Table of Contents
Remote Teams & Remote Work Environment ………………………….. ………………………….. …………… 2
Table of Contents
Remote Teams & Remote Work Environment ………………………….. ………………………….. …………… 2
Managing the continuity of the business remotely ………………………….. ………………………….. ….. 3
Risks Associated with the remote management of the projects ………………………….. ……………… 6
Distance, location or issues of the time zones ………………………….. ………………………….. …….. 7
The realisation of the organisationâ€Ÿs integrity ………………………….. ………………………….. ………… 7
Use of the Tempus Resources in the Optimization of the remote projects management ……….. 8
Previous and Current Trends on Remote Teams ………………………….. ………………………….. …….. 9
Previous related research findin gs ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………. 11
References ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ………………………….. ….. 13
Remote Teams & Remote Work Environment
Remote working has been an increasingly common trend in running select operations in
organisations for a while, but the outbreak of the Covid -19 pandemic has made it a necessity for
almost all organ isational operations. In the wake of Covid -19, construction companies and
business organisations adopted remote working and remote teaming for their employees to work
remotely from the comfort of their homes as a measure to comply with the social distance
guidelines given by the WHO as containment measures to minimise the spread of the novel
coronavirus. For three years, remote working has become the new normal in organisations with
almost every operation including project implementation are conducted remot ely by remote
teams. construction industry has also embraced the remote working with remote teams in
construction project management. It has been adopted in construction project to ensure that the
sector comply with Covid -19 containment measures such as ma intaining social distance and
minimizing on crowding of sites by allowing only few people on sites .
Before the outbreak of Covid -19, organisations were sceptical on adopting remote
working on operations deemed sensitive and demanding as project implementa tion citing
unconfirmed fear of compromised project integrity. On the contrary, organisations that factored
remote teaming in the operations as soon as the first Covid -19 positive case was recorded have
had promising interactions and lots of project succes s with high quality and integrity the same as
when they were considered through physical or â€žnormalâ€Ÿ approaches. This chapter presents a
critical review of various literature on remote working and remote teams in project
implementation as well as evaluatin g the impact of remote teams on the integrity of delivered
projects , especially on construction industry.
Remote working, though it became a household term during the Covid -19 pandemic, it
was not invented or discovered recently, remote working has been in existence for centuries with
its origin traced back to the late 2010s. Remote working came to the surface as a result of the
invention of more advanced computer technology, videography and information technology in
2009. Primarily, it had been used in the coordination of managerial and oversite organisational
operations and as a mode of communication with agent and branch managers working in
locations far from headquarters. For instance, remote working environment and remote team in
construction project started in the early 1980s when American Professor, Charles M. Eastman
first published about the basis of Building Information Modelling (BIM). After few years, in
1986 ArchiCAD was developed and became the first BIM -enabled soft ware for building
modeling (Jurison, 2017 ). Over the past decade, BIM systems has developed to offer digital
representation of the functional and functional characteristics of facilities therefore serves as a
tool or platform for sharing resource for information on construction project among stakeholders
remotely thus shaping the decision making during its lifecycle (Kliem et al. 2020 ).
Managing the continuity of the business remotely
According to the report released by Shafiq et al. (2019) the outcome projected that by 2030,
approximately 43% of the professionals and experts of human resources will be working
remotely in the next decade. In 2015, about 4.2 million people across the various sectors as well
as the construction industry worked remotely and this particular number is expected to grow
exponentially. In places like Iran, it has been estimated that by the year 2023, about 50% of the
entire workforce will be working remotely ( Shafiq et al.2018) .
The days in which the workforce teams were expected to work side by side a nd live within the
same cities as their working mates are long gone. In the current setup, the departments are spread
across various geographies and sites (Craig, 2018 ). However, the technology has allowed people
to work effectively with their colleagues w hom they have never seen or met face â€“toâ€“face. It is
important to note that most of the employees will be putting a value on the flexibility of any
work to be done. It is a common practice among the generation in which about 70% are likely to
choose a job d ue to its flexibility ( Erdogan, Å aparauskas, and Turskis, 2017) .
