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Do Remote Employees Impact Project Management?

January 18, 2019 | By Sean Pales

Thanks to increasingly faster and more accessible internet connections, remote working has become a much more viable choice for businesses across almost all industries. Working remotely enables employees to do their jobs from a variety of places. Whether it be from a home office, co-working space, or while they are out on the road, this flexibility gives them more control over how and when they work.

There’s a lot of debate about whether assembling remote teams is beneficial for employers or not. However, 3.9 million Americans work from home at least half the week, and 56% of companies globally now allow remote working, suggesting the remote working revolution is only going to grow. However, certain industries and job types seem more suited to remote working than others. Today, we’ll look at the potential impact remote working and remote employees can have on project management.

What stops companies from hiring remote employees?

There’s still a pervasive myth that remote workers don’t get as much work done as those that work in the office. However, this isn’t actually true. The US has a productivity problem that’s caused by a lack of remote work. 65% of employees report being more productive when they’re working remotely. Productivity in an office-based environment is inhibited by multiple factors; lengthy commutes, health issues, and social distractions. Remote working isn’t as highly affected by the same factors.

The challenges of remote working for PMs

The traditional office is centered around face-to-face interaction. Removing this means of collaboration and communication can be jarring for some workers. Since email and instant messaging are relied on for real-time updates, signs of resource burnout or fatigue could be missed by PMs, leading to project roadblocks. Language barriers and time zones can also affect communication and complicate productivity and time tracking. Security concerns may deter management from authorizing remote work due to concerns of security breaches.

It’s true that facilitating a project with remote workers can be a challenge. However, it’s a PM’s job to find the best resources for their project, and ensure they work effectively on a project. They’ll also need to find the best way of monitoring those resources. With enough planning and organization, a project can be successful regardless of whether its workers have ever met.

How can project managers manage a project with remote employees?

The key to remote working is accountability. Because of the lack of face-to-face contact, remote workers have to be trusted to complete work without supervision. Communication, therefore, is even more important for PMs, to clearly establish workloads and expectations. Resource performance and utilization are harder to track remotely, so these projects will need a robust management solution.

PMs need a way to foster a culture of communication and visibility – workers should understand what’s expected of them and by when. Project management requires a great deal of planning and organization, and remote working benefits from this structured approach. The right tool for managing and modelling resources can make projects with remote staff just as easy to oversee. The best way for PMs to guarantee the success of any project, remotely or in person, is by using specialized resource management software.

Get the most out of remote employees with Tempus Resource

To see the benefits of remote working, PMs need to implement a clear and effective structure for resources and task delegation. Resource management software is the first step to creating an environment where workers know what’s expected of them.

Tempus Resource offers PMs a way to allocate resources across multiple projects, giving them greater oversight of individual resources and workloads. The intelligent modelling and forecasting capabilities allow them to plan projects effectively, optimizing resource utilization. If resources need to be reallocated in real time, this is easy to achieve.

PMs can see resource data and instantly rearrange workloads for workers around the globe. Resource performance is easy to monitor with Tempus Timesheets, giving PMs a better understanding of how effectively resources are being used. Heatmaps and coolmaps also offer a quick way to spot under or overallocated resources, which can prevent project bottlenecks. Tempus Resource integrates with all major project management software, so any team can make use of the benefits no matter the software they use.

Remote working is on the rise in modern workplaces – with a powerful and intelligent resource management solution, like Tempus ResourcePMs can achieve more from their projects.

Considering adopting remote working? Find out how you can take advantage of the benefits with Tempus Resource today.

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