The ‘back to the office’ versus ‘working from home’ debate rages on as more companies announce they are reopening and want their staff back in the building.
Frankly, it’s the wrong conversation to have. You need to start by looking at the outcomes you want to achieve, and then reason back to the best location to deliver those.
And so, a new role is deemed to be critical for success: ‘Head of remote work
’. The purpose of that role is to keep remote workers engaged and make them feel part of the conversation.
But, isn’t that their manager’s job? While it would be good to have someone who can take care of all the details supporting a remote workforce, it’s up to team leaders to make sure they are included. Remote workers don’t work in a vacuum: they are part of the team.
Leading remote workers can be a bit scary, because you might feel like you have less control. There are issues to consider: If you pay someone in a high cost location, can that employee move to a low cost location with the same salary? Is that a fair pay policy?
There are also practical points to resolve: eg technically, by offering a secure and reliable environment regardless of the location. What about travel? How will performance be graded and are there regular (mandatory?) check ins? The list seems daunting, but is not insurmountable. It’s actually very doable.
If you hire a Head of Remote
to facilitate this process and make sure team leaders are well equipped to manage in-office and remote staff I’m all for it. Even better to consider it a project with an end date.
But building good working relationships and ensuring people thrive at work is up to their managers, whether employees work remotely or not. The 2021 Work Trend Index has more on that.
Have a great weekend, Anita
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