Now is the time for industry leaders to take the necessary action to accommodate the next normal for their workforce, the question is, will that include appointing someone as Head of Remote Work?
This role has grown across companies in all industry verticals over the last year, with rapid growth over the first couple of months of 2021. The position will need to combine IT, HR and Real Estate expertise to ensure that, what is now a widely distributed workforce, can work productively whilst working remotely.
This new role could well prove essential to companies, with no certainty as to when employees will be allowed to return to the office in the same way as they did pre-COVID, if in fact, that will happen at all. A Head of Remote Work will be tasked with creating a cohesive remote culture.
This will include:
1. Providing a robust remote work technology solution for all employees, giving employees, the tools they need, to remain productive working remotely, is essential to successful remote working.
2. Implementing the correct HR policies, remote recruitment for example. According to LinkedIn, 70% of recruiting professionals say virtual recruiting will become the standard.
3. Reimagining the role of the office, create workspaces specifically designed to support the kinds of interactions that cannot happen remotely. Potentially reducing office footprint, with employees working remotely, is there a need for the same office space?
Despite the coronavirus vaccination programme and lockdown restrictions, workers in five European countries including the UK now expect to work from home until June instead of April, according to research carried out by the AlphaWise unit at the US bank Morgan Stanley.
Will every company appoint a Head of Remote Work? In short, no, I doubt it. But, the IT, HR and Real Estate heads, will need to work closely to achieve the same results. Even for those companies that do appoint a Head of Remote Work, if this specific role is not around in the long term, companies will still need well planned strategies and policies in place, to facilitate successful remote working for all employees.
Having a head of remote work, is not necessarily essential but it will most certainly be of a major benefit and I am sure large numbers of businesses will continue to appoint them. If you do not, ensuring there is joined up planning between the IT, HR and Real Estate teams, is essential to ensure remote working is a success for your business.
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