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Upward Trajectory of Remote Hiring: How Senior Roles are Becoming Less Location Dependent

Upward Trajectory of Remote Hiring: How Senior Roles are Becoming Less Location Dependent

There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic will continue to reverberate for many years to come. However, one area that has positively progressed considering COVID-19 is the way we work and where we work. There are more remote workers than ever before, and many companies are looking to close or reduce their office spaces to support a better work-life balance. Typically, remote working has been an option for gig workers whose roles are more freelance based or who work in isolation, but as we offer this option to more teams across the US, isn’t it time to do the same for our leaders too? 

Why Remote Leadership is Worth Considering 

It’s no shock to learn that senior roles are often based in an office. This is to give a sense of accountability and provide a team with a figurehead to look up to, but with more remote working comes a contemporary style of leadership – one that can inspire and motivate from afar. 

The great news for life science is that if a workforce is remote, nothing is stopping you from selecting a leader that works remotely too! Remote leadership does not mean an absence of a leader but will give you a greater chance of finding the right leader from a larger pool so that your business can grow in capable hands while respecting their need for a healthy work-life balance! Failing to offer remote roles will not only narrow your potential candidates, but they may be tempted to leave sooner if they find a similar job that allows them to work remotely.  In addition, the life sciences industry is posting more remote ads than ever before.  

Getting Remote Leadership Right 

Many people worry that remote leadership will lead to a lack of good working relationships, but this doesn’t need to be true if a company invests in the right technology and the right leadership. Some of the main considerations a company needs to consider include: 

  • Considering whether their technological investment will support a remote leader’s success. 
  • Ensuring a system where all team members can access support and advice during their working day without delay. 
  • Finding ways to keep their leadership team visible and accessible so that the ethos and values of the business do not get lost in translation. 
  • Being willing to innovate where there may not be a current solution so that remote working and a better work-life balance become a fully supported model. 
  • Ensuring that all training opportunities are as robust remotely as they were in person.

When you find a leader with the drive and passion to take your company forward, it is worthwhile to offer them the way of working that best suits their needs. In return, you can be sure that they will drive success and innovate new ways of working that work for the whole team. 

The time has come to diversify hiring practices, with remote leadership becoming a real possibility. If you want to find out more about making remote leadership work for your business, then the GeneCoda® team are ready to help. Get in touch today and let us help you navigate the potential remote leadership has to offer. 

Showing Candidates the Way You Want to Grow

Showing Candidates the Way You Want to Grow

The ‘Great Resignation’ is proving to be a big challenge for life science businesses all over the globe, and with more roles vacant than ever before, candidates really do have the pick of the bunch! Rather than trying to wow potential employees with packages that may or may not impress, why not show them what you are about and where you are heading so that they feel motivated and inspired at the thought of taking the journey with you?

Why Growth Plans are Important

Typically, when a candidate applies for a position, they are left hoping to be considered and are made to feel that they are lucky to have been shortlisted. However, as the recruitment crisis rumbles on, candidates have become savvier to their potential and now expect much more from a prospective employer than a simple interview – putting you under pressure to perform in a way that impresses them.

One of the best ways to do this is to share your growth plans and clearly defined steps to ensure your combined success. This will help the candidate see that you are well organized and take accountability for the future, but it will also give them the information they need to work out whether there is a place for them to fit in your business model.

In addition, a growth plan will allow a candidate to see their potential career trajectory and work out whether their plans for success marry with what you have to offer. In reality, this will mean that some candidates will not be willing to come on board with you, but those who do will be more likely to stay for longer and work hard to make your plans and theirs become a reality.

Sharing Your Values and Goals Honestly

It can be tempting to share information that has been exaggerated to garner a greater level of interest in job vacancies, but doing this will not just mean a greater turnover of staff, but it may also harm your ability to reach the goals you had originally set.

Candidates are taught to understand their values and goals more than ever before, leaving them in a position of wanting to find a company they can feel appropriately aligned with. When you share your goals and values honestly, the result is a better working partnership between you and your employees and better business outcomes.

Taking the time to show your business has been well considered and your goals well-chosen will always help you appeal to the right candidates, even in the most competitive markets.

Is Your Company Committed to Innovation? Seven Questions

Is Your Company Committed to Innovation? Seven Questions

Innovation is the key to grow any businesses to a significant scale. Many businesses have started with innovative ideas and grown rapidly by disrupting incumbents in their markets. However, as they grow they have instituted management processes along the way which are designed for disciplined execution. They have unknowing migrated to a culture that values predictable outcomes rather than calculated risk taking. At some point, these companies start losing market share to the next innovators, and the cycle repeats. This innovation cycle is well described in the book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by the late Harvard professor Chris Christensen. It is well understood by many business executives.

In normal times, the slow decline of market share for an incumbent can take many years. It could be hard to get the topic of innovation on the agenda of its senior executives. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the innovation cycle. Most business executives believe the pandemic will force them to fundamentally change the way they do business in the next few years because their customers’ needs and wants have changed. In order to continue the growth trajectory businesses need to innovate. In some cases, innovation is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. But few business executives believe they are well equipped for innovation. According to a McKinsey study, only 21% of executives believe they have the expertise, resources, and commitment to pursue new growth, and two thirds of executives believe now will be the most challenging moment in their executive career.

