Expert Help Reduces the Risk and Uncertainty in A Shift to Remote Work

March 11, 2020 | by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

New to Remote PM? We've got this.

As someone who has worked primarily from a home office for approximately 30 years, I confess to being somewhat amazed at the number of headlines about whether or not companies can move to remote work to protect employees and the public during the pandemic that is now upon us. I suppose I have been taking for granted that companies like PM Solutions (which was founded as a virtual organization in order to remain flexible and make the best use of resources, both human and financial) were, if not standard, at least not rare. But many organizations seem to still be struggling with the whole concept of the distributed workforce.

The silver lining to this massive disruption of business as usual (yes, there always is one, though you may have to squint to see it) may be, in the end, that remote work, for those professions and tasks that do not require face-to-face contact, may become commonplace. There are many reasons to welcome this. The Global Business Travel Association estimates that business travel costs companies over $1 trillion a year. Most office spaces are inefficient and costly ... about $5,000 per employee in annual rental costs, while 40% - 50% of the desks are emply on any given day. Long commutes eat into employees' ability to maintain relationships at home and in the community, which impacts work productivity as well. Best of all, our own research has consistently found that high-performing companies depend on outside expert resources to a high degree.

An editorial in The Economist predicts that what is presently a stop-gap measure may become the norm, in fact. A few choice quotes:

The next few months are set to be a giant experiment in ... remote working for employees, speeding up the reinvention of the office. And for firms already worried about rickety supply chains ... the virus gives us another reason to reconfigure them.

If their managers find that productivity does indeed rise ... as staff self-isolate, the case for teleworking may look irrestistable. Investors are betting it will. In the past month, share prices of Slack ... and Zoom ... have shot up.

[T]he crisis offers a chance to experiment with new ways of doing things -- and to questions the wisdom of old habits. Chief executives should not be immune to the opportunity.

In his blog last week, our president, Bruce Miller noted that the concept of Project Management as a Managed Service is hardly new, for us. As with many trends, we've been ahead of the curve in providing remote project management and leadership services. This means that although organizations may need to turn on a dime to implement a new strategy of employing remote project management resources, our resources and the systems for deploying and managing them are already time-tested. This eliminates a great deal of the risk and uncertainty involved.

Follow me on Twitter @EditorialPMSol where I will be tweeting almost daily about management strategies for working though disruption. And be well!

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About the Author

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin is editor-in-chief for PM Solutions Research, and the author, co-author and editor of over twenty books on project management, including the 2007 PMI Literature Award winner, The AMA Handbook of Project Management, Second Edition.

View Posts by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin


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