Preparing for interim assignments in the new reality of work
Interim management assignments have undergone a rapid and complete transformation to a purely, or almost purely, remote structure, with interim managers overseeing and coordinating projects via remote communication and conferencing technologies. While this was a measure to protect interims and full-time, non-essential employees during the pandemic, we are beginning to see processes being implemented to facilitate a return to work.
For example, KPMG, (a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services) shared a PDF how to return-to-office plan with step-by-step details on:
- Gradual and phased return for employees
- Key mitigation measures (access controls, physical distancing, PPEs, office cleaning/hygiene)
- Travel considerations and pre-emptive measures for conferences, events and meetings
- Preparations for technology incorporation
KPMG also included guidelines on communications and compliance in what they ultimately called the “New Reality”.
Although for interim managers, working remotely wasn’t a new concept, there are some considerations about how assignments may need to be managed in the new reality of work as more and more businesses explore the logistics of in-office working alongside more stringent health and safety measures.
Considerations for delivering assignments in the new reality:
While every assignment or project will need a different model for delivery, and whether this is in-house or remote will be down to the contract agreement between the interim and end-user business. However, some basic guidelines and considerations to bear in mind for future project delivery include:
You may still be required to work remotely on a project and continue to provide support and coordination for teams or departments via conferencing technology.
Additionally, to keep your options open after an assignment and increase the likeliness of taking on the next quickly, you will need to ensure you are familiar with remote forms of networking and building your professional reputation.
‘Work from home’ exhaustion
Whilst working from home is a continuation of how the world of work has evolved since March 2020, prolonged remote contact and collaboration between the end businesses’ teams and an interim can mean that their enthusiasm might have waned. If the morale in your client’s workforce has declined, you will need to be even more forthcoming and communicative to keep interim programmes hitting KPIs and meeting timeframes appropriately.
You may yourself be experiencing ‘work from home exhaustion’, in which case you may want to consider a break between your next assignments to facilitate some rest and relaxation.
Working back in the office
Working back in the physical office is unlikely to be the same as it was pre-Covid. There may well be changes to social etiquette, equipment, practices and processes to consider. People may be less comfortable shaking hands, there may be an expectation to disinfect equipment after use and more touch-free practices.
Interview meetings in person
Similar to working back in the office, there may be more practices used that limit physical contact between you and other people. You may have to present your portfolio or prospectus and experience at a larger table than you would have previously to allow for people to continue to socially distance.
IR35 definitions haven’t changed, but as you are probably aware, responsibility over adherence to it has. So, while contractors and interims still need to understand the regulations - to know if they sit inside or outside IR35 and position themselves to end-user businesses or clients clearly - businesses that utilise them have the responsibility to ensure the contractor is compliant with regulatory directives.
It is well worth contacting an interim service provider during this time – despite fluctuations in the UK employment market many providers are still operating, with new assignments and project briefs coming through on a daily basis – ourselves included!
We are always happy to offer advice and support regarding IR35 for interims, as well as any other concerns.
The digitalisation process
To facilitate remote working, many end-user businesses will have further digitalised their processes, from inter-team communication to HR practices, you may find you need to become more familiar with digitalised resources when working on a project.
How can we help source your next assignment?
We work closely with interim managers, businesses and consultancy firms to support their growth goals, matching the best professionals to exciting opportunities and assignments. If you wish to discuss interim management opportunities contact our specialist interim recruitment team.