Rite Aid is going remote-first with its corporate workforce
A lot has changed about the nature of work and what is required to successfully run businesses since the pandemic took hold. New evidence of these shifts is the announcement yesterday by Rite Aid that it is taking a remote-first approach when it comes to corporate associates. To support the workers, Rite Aid is building a network of collaboration centers in markets where the drugstore chain operates to meet and collaborate in-person as needed.
Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan explained the transformation in a video to the enterprise-wide corporate team this morning. Among the news shared was that the company’s new corporate headquarters will be located in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard district to conduct meetings with clients and partners and help to establish and build relationships with remote staff. The space has been designed with in-person collaboration in mind and for company gatherings rather than office space. The planned regional collaboration centers will provide teams with the opportunity to meet in-person as well as training and development.
The number three U.S. drugstore chain has been operating with a remote workforce since the early days of the pandemic. Results from this unplanned experiment gave Rite Aid the confidence to move forward with its remote-first approach.
An internal survey of corporate associates found that a vast majority preferred working from home rather than traveling to an office. Associates pointed to increased productivity as a result of the greater flexibility and a higher degree of control over how they managed their work/life balance. Rite Aid is striving to align its corporate staff of 2,800 under a shared mission and an understanding of their responsibilities working remotely.
“We’re changing our business from the inside out, and our reimagined workplace is the latest exciting step toward the future of this company,” said Ms. Donigan in a statement. “We believe in remote work, and as we lean into it for the long term, we are investing in a physical footprint that will facilitate its best version.”
“We can recruit the best talent regardless of their location, and we can give our corporate associates the freedom and flexibility that today’s workers crave,” said Rite Aid COO Jim Peters.
“I think it’s especially meaningful that these changes were shaped by our associates, whose input we solicited along the way — this approach aligns with one of our core values: get there together,” he added.
- Rite Aid Brings Together Corporate Workforce Through Remote-First Collaboration – Rite Aid Corporation
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Rite Aid is on the right track with its remote-first approach to its corporate workforce and its use of collaboration centers? How do you expect other large retail organizations to approach corporate functions going forward?