The rise of the Chief Remote Officer

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Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The increase in ‘Working from home’ over the past few years, has led to the creation of a new job role – ‘Chief Remote Working Officer’.

In October 2022, over 100 UK companies were advertising for someone to oversee hybrid working, which is an increase on 52 jobs advertised in 2019, according to the jobs search engine Adzuna.

Demand for this type of role almost trebled in 2020/21, unsurprisingly during the Covid-19 pandemic, where lockdowns forced workers who were able to work remotely, to not go into the office. Vacancies for home working monitoring rose to a peak of 130 different companies at the start of this year.

Hybrid working has remained popular despite an end to lockdown restrictions. More than 80% of those who had to work from home during the pandemic said that they planned to continue to incorporate home-working ongoing, according to a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in February 2022. This has reduced, but still almost a quarter of workers surveyed in May, said that they spent part of their working week working from home.

The specific job title of ‘Chief Remote Officer’ has been particularly popular in the tech sector. Facebook/Meta being an early adopter, having first started to recruit for the position in September 2020. The social media company said it was “looking for someone to develop a long-term working plan and lead the firm to push towards a remote-first way of working”. Mark Zuckerberg was also quoted as saying that he expected at least half of all their employees to work remotely within the next decade.

Although hybrid working is here to stay, there are some signs that the number of people working remotely is falling. The percentage of people who reported that they worked exclusively from home fell to 22% between Feb and May of this year, when the latest ONS figures were published. If we become dragged into a long-term recession, then this may reduce further as bosses start to call people back into the office as the perception may be that they can have more influence or control over working performance.

A separate survey by Linkedin which was published this week, has shown that fewer than 12% of jobs advertised in the UK are ‘fully remote’, which is the lowest number since records were first recorded in September last year.

Paul Lewis, CCO at Adzuna said that although remote working could be good for productivity and performance, the “lack of face to face communication and social interaction can lead to employee disengagement and burnout”. He said that chief remote officers would be responsible for “future-proofing the business to avoid employee disengagement”.

If you would like further information, or any assistance with recruiting for remote-working roles, then please feel free to speak to our recruitment team today.

Information source: Sunday Times 6th November