Posted by: kerrywills | May 20, 2011

Can PMs work from home?


In the current environment of virtual teams many people work from home. I often wonder how successful a Project Manager can be while working from home. While I have seen people who are successful at it, I have a hard time doing it. Forget about kids and distractions, what I find hard is that most of my management techniques require significant interaction…

  • Management by Walking Around – walking the aisles and getting status from people, understanding what is going on, or just building relationships
  • Meeting in person to see people’s reactions and ensure they are paying attention (something I am not very good at)
  • Random hallway and cafeteria run-ins and conversations

With instant messaging, call routing and a culture of e-mail it is certainly possible to still communicate with people but it still feels unnatural to me. I am curious what others think and techniques that they use to be successful at it.

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Responses

  1. No.

    • I agree that face-to-face communication works best, but it’s not always possible. Many of my recent projects have had widely dispersed teams and stakeholders, with meetings held by phone, chat, Web, or video.

      In these circumstances, I prefer working from home most of the time — especially when I stretch my hours to accommodate people in different time zones.


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