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The Remote-Work Czar Is the New Shortcut to the C-Suite

One of the most sought-after management jobs right now is leading large, far-flung teams through uncharted waters. Human resources veterans need not apply.
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Illustration: Daphne Geisler for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ask a college senior, and “vice president of productivity and remote experience” probably isn’t on her list of dream jobs. Yet this fast-growing pandemic-era position has emerged as a previously unimaginable path to the C-suite—or at least to a virtual desk nearby.

The role, named by executive search firm Cowen Partners as one of the 10 most sought-after management jobs right now, entails keeping staff engaged and connected while working from home. Even before the pandemic, 11% of the global workforce was remote, and 20% will still primarily work from home in three years, according to consultant Willis Towers Watson. Research has shown that working remotely can enhance productivity, but it can hinder career advancement and prompt burnout, especially for working parents. So for large companies with sprawling global white-collar workforces, hiring a point person can be critical.