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The Key to Managing Remote Workers: Resource Management Software

March 19, 2018 | By Sean Pales

Digital technology is helping organizations unlock the potential of remote working. Yet, managing remote workers can be challenging, especially if you don’t take the right approach to managing projects and resources.

Resource management software can keep your organization on top of projects wherever your resources are based – whether they’re in the same building or located around the world.

What Is Remote Working?

Remote working for all!

The digital revolution has transformed the workplace. Thanks to the cloud, people can work where they want, when they want, and on whichever devices they want. This has led to a surge in popularity for remote working – and most organizations now offer some level of flexible working options to their employees.

But remote working isn’t exactly new. It’s been around for decades. However, up until recently, businesses didn’t have the tools to provide seamless communication and collaboration between remote workers, which meant that certain projects couldn’t be carried out by those of us who would rather work outside the office. Now colleagues can communicate in instant chat or face-to-face using video conference call technology.

For some organizations, remote working is, and has always been, essential. There are many businesses that have always relied on remote workers – for instance, companies with large sales teams that work out in-the-field. For these organizations, digital technology is enhancing and streamlining processes that have long been in place.

Let’s take a quick look at the advantages of remote working, before seeing how it presents challenges for many organizations and the ways that resource management can help overcome these.

Advantages of remote working

  • Increased productivity
    Several studies, including this report from Stanford University in 2017, have demonstrated that remote working can boost productivity.
  • Cost savings
    IBM famously tried out remote working in the 1990s and made $1.9 billion in savings due to selling office space that was no longer required.
  • Improved employee morale
    It’s how employees want to work, especially the millennial workforce. Many people cite improved work-life balance and cutting out the commute as the main reasons for wanting to work remotely.
  • The ability to attract top talent
    If you want to attract the best workers, you will need to offer flexible working options.

Managing Remote Workers, The Smart Way

The main challenges of managing remote workers

Remote working may be popular with employees and be great for productivity at organizations, but this doesn’t mean it comes without its challenges. In fact, there are many challenges that can bring projects to a halt. Businesses need to find a solution to overcome the following if they are going to make remote working a success:

  • Communication
    When your team is based in different locations it can be difficult to communicate efficiently. You can’t walk over to a colleague’s desk and ask a quick question or discuss a problem you have.
  • Tracking time and productivity
    It’s hard to track how much time people have spent on tasks and whether projects are progressing in the right ways.
  • Resource allocation
    Are workers being given the right amount of work? It can be difficult keeping an eye on workloads and making sure your employees avoid overworking or underworking.
  • Dealing with the unexpected
    Dealing with the unexpected is always a problem, but there are added challenges when your workforce is based remotely. For instance, it can take longer to report problems and coordinate the right response.

How resource management can help

Resource management software, like Tempus Resource, enables an organization to optimize their resources, plan ahead and react to the unexpected. It can also help you shift resources around in real time to deal with any obstacles you might encounter mid-project. By providing a greater focus on resource allocation, you can overcome many of the challenges listed above. Here’s how:

  • Predict future outcomes
    There are so many variables to consider when allocating resources. Tempus Resource offers what-if analysis and sophisticated modelling tools to help you predict and prepare for any eventuality. When remote working is concerned, it’s always best to be as well prepared as possible.
  • Manage remote workers’ time
    When your team is working remotely, it’s important to set goals and metrics to make sure everyone knows what they’re expected to achieve and when. With Tempus Timesheets you can make sure everyone is hitting their deadlines. All the information is recorded in one place, so that the right people can access it when it is required for making reports, performance reviews or for planning future projects. Knowing how long it takes people to complete tasks can help you optimize your resource allocation.
  • Respond in real-time
    Tempus Resource allows you to manipulate resource data in real time. If something goes wrong, you can sort it out right away. With remote workers, you don’t have the ability to get everyone in a room and explain what has gone wrong and what your solution will be. With Tempus you can access real-time reporting that provides full visibility over your resources and, most importantly, action change instantly.
  • Integrate with PPM
    Tempus integrates with all major project portfolio management (PPM) systems, including Microsoft Project and Smartsheets.

If you want to learn more about using resource management software like Tempus Resource for managing remote workers, get in contact with us today.

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