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Work-from-anywhere is here to stay and will continue for many companies long after the pandemic has subsided. Digital transformation spending is predicted to double through 2023 and many companies are making plans to sustain their migration to remote work. Good business leaders will have to continue to adapt to the new realities. 

A new leadership title has arrived as a sign of the times: “Head of Remote Work.” This new title has its variations, essentially requiring a savvy communications and technology pro that can wear many hats — requiring oversight of various moving parts from technology strategies and connectivity to HR initiatives.  

Work From Anywhere Leadership

In this Washington Post article “Why ‘head of remote’ is likely to be a job title of the future”, Jena McGregor explores this emerging category of leadership. The introduction of the remote work title and the role is striking not only in its timeliness but also in its signaling of the investment in remote offering-futures for many organizations. Read on for more about the new “Head of Remote Work” details.

WFA Leadership Role

The new role is rather focused on niche knowledge-work and technology sectors. However, widespread and sophisticated virtual tools, cybersecurity, and 5G offerings will enable its expansion to even more industries.

Remote work directors or leadership responsibilities vary from company to company and may include any or all of the following:

  • Advocacy for remote workers;
  • Strategizing remote work as a long-term option for organizations;
  • Cross-functional responsibilities to help smoothly transition existing and new employees to remote work protocols; (this is a crucial leadership skill)
  • Standardizing new remote work normals and enacting guidelines for navigating timezones, employee moves, tax issues, meeting coordination, etc.; and
  • Evangelizing company culture and building connectivity while employees operate from disparate locations.

Remote Offices Are Part Of The Next Normal

As working remotely grows in popularity and proven benefits, the need for more comprehensive roles and teams will also accelerate. “I do think it could become the next evolution of the chief operations officer or the chief people officer or maybe the chief culture officer,” said Darren Murph, GitLab’s Head of Remote Work, in the WaPo article.

Remote offices are part of the next normal, which will require specialized leadership for the companies that see it as part of their operating model. The individuals chosen for Head of Remote Work roles will find a frontier of new possibilities and challenges, shaping a distinct image and company culture around what work-from-anywhere means and how successful it is proven to be in the long run.