Behind every crisis is also opportunity. It is the time for business leaders to reflect on their commitment to innovation, diving deep into their own mindset and their company culture and being radically candor about it. In most companies, there are wall posters describing their core values, which often include the word “innovation”, but is it manifested in their day-to-day operations? Most companies will say no, and that’s why only 21% of executives believe they have the expertise, resources, and commitment to pursue new growth.

The first step toward innovation is to commit to doing it. Once the commitment is made, the company’s culture, organization and management processes need to support the commitment. How do you know a company is committed to innovation? Answers to the following questions will reveal a lot:

1. Are the employees feeling motivated and empowered to bring forth new ideas?

2. Do you value and reward employees’ strength in thinking critically and constantly finding new ways to improve?

3. Do you always encourage diversity of thoughts and opinions in meetings to surface hidden opportunities?

4. Do you make it feel safe for employees to experiment and test new ideas, knowing most of them will fail or die due to limited scalability?

5. Do you ask and support allocating dedicated days in a week for employees in technical development or product development areas to focus on innovative projects?

6. Do you make your senior management team accountable for quantifiable innovation results?

7. Do you consistently review your innovation portfolio, and manage resources to improve outcome?

Depending on the answers to these 7 questions, you may find that your company is well positioned to innovate. Congratulations on that! However, if you are being radically candor, you may find that your company is falling short. Then it’s time to ask the question, do you want to change that? Feel free to contact me for an innovation assessment. Remember – “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter F. Drucker

The Rise of Open Offices

The Rise of Open Offices

Companies are often looking for ways to cut costs, and since real estate is usually the second biggest expense, it makes sense to evaluate real estate costs.

Many employers are analyzing their square feet per employee ratios and ways to reduce that, and one way to do that is to embrace an open office concept.

Nationally, square footage per employee has decreased from 211.4 sf in 2009 to 193.8 sf at the end of 2017—a decline of 17.6 sf or 8.3%. But, this trend has not been consistent across all markets. In many of the largest office markets in the country there were significantly steeper decreases, like in Northern Virginia, which saw a 13.3% decrease on sf per employee. However, changes in square footage per employee were small in markets where the space allocation was already relatively low in 2009, like the 2.2% reduction in Washington, DC.

A main concern with office densification is the potential downsides for employees when personal work space is reduced. Many employees can struggle with new distractions in an open office plan. For example, employees who need quiet time to focus can struggle if they now sit next to others who have a phone call heavy roll. Therefore, paying attention to what teams, roles, and personality/workstyles end up sitting in close proximity to one another can help mitigate these issues. Furthermore, offering private break-out spaces for employees to use for both heads-down work and for louder work like phone calls or team meetings can also help alleviate these issues and distractions.

While open offices were first praised for breaking down barriers and encouraging employees to have face-to-face conversations, new research has emerged that finds that often times open offices actually discourage this communication. Instead, workers can rely on email more in order to avoid distracting colleagues or to ensure privacy and avoid eavesdroppers. The impact of open offices on employee collaboration and communication is still being debated. Furthermore, each office and workstyle is different and therefore will react to an open office differently, but these impacts should still be considered.

At Cushman & Wakefield, we have helped a number of companies move to an open office concept or manage the change of each employee having less square feet allocated to themselves. We also have several tools to monitor the impacts. For example, our Experience per SF™ consulting program measures employees’ current work experience in their office space and identifies the biggest levers for optimizing the employee experience. This is useful both for employers looking to move into an open office concept, and those who already have an open office and want to make sure it still works for their staff.

The move to open offices that many companies embraced as a way to control or cut costs are probably here to stay. Therefore, ensuring that the office layout, open or not, works for employees is an important step for all organizations to take. Read more 

Keeping Your Team Together Remotely

Keeping Your Team Together Remotely

Teamwork is undeniably important when it comes to being successful in the life sciences sector. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations were moving towards a more agile way of working. Technology was starting to be used to connect people around the world so that talented life science professionals could collaborate. This was still in its infancy for most areas before the pandemic, with the changing world forcing organizations to become more agile and allow for remote working almost overnight.

Remote Teams are Becoming the Default

One of the biggest changes to the way people have been working in life sciences is that teams have become separated. People have needed to work within the guidelines for social distancing and remote working has become the norm for many people.

Remote working manifests itself in different ways and includes working from home for much of the working day, being placed into smaller team groups or reducing the amount of time spent in the company of others by holding virtual meetings and sharing more work through digital channels. Ultimately, the more we get used to working remotely, the more creative we need to become to meet all workload tasks.

Managing a Dispersed Workforce

Remote working brings many challenges, and this is particularly true for mangers or executives who need to ensure teams work effectively and maintain positive team culture, even when teammates aren’t spending time together.

