In this CXO Roundtable discussion, Tony Uphoff, Kieron Allen, and Wayne Sadin get together to discuss the concept of the Chief Remote Officer. The three discuss what this role entails and the cultural impact it could have on an organization.
00:49 — Kieron’s recent analysis focuses on the emergence of a Chief Remote Officer and what the role entails. The analysis elaborates on why now is the perfect time to implement this role, as remote working is increasingly becoming the normality. The Chief Remote Officer is the proper role to develop and implement strategies around remote working, especially for large organizations with thousands of work from anywhere employees.
01:45 — Tony asks Kieron if the rise of this role was inevitable or if it was accelerated by the global pandemic. Kieron responds by explaining that, by default, the pandemic accelerated this role. He notes that remote work would not be possible if not for the technology in place that enables a smooth transition from office work to remote work.
03:29 — In order for this role to be effective, “remote work has to be something we’re all in,” notes Wayne. CEOs cannot just give away the responsibility of being a leader. It is important to consider if the need driving this role is driven by the pandemic or if it’s systemic.
05:47 — Tony explains CEOs’ battles in defining who they are — are they hybrid? However, employees have gotten a taste for remote working lifestyles and he doesn’t think the concept of remote work will be going away. He asks Kieron where companies stand on “mandates.”
07:26 — Right now, Kieron says it is too early to be instilling mandates, which can be related to the idea of fluidity in the workplace. Eventually, remote work will just become “work.” The Chief Remote Officer could be beneficial in managing remote work, hybrid work, and in-person work. There is longevity in the potential of this role because there need to be “champions within your organization,” notes Kieron.
09:54 — Is there an impact of companies being “too remote” and not having a strategy for cultural development?
11:54 — The notion that company culture will absolve if teams are not working together in person is not true. “We’re talking about the culture for a couple of percent of the people at best,” adds Wayne.
12:04 — Tony asks Kieron and Wayne if this position will continue for a long time and if it will continue to be a C-suite level addition to companies.
12:33 — Kieron predicts that eventually, other upskilled board members will be able to take on this role, and it won’t be specific to a Chief Remote Officer. Although, as more digital natives enter the workforce, this position could become an expectation.
13:15 — Wayne predicts that eventually, remote work will be driven by CFOs, as they are responsible for reducing financial footprints — something remote work inevitably offers. Despite this, a few companies are likely to employ a Chief Remote Officer “to make a statement,” and others will do so because they need to support employees in a remote workforce.
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