Home office is a valuable privilege for many people and is also an excellent work experience. However, not everyone finds it a desirable way to perform their duties for their employer. The model of performing duties has changed, and with it, how projects are carried out has been adjusted, including methods for effective ERP scheduling. Working only in virtual reality, home office staff management, and dealing with procrastination are only some of the remote work challenges for project managers.
Remote work challenges – table of contents:
- Virtual technology was always a part of project management
- Staff collaboration and management are one of the biggest remote work challenges for project managers
- Lack of job satisfaction and absence of incentives
- Problems with verifying staff performance
- Procrastination during home office
- How to overcome problems and challenges when managing a project remotely?
What has changed with the shift from a stationary to a home office model? What are the challenges faced by a manager who implements remote project management in the company? And finally, what are the remote work challenges for project managers?
Virtual technology was always a part of project management
The use of virtual technology in the context of project management is nothing new. Home office was a working model quite firmly established in the industry back in the pre-covid era. Global trends, evident e.g. in the results of Buffer’s research titled The State of Remote Work 2019, indicate that since 2010 the number of remote workers has been increasing every year.
Remote work is therefore something inevitable in the context of project implementation in a company. However, it comes with many challenges, especially when this model of performing duties becomes the leading one. What are the most visible difficulties?
Staff collaboration and management are one of the biggest remote work challenges for project managers
The primary challenge facing supervisors is making sure they have enough remote workers.
Some people, especially those who lack the preparation and technical background, will not be able to work from home as effectively as they can in the office. In some cases, they will abandon the home office implementation altogether.
Remote working also requires staff to be introduced to new applications, such as internet communication. The efficiency of using new tools depends on many factors – however, it should not be expected that from the very beginning remote working will be fully effective.
Lack of job satisfaction and absence of incentives
It is impossible to, just like that, “make people work”. Performing some duties quickly becomes extremely monotonous and dull. It is necessary to take care of valuable communication with the team. Creating an atmosphere of office work is one of the biggest remote work challenges for project managers.
Remote work gives many people less motivation than in the model of traditional work. Particular difficulties are faced by employees who come across this type of solution for the first time.
It is therefore worth mobilizing and motivating the team additionally, e.g. by rewarding the most outstanding tasks. To get closer to the final effect, measurable goals should be set, which will be verified during the control stages.
Problems with verifying staff performance
Project managers have a daunting task when it comes to obtaining reliable employee performance results. It’s impossible to “just do it” to see how effective staff is while working from home.
However, to increase the chances of more efficient performance management, it is worthwhile to:
- take advantage of technology assistance by using apps that open up the communication channel for employees and managers;
- make the team aware of the company’s real expectations;
- ensure daily, valuable contact with all team members.
Importantly, humans are social creatures by nature, so permanent online work will affect an employee’s performance after some time. Team familiarization meetings should not be underestimated, even if 100% of the work will be done remotely.
Procrastination during home office
Home office, as seen in practice, can in some cases become an overwhelming burden for some workers. The tendency to put off work is known as procrastination.
It is particularly noticeable where there is no direct supervision by a superior. The mechanism of procrastination is connected to the need of the body to achieve a state of relief. An employee who decides to “put off something for the last moment”, gains a sense of fulfillment and joy.
It is a negative phenomenon and procrastination results in project failure. Therefore, it is worth promoting the use of time measuring tools or removing distracting elements from the immediate environment.
How to overcome problems and challenges when managing a project remotely?
One idea is to use professional remote project management applications. These are tools that allows you to organize, group and analyze individual team tasks.
It is a way to centralize work at home within an IT system. Platforms of this type allow you to track tasks, check the progress of work or manage objectives.
Depending on the functionality of this type of application, the user may adopt the function of planning individual days, obtaining analytical data in the form of charts, or receiving reports in the form of results.You can help your team by giving them some tips on self motivation, for example these:
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The most important questions
Does working remotely reduce your productivity in completing projects?
This is a highly individual matter. Home office is associated with many risks and difficulties, but undoubtedly the advantages are also strongly emphasized. Working from home means greater freedom, often also intensified vigilance and the possibility of performing work without moving out.
How to deal with all the remote work challenges for project managers?
It is worth organizing stationary technical meetings that will bring employees together so they are no longer anonymous to each other. There are also valuable online project management software programs that facilitate the task assignment process.
Are there other methods that would help overcome remote work challenges for project managers?
There are many more ideas for improving team performance in the context of project management. The tools should be adjusted to the size of the staff, its specificity and whether it is the team is international, national or local.