Trust
Since personal and professional environments are blurred with remote working, businesses must respect and understand the same. Working in different cities and time zones often means activities are conducted with different routines and timeframes than others. Ensure the project manager is offering adequate consideration and deadlines are set up concerning everyone’s availability.
Attempting to micromanage can be demoralizing. Since employees are likely to be more productive in WFH environments, it is more than unlikely constant supervision or intrusion is necessary.
2. Keep Deadlines Crystalline
Effective management of remote teams works aggressively with ensuring realistic deadlines are created and met. A single document outlining tasks and when they should be executed will help all team members plan accordingly. Avoid using words like “ASAP” or “At Your Convenience.” Offer firm non-negotiable end dates to activities to keep the business running as it should
3. Clear Feedback
Ensure employees are working at the pace they should be and executing requirements as needed. If an employee is slacking, be sure to alert them as early as possible with a professional attitude. Constructive criticisms only assist businesses with better internal activities and offer employees an opportunity to reassess their approach.
4. Introduce the Right Tools
With many softwares and tools that assist remote Project Management on the market, picking the right fit for your organization is imperative to its success. In addition, a small Project Management tool helps automate some degree of the process for better communication and collaboration.
Effective remote Project Management is heavily dependent on the professional managing the team. Ensure a certified individual sits at the helm of the remote management operation for best success. With a growing number of professionals conducting operations remotely, it is up to the organization to ensure best practices are adopted to ensure business continuity and even success in a time of uncertainty. Keeping employees motivated but safe is critical to keeping businesses afloat; remote Project Management offers a middle ground to achieve both while maintaining the trajectory towards achieving organizational goals.