The desire to integrate remote working is becoming ever more appealing for organisations both big and small. Although remote working poses many benefits for both employees and employers alike, integrating effective remote working protocols can be a big logistical task to undertake. Companies need to plan and prepare for risks that may be involved with business continuity interruptions and more associates working remotely.

We at Western Management Centre are now enrolling award in Project Management QQI course aimed at equipping your business with the fundamental skills required to adopt a structured approach to project management. Which can be applied to almost any project management situation across industry and business.

Have you given any thought to how your organisation could meet project goals if your team where to work from home? Here at Western Management Centre we devised the following key tips to keep your teams in sync and projects progressing during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

1. Create comprehensive guidelines for remote workers 

When introducing employees to remote learning it is vital to emulate the standards and procedures of organisations in-house working environment. To ensure the smoothest transition possible.

Devising an effective telecommuting policy, home usage of company-owned equipment policy, and remote access policy is essential for effective remote worker productivity.

2. Develop and implement clear remote work policies 

Project managers must identify and develop clearly defined policies to address virtual work concerns and best practices. The policies should cover how to address security issues, logistics, workflows, and methods for interactions. 

3. Make effective communication a priority amongst your team

Timely and clear communication is key when working as a remote leader trying to keep up with project tasks and ensuring everything is on track. The key to being successful in any professional role is communication, but when it comes to remote work it is the most important asset. Since employees are no longer a few desks away from each other, effective project management remotely demands scheduling multiple check-in meetings amongst employees to ensure goals and targets are being met, as well as outlining upcoming projects and marking the progress of daily tasks.

Successful remote project managers most also develop a strong sense of trust in their teams and each member’s capabilities. It is critical that remote project managers be able to juggle the task of monitoring their staff’s productivity whilst not diminishing their staff’s ability to work under their own fruition.

4. Use online project-collaboration tools to stay in touch

Remote project teams must have access to the right cloud-based tools. Here are some of the things that online project management, conferencing, or work-collaboration tools that can help you and your team collaborate effectively remotely.

  • Virtual meetings and video conferencing: It takes deliberate effort to plan interactions with remote workers. Video conferencing tools help team members stay connected to each other, not just for projects, but also to discuss the general company-wide topics and events. Some tools that offer video conferencing, video chat, real-time and private chat, presentation streaming, and screen-sharing, include GoToMeeting, Zoom Meetings, and Cisco Webex.
  • File sharing and synchronization: Sharing files online will become a necessity, and luckily this has never been easier or more affordable. Cloud-based tools like Google’s G Suite, Dropbox,  OneDrive  and Samepage, offer your teams peace of mind with access controls, audit trails, messaging, and collaboration. Some of these tools also provide encryption, search filters, and workflow management. Your teams can share files from anywhere around the globe in seconds.
  • Project status tracking and status reporting: There are many cloud-based tools that give remote teams around the globe the ability to communicate, track, collaborate, report project status, share files, video chat, and do all of the regular face-to-face activities required. Many project portfolio management (PPM) solutions like Changepoint, and project management tools including Trello, and Wrike, also offer apps to facilitate on-the-go activities to help remote teams get their projects completed on time from anywhere and from any device. 

We at Western Management Centre are now enrolling for the Award in Project Management QQI course start date 26 March 2020.

Author: Fiona Molloy