Why is the Head of Remote Work an important position for companies to embrace now?
September 24, 2020
min read

Why is the Head of Remote Work an important position for companies to embrace now?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova
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It is exciting to see that the most forward-thinking companies at the moment are looking to fulfil a specific job position that didn’t exist ten years ago – Head of Remote Work. Remote working is not something new, especially within the tech world, but due to the on-going pandemic situation, it has become the dominant way of conducting business. Ok, so we ask ourselves, what is this position and what does it entail? 

Head of Remote Work makes things (remotely) smoother 

This practice is currently concentrated among tech firms, as remote working teams have to cope with high-paced project tasks, tight deadlines and ever-present time zone discrepancies. 

To put it in simple words, Head of Remote Work makes everything to ensure that the remote working teams work. Large scale companies such as GitHub, GitLab, Facebook, or Twitter are at the forefront of this initiative at the moment. However, mid-sized and smaller companies should learn from current best practices and integrate them fast in every day (remote) operations.

In terms of required skill set, this person should be, obviously, very strong at communication skills and well informed about technology. In practice, the Head of Remote Work should focus on writing guidelines to reduce online meetings, navigate time zones, and think on how to sustain the fade away of company culture. When a remote working environment gets smoother, the next tasks should go in the direction of creating an atmosphere where colleagues are comfortable with asynchronous work, making meetings optional, recording and documenting everything.

Recently, we have written about the importance of properly onboarding new remote working team members and to provide them with the necessary information to create a transition significantly more comfortable. One of the ever-impending tasks for this position is also to make sure that new people who join the company are able to acclimatize to working in all-remote settings as fast as possible, with emphasis on understanding the company culture. 

Key to maintaining transition is to provide new and current employees with a transparent view of the company’s decision-making processes and to transfer autonomy. It’s always a plus to encourage employees to fix problems on their own. Making autonomy should be one of the most important remote-working skills, on both levels, management and team members. 

Focus remains the same

Once a company establishes coherent remote working teams, under the surveillance of remote work managers and an individual team might need a certain amount of time to adjust. Some companies let their teams work in a hybrid environment for a while. This solution can be problematic, as teams can get used to this environment and never embrace full remote working. Let's try to avoid that. 

One of the main roles of remote work manager is to fine-tune the time zone discrepancies. Instead of defaulting to meetings, the remote working manager should try to optimize meetings, making daily ones, solving problems at once. 

To better understand why this is so important for the creation of fluid management style, think about the situation where a direct report requests the manager's attention. 

Each time an answer arrives, on the other side, the company detects loss of productivity and focuses on answering. If the manager considers answers and documents them, or prepares answers available on an online repository, the process becomes more useful long-term wise. 

To conclude, managing an all-remote company is pretty much the same as any other company. Focus on trust-building, over-communication and wide support on the company shared goals.

Embracing the Head of Remote Work job role means going one step further

We now understand that the companies from the technology sector accepted the shift towards remote work with far more ease in comparison to traditional ones. Forward-thinking companies like Slack embraced remote working and went one step further, reimagining how Slack should operate in a “remote first world”. 

“In an increasingly dynamic world, the fundamental business advantage is organisational agility – the ability for individuals, teams and organisations to maintain alignment while continually transforming to meet evolving challenges.” - Stewart Butterfield CEO and Co-founder, Slack

For further insights on how companies are traversing when everything changes, check the latest guide from Slack.

As tech companies are already adjusted to remote working and closely followed by other companies existing in the world, we are already experiencing the next challenges. The future began in the present, and 2020 gave as a valuable lesson(s).

Challenges will always be around us, remote working is just one of them, and at WeAreDevelopers, we declared online recruiting as the go-to strategy long before the pandemic crisis started. We have also made it our mission to help recruiters seek and find the best possible developers for their companies by providing them with insider know-how, tips, and tricks. Get our free guide for online developer recruiting on the link and optimize your remote work processes!


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