Businesses Create A New 'Head of Remote Work' Role To Drive Success With A Distributed Workforce

In many corporate environments, roles like Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Security Officer were created over the last couple of decades because areas like data security and product innovation have become increasingly important for business leaders.

With work being dispersed to employees’ homes and traditional office processes being upended, apparently it’s time for a new business function.

Enter the Head of Remote Work role. 

Broadly, this role will be responsible for ensuring the operational success of a remote workforce through changes in technology, human resource policies, and company operations. 

Facebook recently published an active job listing for a director-equivalent of this role, with requirements that show a broad range of management skills. For a company with thousands of employees who have become used to working remotely, this new position solidifies the company’s distributed direction forward.

Since the Washington Post reported on this trend earlier this month, it’s become easier to see other examples of this.

More and more organizations are considering some form of this position.

Companies like GitLab, a San Francisco-based technology company, saw the value of this function well before the pandemic took hold. It hired a Head of Remote Work, Darren Murph, back in 2019.

In this post, Darren outlines some interesting and worthwhile questions for every executive to ask themselves as they manage a remote organization. 

Here are three of the numerous considerations that he outlines as important that may only effectively be addressed by someone in a Head of Remote Work-type capacity:

  • Who will be responsible for making sure that newly-hired remote workers have proper ergonomic workspaces at home?

  • Who will be responsible to audit and validate that perks and benefits are set up equitably for a global workforce?

  • Who will lead the proper audits to make sure that tools that don’t support asynchronous workflows are removed or replaced and new tools are introduced that support a more proper deprecated or replaced, and ensuring that new tools are used in a remote-first way?

While this shift shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, it will be interesting to see how much this theme catches on.

Does your organization have any Head of Remote Work yet? Do you think it should?