Nick Bloom predicts that U.S. workers will spend a quarter of their time working from home in the next 10 years. The economics professor at Stanford University says, “I talk to hundreds of companies about remote work, and 95 percent of them now say they’re going hybrid, while the other 5 percent are going full remote.”
Bloom also observes growing signs of remote-work envy. Those who can’t work remotely are envious of those who have this cushy work-from-home option. What does this mean for project managers?
One key PM skill is stakeholder management, building and maintaining relationships across the organization. How does one do that well remotely?
Mark Cowley, Project Director and VP Operations at Petrofac sets a strong example. He has leveraged social media to lead his project team remotely by:
1. Emphasizing how productivity has improved and the team can deliver high performance with remote work.
2. Giving a public shoutout to team members who were key contributors to project success.
3. Sharing leadership lessons to guide conflict resolution such as respect, listening, and data/fact driven approaches.
4. Celebrating wins online.
I have emphasized that project communications, especially digital communications skills, is one of the 5 key PM skills of the future. If you were doing digital communications within the organization pre-pandemic; your next challenge is to do it outside of your organization post-pandemic.
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, The Five-Day Workweek is Dying
Five Project Management Skills for the Future