Issues of the technology aside, taking into the assumption that the organisations use what
described as â€œmanaging by walking aroundâ€ as a management style, there will be a need for the
new ap proaches. In the case of the management of the off -site employees, practical techniques of
the remote business continuity will include team conference calls and individual calls regularly
to assess the performance of the employees. The internal teams and t he construction project
managers will also be expected to properly assess the conference bridges to manage their
projects ( Keegan, Ringhofer and Huemann, 2018) .
Todayâ€Ÿs business has management dashboards built into its systems. This helps the managers at
various levels keep a real -time eye on the tasks they are responsible for. The dashboards will
have to be accessed by the administration teams besides considering other activities that are
related to performance to effectively be prepared for the coordinati on of various activities of the
company (Herbane et al. 2020 ). Although it was previously just a simple matter of walking into
the cubicle or office of an individual, it will call for scheduling of meetings of all sizes and types
electronically; hence, cal ling for the need for universal access to the individual calendars. Video
conference facilities also give organizations the platform to boost productivity, promote
collaborations, and save time in executing projects ( Paton and Andrew 2019) .
The primary obj ective of the same techniques of remote business continuity is to perform a
replacement in the manner in which the operation of the business is achieved particularly before
the occurrence of the events which are considered to be disruptive. In other words, it is the same
as understanding things from the process level. Having access to the data from the prior impact
analysis of the business may be greater help since it can assist in identifying the key processes,
the needed employees in the management of the same, the required technologies, and any
external and internal dependencies ( Kang et al.2018) .
The business continuity professionals within the organisation would be expected to be very
proactive instead of reactive, particularly when it comes to assistin g teams and departments
collaborate in getting the process move or things done. Employees who work remotely on the
business continuity should regularly attend video conferences with senior management, leaders,
and project teams to ensure project accomplish ment (Turner et al. 2019 ). Also, they can
participate in identifying the impediments to the flow of work, thereby using their experience to
suggest solutions. In the case of the employees remotely working, it will be helpful to use data
gleaned from busine ss continuity activities, technology issues, and ensure that the activities of
the business priority are carried out when needed. The systems of businesses in todayâ€Ÿs market
include tools that are used in the management of the business effectively, remote workloads, and
other activities using dashboards and other tools visually ( Kejriwal, Sequeda, and Lopez, 2019) .
One area that has benefited practically from the boom of remote working is remote project
management. Some of the benefits of adopting a remote team to handle work on various projects
include but not limited to:
Increase the chances of attracting the top talents in the world and tapping on these
scattered talents and consolidating the experts under a single remote team to offer the best
outcome on project deliverables.
ï¶ Lowering the cost of the project since the right technology assists in bringing together the
dispersed teams. For instance, with remote teams, there would be no need to commute or
organise a physical meeting that often comes with ad ditional facilitation costs.
ï¶ Decreasing the commuting time for the workers and instead ensuring an increase in the
It is important to note that the above benefits will be varying from one project to another
depending on the scale of the proje ct, geographical location of the project, level of training of the
employees and the nature of the task to be carried out.
Risks Associated with the remote management of the projects
It is possible to communicate the real -time data on the site readily and at the same time move on.
It is important to note that the remote management of the project is never plain sailing. Concerns
about team dispersal are usually anything but small with at least some stress factors including
maintaining tightly organised and well -managed projects and dealing with the distance issue
(MesÃ¡roÅ¡ et al.2018) .
On the negative side, there are several cases where construction projects tolled or failed to meet
the scheduled timeline due to miscommunications or delays in coming up with a resolute
decision on project executions. This has been the setback of remote working in construction
projects. For instance, in the event of variation claim during project executions, it requires that
all the relevant stakeholders to the particular proje ct conduct and review on the variation claim
and approve the release the additional costs for the completion of the project (Watters, and
Watters, 2021 ). This is much easier when the relevant stakeholders are accessible and available
within the site, it takes much lesser time to convene a meeting, discuss and approve or
disapprove the variation claim unlike in virtual working environment where stakeholders have to
be first notified, schedule online meeting discuss and approve.
