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Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Our News

Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Remote Control – who’s responsible for managing a post-pandemic remote workforce?

The outbreak of COVID-19 triggered a global work-from-home experiment practically overnight. Initially, the roll-out of remote working was a concern for many corporates – a fifth, according to Hitatchi Capital Business Finance – but as the weeks have waged into months, there has been a noticeable shift in attitude.

Brands including Facebook and Google hit the media as they announced that policies had been extended until 2021 and Twitter stated that employees were invited to work from home indefinitely. Both bold approaches, but as businesses come to realise that employees can operate efficiently off-site, it’s predicted that remote working will have a firm place in the post-pandemic world.

There’s the unmistakeable benefit of increased savings on office space and statistics have also suggested that working from home boosts productivity and employee wellness. Additionally, without the limitations of geography, businesses can open up their talent pool to include the best of the best – a perk that many of our clients can vouch for.

However, as remote working becomes more widespread, the management of this workforce will require formalisation. Quick fix measures that were put in place to see companies through the initial stages of lockdown aren’t sustainable long-term solutions. There will be essential investment in tech required, necessary updates to HR policies and there’s another key consideration – who is responsible for a newly remote workforce?

The obvious answer would be a HRD and their department but is managing a geographically distanced team not a job in itself? Particularly a team that has felt the effects of coronavirus and therefore requires a higher level of support – professional and pastoral.

Employees, no matter where they are, crave a sense of responsibility. They want to feel accountable for the role they play and truly believe that they’re part of a bigger picture. Common challenges of remote working span from a lack of face-to-face supervision and access to information, to distractions at home and feelings of social isolation. Businesses that make a successful shift will establish daily check-ins and new rules of engagement. They’ll need to provide several different communication technology options and opportunities for remote social interaction, as well as focus on offering heightened encouragement and emotional support.

Of course, policies, training and performance evaluation of remote workers will still fall to HR. However, I’d encourage those organisations that see a future of remote working to seriously consider whether there’s a space at the boardroom table – or within a senior leadership team – for a new expert. Someone whose sole purpose is to focus on the needs of a home-based team – to drive productivity, encourage collaboration, analyse the efficacy of systems, identify potential issues and, crucially, provide a listening ear to employees.

It’s a complex role and one that requires professional and personal skills in equal measure, but the right individual has the ability to transform a business. Our sector experts can offer support with defining this new role and access world class individuals with the talent required to support your business as it adapts to the new normal.

Contact us.

Neil Humphreys, partner at Howgate Sable

The EMI Practice at Howgate Sable really took the time to understand our situation and find exceptional candidates who could fulfil challenging international leadership assignments for a truly global company with a history that spans well over 200 years.

It was a first class experience and positive outcome on many levels.


Barry McDonnell – Director of Manufacturing at De La Rue International

I have worked with the Howgate Sable team on several occasions whilst hiring mission-critical executives. Partnership is the byword for this organisation – they act as an extension of my team and work hard to support me not only in the technical solution, but in the sense of a deep understanding of my specific requirements. Delivery is the key measure of our talent partners and Howgate Sable have always achieved what was asked of them.

Jesper Berg – SVP HR, ABB

Having worked with Howgate Sable as a client and as a candidate I can confidently say their ability to deliver on complex searches is second to none. They not only have a detailed knowledge of the marketplace but also understand the importance of cultural fit. 

Bridget Lea – O2

I was particularly impressed with Howgate Sable’s knowledge and network in the aviation sector, the quality of the candidates provided at shortlist and the availability of Nick and the team to provide us with advice and guidance on candidates when required. Nick was particularly effective in understanding our needs as a Company and being flexible in adapting requirements and plans.

Paul Hutchings – Thomas Cook Group Airlines

I have recently worked with Nick from Howgate Sable to recruit a new Head of Aircraft Operations for Thomson Airways. I was particularly impressed by the wide-reaching search undertaken and the quality of the candidates put forward. The skills match to the brief was excellent and I am delighted with the individual we selected.

Dawn Wilson – Thomson Airways

From their initial call to me the Aviation practice team at Howgate Sable demonstrated a significant difference. Straightforward and to the point, the extent of their network and deep insight into the industry was immediately evident. The added value I have received as a candidate is tangible. An almost instant rapport quickly developed into a focused business relationship which is open, honest, respectful and above all trustworthy.

Carl Gissing