- Almost half (49 per cent) of project professionals say their organisation will embrace remote working permanently
- 13 per cent predict their company will no longer have an office
- 54 per cent say their organisation needs to significantly invest in additional technology to facilitate homeworking
As the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions continues, almost half (49 per cent) of project professionals have revealed that their company is moving to a permanent remote working model for staff. And more than one-in-ten (13 per cent) anticipate their employer will no longer have an office post-lockdown.
A new study of over 1,000 project professionals, carried out for Association for Project Management (APM) by research company Censuswide, highlights the impact of the pandemic on ways of working across the project profession and also reveals the levels of optimism or pessimism on the return to normal project activity after COVID-related restrictions end.
The research shows that the appetite for continued homeworking amongst project managers is strong. Regardless of their company’s plans, nearly half (47 per cent) reveal they would choose permanent remote working post-lockdown and a further 17 per cent say they would opt for a mix of home and office-based work. The survey findings also show that 40 per cent of project professionals say that home working has positively impacted their mental wellbeing. Just over a third (36 per cent) of project practitioners say they would prefer a permanent return to the office.
There is also a greater feeling of confidence amongst those responsible for delivering projects, with 62 per cent of respondents revealing they are more optimistic now that project activity in their industry sector will return to normal within 12 months than they were at the end of 2020.
Debbie Dore, chief exectuive of APM, said: “Despite the challenges of the past year, the project profession has shown great adaptability and a willingness to embrace change. This is reflected in the number of project professionals who have adapted well to working from home and are happy to continue to do so.
“It is positive to see the high level of optimism on the re-mobilisation of project activity post-lockdown and the benefits of homeworking to mental wellbeing for many people.
“APM is committed to developing and promoting the value of project management in order to deliver improved project outcomes for the benefit of society, and throughout the lockdown period has continued to provide guidance and support to members and stakeholders, wherever they may be based, including the delivery of online qualifications and resources.”
However, with a move to permanent remote working a reality, the research shows that over half (54 per cent) of respondents feel their company needs to significantly invest in additional technology to facilitate homeworking. Communication/collaboration solutions (51 per cent) and provision of home hardware, such as laptops and additional screens (47 per cent) being the most cited technology requirements.