Project managers who work remotely, whether that is from home, from client sites or on the move, need tools and tactics to ensure they are productive and also that they protect their data.
When you are not surrounded by work colleagues or your project team it is easy to drift through the day without achieving what you set out to do. So always plan your day. You might use a simple ‘to do’ list or need a more complicated schedule to give adequate attention to a number of tasks but however you plan your day, stick to the plan unless the circumstances are exceptional.
Of course working remotely has become much easier in recent years with vast improvements in technology so take advantage of the technology available. Use a smartphone or tablet to stay abreast of project developments during the time away from the office. Take a look at some of the useful apps and social media networks that can help with project management communications, time management and project scheduling.
Effective collaboration between geographically dispersed team members, clients and stakeholders can be helped by sharing project files in the cloud. This will enable everyone to access the most up-to-date documents regardless of where they are physically based.
Remote project management can be effective but it is important to remember is to stay in touch with your project team face to face when possible or on the phone if not. Technology is great but is not a substitute for real human contact. When your team or clients need to ask questions or advice make sure they know the best way to contact you and that you will answer the phone!
And, finally, take the security of all that shared project data seriously. Be wary of accessing sensitive documents in a public place or on an insecure network. There are plenty of places to access Wi-Fi but make sure you only connect your mobile device to networks that you trust. Not only could confidential information be compromised on an insecure network but you also run the risk of picking up a virus that could then be transmitted to your company’s server when you reconnect at the office. If in doubt, ask your IT department for advice about connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.