A growing trend over the last couple of years has shown that not only are remote, or virtual, project teams becoming more common, but many experts think they will soon become the norm. What does that mean for you, and how will it change the way you lead your team? We have a few ideas on the best ways to take advantage of having a team that is spread across the globe.
No one really looks forward to sitting in a long meeting to discuss an hour of updates for a project. And the task of finding a time and place for everyone to gather is often a logistics nightmare. However, if your team is mostly working remote from other places in the country or even the world, you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to communication.
Thanks to the ever-increasing advancements of technology, you can reach your team anywhere at any time. This means that, instead of waiting for everyone to become available for an update, you can use an app or even record a video to give everyone the info they need, which they can view as soon as it’s convenient for them. Setting due dates and creating guidelines is still beneficial – your team needs to make sure they are aware of all new information in a timely fashion. But having a remote team means you can disseminate that information through simpler and more effective means.
This flexibility also extends to your work hours. Having people work in different time zones can be a challenge to coordinate – but it also means that more work is getting done throughout the day. You may shut down your station and go home at 5:00 PM local time, but for your employees who are just now sitting down to lunch, they still have plenty of time on their end to provide you with updates by the time your morning rolls around. Essentially, you are gaining extra time and productivity by working with people in different parts of the world.
They say it’s all about who you know – and the project management industry is no different. Hiring a team of entirely local people may seem more manageable and comfortable, but you may also be missing out on finding team members who are a better fit and who may bring more resources to the table.
Let’s start with the fit – you already know that you want to look for the perfect person for each job. It’s important to make sure that every team member not only works well with you, but that you work well with them. If you are willing to branch out and consider people who are working remotely from different areas, you are increasing your pool of potential hires – and increasing your odds of finding that exact fit you are looking for. At the end of the day, a team member who is an excellent addition and makes your project even better is worth the extra coordination it takes to bring them on board remotely.
You also don’t want to overlook the resources a remote employee may bring to your project. They likely have connections of their own from previous jobs, and may be able to connect you with a valuable company or resource that you need. They will also be able to provide insight on what has (and hasn’t) worked for jobs they’ve seen in different environments in other regions, which can give you news ways to innovate and revitalize your own project.
More Cost Efficiency
If you have an office, then you probably also have a desk, computer, phone, and a litany of office supplies buried in drawers. These items are all necessary, and your local team needs them as well. But the cost can start to add up – unless, of course, your team is remote, and using their own equipment.
Most remote employees are already prepared for the job – they have the software they need, and their home office is ready to go with all the equipment to allow them to do their work well. You don’t have to provide it, and you don’t have to maintain it. This even extends to the building you work from – team members who are not on campus don’t need to have an office space set aside for them, which boosts your bottom line.
This is a win-win concept for both you and the team member – they don’t have to drive into the office each day, which saves them time and money. They are also freed up to have a more flexible schedule that allows them to manage their work efficiently. At the end of the day, remote team members come with a variety of pros, and very few cons – especially if it stretches your budget a little more.
About Impact Construction Management
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Impact Construction Management is a full-service construction management firm. Founded by Louis Buonaiuto and Richard Bowlin, Impact Construction Management has been managing construction projects for clients throughout the Midwest and South for over 10 years. From our very first project to today, our focus has been on delivering the results our clients want by providing responsive service, up-front pricing and the highest-quality workmanship.