Distance, location or issue s of the time zones
The disruptions of the schedules can potentially result in the formation of bottlenecks
particularly in the cases where work -zones results in the obstruction of the work. In some cases,
the communication will be stonewalled by the regio nâ€Ÿs poor connectivity. For example, when a
project (construction project) in Middle East, decided to source for the expertise of structural
engineer base in London, the difference in time zones will greatly affects the online meeting
times and thus affects the overall delivery of the project.
The realisation of the organisationâ€™s integrity
The concept of classical management can be adopted in the case of organisations whose
operations are employee -centred. In such organisations, the employees are self -mot ivated, and
the use of remote management mechanisms through virtual teams is extremely easy ( KolariÄ‡ e
al.2019) . In many occasions, organisations are relied upon to issue exceptional statements or
deliberations that dictate the scope of operations in a bus iness, therefore the integrity of any
organisation depends on how swift and first it responds to such situations. This is applicable even
in the case of the managers of the project and their ability to put in place the proper schedules or
timelines as well as the primary objectives/end goals ( ONUNGW et al.2017) .
Despite the excellency in the previously conducted studies, particularly in the work -life
integration, none of them has effectively explained how best the remote workers and the projects
can be mana ged. According to the Harvard Business Review, setting an appropriate cadence of
frequent communication between the managers and staff is essential to manage remote projects
(KolariÄ‡ e al.2019) . Regarding the study by Global Knowledge Lists, the methods of surface –
level management assist in setting up a thorough plan of communication and distributing smaller
workloads to the responsible personnel or employees ( Olo, Li, and Zhang 2018.) .
Generally speaking, the projects tend to be more and more complex and c hallenging to manage
and effectively kept on the right track in the cases where the resources have been dispersed to
various time -zones and locations as part of different teams that report to multiple managers and
by extension to the network of the externa l stakeholders ( Cicmil, and Gaggiotti, 2018) .
Use of the Tempus Resources in the Optimization of the remote projects
When there is the use of the right technology, better communication can be facilitated, there can
be swift sharing of the files as well as process streamlining; hence everyone is kept happy.
Despite the fact that working under remote conditions may require effective and very excellent
communications tools, project management in remote places may need relatively more powerful
soluti ons. Resource tracking across several locations can sometimes be challenging and filling
out the timesheets, which again appears to be a tedious job ( Cicmil, and Gaggiotti, 2018) . The
managers of the project would be expected to track the duration of the e mployees to handle a
task and effectively measure the performance of these employees against the timelines and
objectives of the projects. It is important to note that when the same is not considered then the
rate of success of the project will be put in j eopardy ( BatistiÄ, and Kenda, 2018) .
One of the solutions to the management is Tempus resource, a purpose -built and stand -alone tool
utilised in forecasting and capacity planning for strategic management decision making, which
has been specifically designe d to assist in simplifying the timesheets to be used in the tracking of
the employeesâ€Ÿ hours to manage the allocation of the resources effectively ( Cicmil, and
Gaggiotti, 2018) . Tempus refers to a company of technology which is attributed to the
constructi on or building of the largest library of molecular and clinical data as well as systems of
operation which makes the accessibility of useful information to the researchers, physicians and
patients. It is this particular software platform which aids in the remote management of the
project. Tempus resources have proved to be effective and efficient due to their compatibility
with RPM ( Remote Patient Monitoring ) and PPM (Project and Portfolio Management ) platforms.
Tempus Resource boasts the features like scenario mapping and temperature mapping as part of
keeping in line with remote projects ( Oswald et al.2018) .
