The COVID19 pandemic has compelled the world to reimagine work culture and proved that it may not be necessary to be physically present in an office to get work done. With the sudden shift to remote work, a lot of organizations had to face the challenge of adopting digital technologies in such a short span of time. Fortunately, there are some amazing technical tools that make work from home possible as well as productive.
For instance, cloud project management software has made it easy to manage remote teams and plan projects across remote team members. With teams distributed across the globe making use of personal devices for work, a cloud-based project management software becomes a necessary tool to comprehensively manage all the aspects of a project.
Although work-from-home is a welcome change for many employees, there are certain challenges that most managers face. With this article we aim to solve four major challenges of remote project management:
- Task Management:
A major remote team challenge is team members not being able to understand who’s working on what task. This can cause confusion and derail the entire project since most tasks are mutually dependent. This makes it necessary for a remote team manager to keep track of all tasks being worked on by every team member and their current status within the project.
The solution to this issue is to make use of tools that help managers to manage tasks and track task progress. A cloud project management software that has the entire spectrum of management features allows you to keep everyone aware of what others are doing within the project so there is better scheduling of tasks and improved collaboration.
- Mismanaged expectations:
A major cause of chaos in remote teams is unclear expectations. Virtual team members often struggle when there are no clear boundaries or deadlines regarding goals defined by the manager. This makes the entire work flow inefficient and may even lead to conflicts between team members.
To overcome this, a project manager must clearly communicate individual responsibilities and set clear guidelines about delivery deadlines. This includes clarifying expectations by conducting virtual meetings as well as planning project schedules with team suggestions. This helps team members get a clear picture of their role in the entire project.
Disengagement and lack of motivation is very common in remote team members, especially in the pandemic, due to isolation. Working from the comfort of home can often lead to reduced focus in team members which leads to procrastination. This impacts team performance which leads to reduced productivity and a loss of revenue.
For improving employee motivation, it is important to keep checking up on employees regarding their well being with one-on-one meetings. Make it a point to appreciate their achievements and recognize their contribution in the project. Managers can conduct team-building activities on a video conference to help employees socialize, which also improves collaboration.
- Inconsistent communication:
When compared to an office set up, remote work does not have the luxury of frequent in-person communication. This leads to poor and inconsistent communication which can cause serious delays in work. Email may be considered an efficient option but it doesn’t enable quick conversations.
Remote work does not work until there is seamless communication. A manager must encourage team members to communicate clearly and often to overcome communication challenges. It is crucial to provide team members with the necessary tools that allow them to quickly exchange information and work related data/files. Do not hesitate to address any negative communication habits noticed in a team member.
Remote work may have been enforced by the pandemic, but it is here to stay. Almost all of the above mentioned remote project management challenges can be easily solved by making use of a cloud-based project management software.