To stay aggressive, companies of all sizes are discovering the necessity to make distant work a precedence. And as extra corporations rent distant expertise, they might want to rent a head of distant work to supervise this workforce.

Even earlier than the large shift to distant work triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies employed distant employees and a pacesetter to supervise them. A director of distant work (or distant work officer or distant work chief) is usually seen as essential to success.

But what precisely is a distant work chief? What do they do? Does your group want one? What abilities ought to an individual on this position possess? How have you learnt you’ve discovered the suitable individual for this place?

Right here’s what it’s essential learn about hiring a head of distant work.

Why are corporations adopting distant work? 

There are a number of compelling causes for enterprise house owners to embrace a distant workforce, together with: 

  • Higher entry to prime expertise – You may rent expertise from wherever, not simply from the rapid neighborhood of your bodily headquarters. 
  • Decreased actual property prices – Fewer staff working in a single, central house require smaller bodily footprints. This will result in financial savings on costly business actual property and cut back overhead prices. Some companies could remove solely the necessity for workplace house or change to renting assembly areas on an as-needed foundation. 
  • Elevated productiveness – Your workforce could also be extra productive (and maybe much less harassed) as staff save time and cut back prices associated to prolonged commutes. 

Companies must develop a complete technique for shifting to distant operations on a sustainable foundation. On the similar time, it’s essential to do not forget that what works for one firm could not serve one other one properly. Some corporations could turn into solely distant. Others could discover a hybrid mannequin – a mixture of distant and in-person work – splendid.

No matter path a enterprise chooses, corporations want devoted specialists to assist them create distant work insurance policies.

What’s a head of distant work? 

A head of distant work is somebody who can construct a work-from-home program (or a hybrid mannequin) whereas managing all facets of a distant, presumably distributed workforce of staff working from totally different time zones. 

Whereas many organizations have a distant work chief, there may be little uniformity within the definition of this comparatively new position. The excellent news? Every enterprise can customise key components of the position to go well with their particular wants. And any such position will probably proceed to evolve.

Does my enterprise want a distant work chief? 

The reply is dependent upon:

  • Your organization’s measurement
  • The depth and breadth of your group
  • Its operations
  • Whether or not what you are promoting is remote-friendly or all-remote

In case your workforce has quite a lot of distant employees, plans to rent extra distant expertise, is exploring a hybrid mannequin or is transitioning to an all-remote workforce, a distant workforce chief can construct a mannequin that:

  • Permits anticipated organizational efficiency
  • Retains the supportive components of tradition, values and sense of belonging for workers throughout your group

What does a distant work chief do?

Usually talking, a distant work chief is devoted to creating distant work a profitable organizational technique. As such, it’s a job that touches virtually each a part of what you are promoting, together with: 

  • Addressing worker expertise and tradition wants 
  • Recruiting distant employees past the pool of candidates inside commuting distance of your organization’s headquarters 
  • Constructing a extra various and inclusive workforce as you rent staff from many places 
  • Supporting profitable distant work environments with the suitable know-how, equivalent to webcams and mission collaboration software program 
  • Managing the cybersecurity dangers of utilizing know-how for distant work 
  • Defending proprietary companies processes or mental property 
  • Serving to managers perceive find out how to lead distant groups and reward distant employees 
  • Addressing the shift in how gross sales groups meet with purchasers or mission groups collaborate on complicated initiatives. 

What abilities does a head of distant work possess? 

The best particular person is somebody who’s: 

  • Equally capable of enhance enterprise processes in assist of strategic imperatives and give attention to the main points of how folks work
  • Adept at working with leaders and groups in any respect ranges of the group 
  • A enterprise associate with robust folks abilities and problem-solving abilities 
  • A quick learner and revolutionary thinker 
  • Extremely collaborative 
  • A wonderful communicator 
  • Comfy navigating know-how and technical terminology 

HR expertise isn’t a requirement for this position. It’s arguably extra essential for this chief to know folks, tradition and dynamic enterprise environments than HR regulatory compliance points. Plus, the distant work chief can all the time seek the advice of with HR about particular points.

When recruiting for any such place, it’s essential to remember that the position’s scope of tasks influences the title (i.e. chief distant work officer, government, supervisor, director or chief). Keep in mind, too, that you simply can also selected to rent somebody both in a full- or part-time capability, usher in a marketing consultant or promote somebody internally right into a stretch position.

Backside line: You need to choose a pacesetter who can lead the creation and implementation of the very best mannequin (all distant, all on-site or hybrid) to satisfy enterprise wants. 

8 issues a distant work chief ought to know 

  1. Staff’ want for bodily workplace house and gear and the way that impacts the corporate’s want for business actual property 
  2. Methods to take care of the corporate’s tradition and staff spirit in addition to find out how to design high quality networking alternatives to assist keep communication and collaboration
  3. Distant recruiting and hiring finest practices 
  4. The artwork of digital onboarding, worker improvement and efficient two-way communication with all staff 
  5. The right way to combine asynchronous work schedules of distant employees with in-office employees, particularly for these working from dwelling with youngsters 
  6. The right way to meet distant employees’ wants for IT assist whereas sustaining cybersecurity finest practices 
  7. Staff’ compensation for distant staff, together with figuring out and addressing burnout and implementing finest practices for ergonomic dwelling workplace design 
  8. The right way to handle distant staff by specializing in the quantity and high quality of output, not the hours spent sitting in an workplace 

Summing all of it up 

The shift to distant work – with digital buyer interactions and contact-free, digital processes – could have been sped up throughout the pandemic, however it’s going to probably by no means solely disappear for a lot of corporations. To assist staff, clients and strategic companions in at present’s digital-first setting, enterprise house owners are constructing new finest practices, together with making a distant work chief of their organizations.

No matter strategy you’re taking to distant work, don’t lose sight of the crucial aggressive benefit a powerful, proficient workforce can deliver to what you are promoting. Get extra concepts by downloading our free e-book: The right way to develop a top-notch workforce that may speed up what you are promoting.

This weblog was co-authored by Center Market Strategic Consulting Providers Supervisor Cindy Larson DeMarco, EdD, MA, BS. She brings greater than greater than 25 years of management and consulting expertise inside numerous industries together with finance, banking, non-profit, authorized and know-how. She’s based mostly out of San Diego, California.