Meanwhile, the current software used in remote communication systems is the product of
information technology that has undergone transition and re formation to provide communication
devices and systems that enable people to connect with families, friends and colleagues who are
hundreds of miles apart ( Oswald et al.2018) . The development of different computer generations
also impacted the creation of more advanced software to facilitate the tasks of project
management remotely. Currently, businesses and organisations rely on the information
technology to organise and manage their operations and projects ( Cicmil, and Gaggiotti, 2018)
Previous and Curre nt Trends on Remote Teams
The concept of remote teams and remote working environments have been in existence
for decades ( Kniffin et al. 2021 ), probably, even before the invention of the internet and
computer systems. In the early 2000s, a few organisations and companies started adopting
remote teams and remote environments in their operations. However, it was not fully embraced
in organisation al operations and project management as the majority attributed remote teams
with a bad reputation ( Kniel, and Comi 2021 ). The majority of employers and managers believed
that allowing their workforce to work remotely or manage projects from the comfort of their
home would lower their productivity, citing family distraction as the main reason not to allow
their staff to work remotely.
Remote work was rare in the past as remote work or remote teams was only considered
under a special arrangement to accommod ate individuals that had a special need or special cases
and could not manage to avail themselves to the workplaces ( Navimipour, and Charband, 2019 ).
There is rich literature documenting remote working and remote teams as well as their impact on
project in tegrity and continuity of business operation, however the outbreak of the Covid -19
pandemic escalated the need to research more on the remote work environment. Since the
outbreak of the novel coronavirus in 2019, there are numerous research publications ev aluating
and analysing the importance of remote teams and their implication on projects development,
project integrity as well as the continuity of organizational operations during the pandemic and
post -Covid -19 period ( Kniffin et al. 2021 ).
Currently, vi rtual teams and virtual project management are ideal solutions for project
management and are widely adopted by organisations and companies both small and big because
of the benefits it has on management. For instance, virtual teams are less expensive to m anage
compared to conventional project management approaches as what they only need is proper and
reliable network coverage and portable telecommunication gadget and they are good to work
(Whyte et al. 2021 ). A remote work environment ensures continuity of project operations even in
severe conditions or situations, for example organisations that had established a remote work
environment before the outbreak of Covid -19 never experienced disconnection or discontinuity
in their operations when the world was on lockdown mode.
Perfect case is the construction industry in the developed countries that based most of
their operation through technological systems like BIM technology, never experience huge loses
in their project as even though the world was under lock down measures, managerial,
organization and coordination of project operations continued through virtual avenues (Kerzner,
2016 ). When the lockdown was lifted, they proceeded to the implementation of plans they had
developed virtually during lockdown sessi on. In terms of literature, the virtual work environment
was the most researched topic between 2019 and 2020 with hundreds of thousands of
publications published on the topic of remote teams and remote working environments in
relation to the impact they ha ve on project integrity and continuity of business operations
(Navimipour, and Charband, 2019 ).
Previous related research findings
Existing literature provides a different definition of remote teams and virtual working
environments. However, most of this literature refers to the remote team as the geographically
and organizationally dispersed task force that coordinates and discharges their roles remotely. In
the past (before 2019) remote team concept was disregarded by managers in construction
organisati ons as it was attributed to low productivity and deemed not the best approach for
attaining high -quality outcomes, especially in team projects. With the increased advancement in
computer and IT technology and systems, virtual systems started to penetrate t he corporate world
but were only considered for procurement, sales, advertisement and communications purposes
only ( Kniel, and Comi, 2021 ). The transition from physical to a virtual work environment,
embracing remote teams to handle projects was the foremo st process adopted by organisations
immediately when the world was under lockdown measures. This transition required a change in
perception and notion of remote work itself the same way as when introducing a new computer
software in the company which is co nsidered as a process change ( Navimipour, and Charband,
2019 ). Based on the considered literature on the subject topic, remote teams are of the essence,
especially in the 21 st century in promoting diversity in projects management as they
accommodate the expertise of professionals and personnel who are a world apart, to work
together towards a common goal ( Kniffin et al. 2021 ).
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