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Topics: Career Development, Consulting
Remote PM position
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With the availability and potential of technology, how well do companies accept the idea of hiring remote resources for position such as PM's?
What is the experience level and expectations required of such resources?
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It depends on the particular organization's culture. Some companies don't believe employees can be trusted unless a manager can see them, and they rarely hire remote resources, while other companies are more progressive and will readily hire remote resources.
I haven't found that companies have greater expectations for remote employees than onsite ones.
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The impact of the gig-economy is growing, we see freelancers, consultants, specialized PM outsourcers, headhunters chasing PMs. Every large contractor is providing PM services. I read a survey saying that in US 40% of PM positions are gigs, less in other countries.

Do not think technology is driving this, rather efficiencies and shortage of key skills.

On the other hand, large companies are looking into building skills inhouse, providing employees longterm security. Heard this from oil and health sector.

McKinsey published an outlook on gig economy in 2016:
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights...the-gig-economy
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It really depends on the company and industry. There are a lot of companies who will not employ remote PMs as they see it as releasing control but I've seen the benefit of having an experienced PM working and leading the team remotely.

What I'd be looking for: Experience in leading a virtual team, experience in leading virtual / remote projects (either nearshore or offshore) and very good track record/ strength in leadership/ team motivation etc.

As Eric says, Remote PMs are becoming more active in more progressive industries or with startups but the larger companies are struggling to hire new Remote PMs (they may have them but the remote PM was formally onsite etc).
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It has to do with nature, type, size of projects; organizational culture, etc.
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As all have highlighted, much depends on the culture of the organization, but some level of experience is expected to fulfill the responsibility of remote work. In our organization, remote work is supported. While not all PM's are hired as primarily remote staff, some are. Those that are brought on in that capacity are typically senior level folks.

In general the shift to remote work has been interesting. There was a significant increase in adoption, but recently, companies have begun to reel that back in and bring staff back into the office.

My view is remote work as an option is paramount. That said, I prefer a stable office environment in which to interact, engage, and be immersed in the culture.
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1 reply by Wade Harshman
Apr 17, 2019 8:54 AM
Wade Harshman
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I agree with you. While I fully appreciate the option to work remote when needed, nothing beats having your team all in one room, and your support within walking distance. People can ignore email and instant messages, but they have to acknowledge me when I stumble into their office.
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Apr 17, 2019 8:50 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
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As all have highlighted, much depends on the culture of the organization, but some level of experience is expected to fulfill the responsibility of remote work. In our organization, remote work is supported. While not all PM's are hired as primarily remote staff, some are. Those that are brought on in that capacity are typically senior level folks.

In general the shift to remote work has been interesting. There was a significant increase in adoption, but recently, companies have begun to reel that back in and bring staff back into the office.

My view is remote work as an option is paramount. That said, I prefer a stable office environment in which to interact, engage, and be immersed in the culture.
I agree with you. While I fully appreciate the option to work remote when needed, nothing beats having your team all in one room, and your support within walking distance. People can ignore email and instant messages, but they have to acknowledge me when I stumble into their office.
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It is always optimum to have the team colocated, but in an economy that is pushing work further out from the PMO, it is no longer realistic to always have a team located in one place. I find that, more and more, my teams are moving to a decentralized PMO model. As long as the PM uses good collaboration tools and maintains tight communication and stakeholder engagement plan, this model can work quite well. I have found that it does force me to hire more experienced PMs, but that pays off in better quality deliverables.

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