A new study released today finds that 42% of project managers believe that they have less control of projects when their project team is working remotely. The research by PM Summit finds that only 10% of project management professionals believe that remote working gives them more control of projects, falling to 8% among IT professionals.
The study, carried out with the assistance of Pan Research, surveyed a representative 331 Irish person sample of Ireland’s 50,000+ project managers. These come from a broad range of sectors including IT, Finance, Pharma, Architecture, Engineering and Construction.
Around half (52%) of respondents believe that remote working increases project success rates, but a surprisingly high 19% of respondents believe that remote working reduces project success rates. This is even more pronounced among IT project managers, with just over a fifth (21%) of project managers believing that remote working may hinder project success. The majority (72%) of all project management professionals believe that remote working increases efficiency, falling to 69% for project managers working in IT roles.
The survey found that access to remote working was high across all industries, with 84% of project management respondents utilising remote working. The IT sector is where remote working is most prevalent with 95% employing this approach.
The results highlighted a disparity in attitudes to remote working between more senior project manager leads and their team members. The study found that two thirds (65%) of more junior project team members believe that remote work increases the success rate of projects. In contrast, half (50%) of senior project managers believe remote working is good for project success rates.
Some 85% of project team members report that they felt that they can work more efficiently when working remotely. However, just 70% of senior project managers report that remote work allows them to be more efficient.
Commenting on the research, CEO, PM Summit, Raymond Poole said, "Our survey found discrepancies around attitudes towards remote working from project managers and team members. It seems that while team members find remote working to be a positive experience, more senior managers report challenges around managing teams and projects."
He added, "Clearly many feel that remote working causes control issues. The key to improving this is clear communication, an established structure including timelines and defined goals. These practises are the core of managing remote teams properly."