Circumstances may arise that require a company to change from working in an office to working projects from home. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, more project teams have found themselves needing to work from home. Therefore, the roles of staff and particularly that of project managers will need to adjust. In adapting to this new way of work-life, project managers have unique challenges to overcome. Communication, people management, project coordination, and collaboration become a bit more complicated.
Thus a project manager who works remotely needs to be extra focused. Irrespective of the work environment, they need to rally up the team to produce results. You must be able to set strategies for yourself and the team, so the project runs smoothly. Now let’s consider five tips that will help strengthen a project manager’s job who works remotely.
As a project manager, you handle facets of multiple projects. For this, you need your computers, pens, mouse, magic boards, markers, bulletin cork boards, etc. So when you begin work from home projects, it takes some time to carve out and organize a home workspace. But you need to get a designated and clutter-free space ASAP. It helps keep you focused and reduces distractions from family, friends, or TV to a minimum. However, not everyone might have the luxury of space. Try to squeeze out an unused corner in your home. It could be under the staircase, a corner in the dining area, closet, or a corner of your basement.
If having a space at home gets too tight or distracting, you can also use a nearby coffee shop or coworking space. Additionally, you can consider more than one remote workspace. It helps if you have an alternative work area when the need arises. Just ensure that the mobile equipment is always ready when working outside your primary workspace.
Straightforward, timely, and effective communication is the bedrock of working from home projects. A way you can improve communication is through the use of technology. Phone calls, emails, chats, virtual meetings, etc. are some tech channels for communicating remotely. Besides staying in touch with the project team, you will also need to reach out to partners and clients. It will help to keep everyone involved in the project on the same page.
You should also ensure that everyone on your team clearly understands their roles and deliverables daily or weekly. When project tasks, duties, and expectations are communicated properly, the level of productivity increases. Because when your project team isn’t physically in the same space, communication can be misconstrued or delayed. To enhance communication, you can also agree with your project team on these strategies:
As we have said, working from home projects requires you to make use of technology. Thanks to the advancement in tech, there are many project management software tools to make your job as a project manager easier. They useful when you need to share or work on documents in real-time. Others also aid communication via video conferencing for team meetings or training. While some tools enable project status tracking to help your team meet deadlines.
These tools provide room for better project management collaboration. From the comfort of your home workspace, you can reach out and connect with your team. As a project manager working remotely, you having these different tools at your disposal is essential. They help to contribute to the project teams’ productivity and overall work success. Some of these tools include:
Another vital tip to strengthen remote work project management is an adaptation to ongoing changes. As challenges arise, you should be able to navigate through them and lead the team. You might need to change your plans or project deadlines. Still, maintain your calm, evaluate the situation, and adapt quickly. Proper work routines should also be established so that personal time is not affected. The team’s project collaboration is also more flexible and efficient. Let’s consider essay writing services websites like Writing Judge, for example. An essay needs to go through several writers and editors to give their comments or reviews. Using a collaboration tool helps the team upload, share, and review with ease.
Furthermore, having your team working in different time zone might also be a challenge. Encourage your team to work offline and limit your virtual meetings to reasonable times. You can even agree to rotate the time. In this way, the inconvenience is not only on one person whenever scheduling team meetings. Your team members should likewise know the specific times they can reach you easily.
As your project team slowly adapts to the new style of working from home, ask them for your suggestions. Please encourage them to make imputes on ways to make workflow and communication better. It makes them feel like a part of the team when you hear them out. Such feedback allows you to improve your practices and the team’s overall productivity. They can also voice their concerns from the get so you can work on any issues immediately.
A quick survey app or doodle poll can be used to get additional insight into the project goals. And also see how well the project initiatives are performing. Using these feedback and other goal-tracking tools give room for honest and frequent feedback. So there isn’t any need to wait till the project ends before you can get a review.
The benefits of project management do not come automatically. Setting up the right work from home project workspace requires focus, so you don’t get distracted. You also need to be able to lead your project team to be effective and productive. Set up an exact routine and clearly communicate what you expect from them. The use of project collaboration tools can also come in handy when working remotely as a project manager. Encourage your team and get feedback from them as frequently as possible. Finally, remember to set boundaries, so work does not eat deep into your personal lives.
Written by John Edwards
John Edwards is a writing specialist who is looking for ways of self-development in the field of writing and blogging. New horizons in his beloved business always attract with their varieties of opportunities. Therefore, it is so important for him to do the writing.