Can you REALLY project manage from home ?
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that many more jobs can be done from home than employers would have allowed us to believe. In fact, far from being a hindrance to employee productivity, employers have actually found that allowing their workforce to adopt a more hybrid approach to the work-life balance is incredibly productive.
There are a number of reasons someone may want to work from home. These might include the difficulty of the commute, the work-life balance with children and a partner’s shift patterns, and financial reasons – particularly if the commute is lengthy. Whilst the role of a project manager is one that is rather hands-on, demanding the management of a team and a lot of communication, it is still possible to do this from home. However, it is important to make sure that you are able to carry out every aspect of the role and the responsibilities that it entails. With this in mind, there are a couple of things to take into consideration.
Seeking a remote project manager position
Unless you are already in a role where working from home is an option, then you will need to secure a project manager role that will allow this. Fortunately, project managers are in high demand, and the ability to work from home or in a more flexible manner is something that is
If you have already attended some form of project manager courses, then you may want to consider formalising your knowledge with a more formal qualification such as APM PMQ. This will give a potential employer peace of mind that you have the skills to take on the role.
Communication is essential
The most important skill that you will need in order to manage a project from home is fantastic communication skills. This is a huge part of any project and is even more essential when you work remotely. Keeping an organised schedule and arranging meetings and calls with the people in your team is vital. These might be quick daily meetings just to make sure everything is okay, longer weekly meetings or both. Your team members and you will need to take the necessary steps to alert others of times when you can take meetings, and times when you cant.
A remote project manager is more likely to need to hold a greater number of meetings compared to an office-based one, and this certainly isn’t for everyone. All of your updating and checking will be done via email, video call or phone. Thanks to great project management software tools, your team will be able to keep you continually in the loop with the progress of the project, making project managing from home a viable option.
Finally, the main obstacle to working from home is when home life intrudes into the working day. Ensure that you create boundaries. If there are young children in the house, ensuring you have a clearly defined working space is a must. If there are days when the home is noisier, you may also want to consider a more flexible arrangement that allows you to book a local working space.