Wednesday 20 February 2019

Remote working issues raised as project managers fear loss of control and lower project success rates

L to R) Raymond Poole, CEO, PM Summit and Vicky Poole, Cofounder, PM Summit.
L to R) Raymond Poole, CEO, PM Summit and Vicky Poole, Cofounder, PM Summit.
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An ongoing housing crisis and commuter woes have led to a growing culture of flexible working at many companies - but not all professionals see the benefits of a remote workplace.

More than two fifths (42pc) of project managers believe that they have less control of projects they are working on when their team is working from home, a recent study has revealed.

In fact, according to the PM Summit survey, just 10pc of those working in project management - and just 8pc of IT professionals - believe that remote working gives them more control.

While just over half (52pc) of respondents think the success of a project can be assisted by remote working, around one fifth (19pc) think it actually reduces success rates.

The Pan Research-assisted study surveyed 331 people from Ireland’s network of more than 50,000 project managers, across sectors including IT, finance, pharma, architecture, engineering and construction.

Its results shone a light on the difference in attitudes to remote working across the project management team: two thirds (65pc) of more junior project team members believe remote work increases the success rate of projects compared with half (50pc) of senior project managers. 

Raymond Poole, CEO, PM Summit, said that while team members find remote working to be a positive experience, more senior managers report challenges around managing teams and projects.

"Clearly many feel that remote working causes control issues. The key to improving this is clear communication, an established structure including timelines and defined goals. These practises are the core of managing remote teams properly," he said.

"We were surprised to see that IT personnel – given that this group is most likely to work away from the office – was less positive about the efficiency, control and project success rates of remote working compared to all project managers."

The PM Summit takes place at The Convention Centre, Dublin on Wednesday, March 13.

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