A dispersed workforce can quickly become a demotivated team, which can lead to people being unhappy in their roles, or even leaving to work for a competitor. As an executive it is likely to fall to you to ensure this does not happen.

Bring Fun to Remote Working

It’s difficult to bring a team together when some people are working remotely and others are in the office. However, if you think about the things that you used to do as a team in the office for fun, you can replicate these. If you usually have cake and sing to someone on their birthday, why not send team members a cake in the post and have a Zoom catch up just for singing and enjoying cake together?

If you often go out as a team after work, arrange to have ‘after work drinks’ virtually. Or if you usually have lunch together, make sure you continue doing these things. People can enjoy a drink or lunch while chatting to colleagues over Zoom. It won’t be the same, but it will bring the team together. 

Focus on the Purpose and Potential

When teams are working remotely, or in a hybrid way, it can be easy for team members to lose sight of the purpose of their work. This is another way that people become demotivated or demoralized quite quickly. When working together, people talk and share aspects of their jobs, meaning that everyone has an insight into the bigger picture. When working remotely, you may need to instigate more regular virtual catch ups so that people have the chance to share what they are doing.

Giving people the opportunity to chat about their work and hear about colleagues’ work will help to ensure employees remain motivated and focused on the purpose of what they are doing. This will also mean that employees can realize their potential by finding out about other opportunities to progress.

Good Morale Achieves a Productive Solution

Maintaining a happy and productive team can be more difficult in the current pandemic climate. However, remote working and hybrid teams are set to stay for the foreseeable future and so implementing ideas now is only going to making working in the future more effective and efficient.


On Mental Health and Hope: We cannot lose this generation.

On Mental Health and Hope: We cannot lose this generation.

“We cannot lose this generation.” Dr. Kevin Churchwell, president and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital recently spoke with McKinsey & Company on the pandemic’s impact on children’s health. At first glance, my stomach braced for the same uncomfortable lurch that occurs each time I see or hear “children” and “pandemic” in the same sentence.

In reading through Dr. Churchwell’s take on how we need a continuum of care built upon technology and improved communication for our children, “hope” comes to mind – something not mentioned but implied. I think we must keep “hope” as our guiding star for how we address the pandemic trauma we are presently experiencing-especially for our children. Trauma, like hope, is relevant only in the mind of the beholder. I am not an expert on either but have studied mental health and the brain’s dynamics for a couple of decades. I also have had the lived experience of both.

After 40 years in health care and health information technology (IT), my focus has turned to mental health or more specifically – “brain health” – a nod to the fact that our brain has “plasticity” or can be shaped by external factors. I dodge any reference to “comparable pain” but know I have experienced enough pain to change how my brain reacts to what it interprets to be “trauma”. This change in career focus is different somehow from past career pivots; it somehow feels like mental health– chose me.

In my mind, hope is not an emotion, a resource that can be stockpiled, nor a commodity that everyone has a specific amount of. I chose the best online definition from Miriam Webster:

“Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.”

After some thought, I realize that the dominance of “hope” in my life–flanked by calm and a certain amount of peace–arrived only after I had spent time examining and “working” on (via counseling, research, and specific therapy) my own perspectives, biases, pain, and expectations.

Psychology Today has a well-stated take on hope:

“Research indicates that hope can help us manage stress and anxiety and cope with adversity. It contributes to our well-being and happiness and motivates positive action.

…. hopeful people do the other things that will help them move toward what they are hoping for.

Then, other positive emotions such as courage and confidence (self-efficacy), and happiness emerge. They become our coping strategy; the emotions crucial in helping us survive. They allow us to take a wider view, become more creative in our approach and problem solving, and retain our optimism.

It doesn’t ignore the trouble, or make excuses, or deny danger. It is not pretending. It is acknowledging the truth of the situation and working to find the best way to cope. It’s showing up and working through the hard stuff, believing that something better is possible. It’s resilient.”

Indeed. We all need that guiding star to convey hope, courage, and confidence to our children. There are reasons to be hopeful.

January 11, 2022|Brain Health, Children and Mental Health, Courage, COVID-19, Digital Mental Health, Hope, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Pandemic, Resilience

Life Sciences Employee Return to Office Survey Results | August 2021

Life Sciences Employee Return to Office Survey Results | August 2021

One of the top questions that employers in the Life Sciences community within the Capital Region are asking is how companies are approaching bringing employees back to the office. That’s why we asked nearly 30 top employers in the area to share their strategies in a recent survey conducted by BioBuzz Media.

What the data you will see shows is that while there’s still a great deal of indecision in the industry, companies are cutting a wide margin for COVID-19. Remote work, shifting processes, and the focus on safety are still top priorities. However, what you’re starting to see are the impacts it’s having on the long-term strategy for everything from facilities planning to talent acquisition practices.

Approximately what percentage of your workforce is now working remote for at least part of their week (2+ days)?

Read More Here

Posted by
Chris Frew
Author Bio
Leading a team of doers to foster #community, connect the biotech workforce & democratize access to better careers in biotech