The social distancing imposed by COVID-19 wreaked havoc for traditional working practices. With the transition to remote working and the spatial dispersion of co-workers, projects had to rapidly identify ways to become distributed and hybrid workplaces. This necessary adaptation mainly concerned three key dimensions of traditional office life: discussions in the workplace between colleagues; the way working documents are archived, shared, and edited by multiple contributors; and the way partners and co-workers could physically meet and carry-out field work. New uses of digital technologies revolutionised traditional workplaces, in particular by making online meetings effective, developing powerful online collaborative platforms and repositories and organising regular physical meetings and joint fieldwork.
Under the peculiar circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent spatial dispersion of co-workers working remotely, projects highlighted an increased need to clearly structure the organisation of work, the flow of communication, and progress monitoring by establishing working groups and specific communication protocols as well as by using project management and monitoring tools.
The continuous unexpected changes and thus the unprecedented uncertainty experienced during the pandemic, compromised projects’ initial implementation plans, methods, and timetables, and forced managers to improvise – with a high degree of flexibility – to quickly reorganise delivery methods, redefine priorities and project phases, and adjust project activities.