Managing a remote workforce requires the proper training and experience to ensure that a business can continue being highly efficient.
For Chase Warrington, who is the head of remote work at software company Doist, much of his day revolves around enhancing the in-person workplace experience too. In addition to planning company retreats, he also is in charge of daily tasks that require coordination between distributed workers.
Doist has been a remote-first company for the last 15 years, but it was only October of last year that the firm decided to introduce this new role.
“While we had the right processes in place for our work, there was a gap after Covid-19. We wanted a cohesive strategy in forging deeper connections, both in person and virtually,” said Warrington.
The same advice can be applied to companies both seasoned and newbies in the remote work world. Without comprehensive and consistent strategies, communication and work quality inevitably suffer.
But what exactly is a chief remote officer’s job?
“My role is like a consultancy on remote working,” said Warrington. “It’s looking at all elements of the team specifically through the lens of remote-first: what we need to upgrade or change to perfect our infrastructure.”
For many, it starts with navigating the pandemic-driven changes to the workplace. Most companies were initially forced into the remote work model with little to no guidance, and even as the threat of the health crisis alleviates, leaders still haven’t ironed out how to properly operate a remote or hybrid workforce.
One of the biggest obstacles leaders of remote teams face is anticipating challenges before they arise, including the use of specific platforms, asynchronous operations and more.
For instance, Annie Dean leads the distributed workplace strategy for collaborative software company Atlassian’s 10,000 employees across 13 countries. After pivoting to a fully remote team in the early days of the pandemic, the company introduced Dean’s role to make the transition to remote work more seamless.
“To be effective in ensuring teams get tasks done no matter where they work, we have to design teams on a time-zone basis, and have at least four hours overlapping between teams every day. Baking those processes into the daily operations of the business is a huge focus,” said Dean.
By specifying exactly what is needed from a distributed or remote workforce, those in remote management roles can fully reap the benefits of these arrangements without risking a loss in productivity or revenue.