Head of Remote Work: A New Role to Fill?
The days of working from an office are slowly becoming a thing of the past. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people working remotely or telecommuting grew by 216% between 2005 and 2019, so the trend has been upward even before the global pandemic saw the number of remote working opportunities balloon tremendously.
This upward trend is only expected to continue as technology evolves and more people become comfortable with working from home, coffee shops, or wherever they can find a stable internet connection.
This raises the question of whether companies need to create a new role in their organization to facilitate all remote work processes and initiatives.
Luciana Aldana, an HR professional, brings forth a proposal to rethink the dynamics of remote work in an organization. As part of this movement, the idea of having a Head of Remote Work in each organization that utilizes a fully remote, fully distributed system or those with a hybrid workplace setup was raised.
What is a Head of Remote Work?
There are five critical things that companies need to do to prepare for the future of remote work:
- Create a formalized process of hiring people remotely, so it’s not just an ad hoc decision made by managers or department heads. This also means creating an official onboarding process specific for new hires who will work remotely.
- Establish what tools and software are needed to work remotely and provide the necessary training for each remote worker. This includes having a central communications hub accessible by all remote employees, no matter the platform.
- Establish clear accountability and performance metrics for each remote team member. It’s easy to slack off or work less when working from home, so companies need to ensure that goals are set accordingly for each worker.
- Create new remote collaboration projects to ensure all team members are kept in the loop and feel like they’re part of the team, even if they’re not in the same physical space.
- Institute a remote work policy that covers all the rules, guidelines, and processes that a company needs to have to ensure the smooth running of their remote work setup.
The Head of Remote Work will be constantly involved in all phases of these initiatives, from initiating them to making sure they’re adhered to by every worker.
To learn more about the specific responsibilities that the Head of Remote Work would have, Luciana Aldana and RemoteEAR created a free eBook that talks about the role in detail.
There’s no question that the number of people working remotely is on the rise, and with good reason. Working from home has a lot of benefits for both employer and employee, from saving time on commuting to reducing stress levels to reducing overhead costs. But with this increased flexibility comes a need for companies to create new roles specifically for managing remote work processes.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether a company needs to create a new role in their organization to facilitate all remote work processes and initiatives. It depends on the size and structure of the company, as well as the type of work that the company is involved in.
However, if the trend of remote work keeps increasing to where it becomes a major form of employment for many companies, then there’s no doubt that the role should be included in an organization’s structure somewhere.