Managing remote workers at Roche PDR.


PD Regulatory Affairs supports the Pharma Division of Roche by delivering innovative regulatory strategies and taking creative approaches that balance risk and reward for all stakeholders, whilst maintaining their ethical reputation by acting in the best interest of patients and medical practice.

The global function currently consists of approximately 600 people, mainly based in Basel, San Francisco, Shanghai and Welwyn (UK).

The challenge.

TMA World entered an extensive consultation process with PD Regulatory Affairs, where three principal business challenges were identified:

01. The Roche merger with Genentech in San Francisco.

This introduced a number of immediate changes, including a 9 hour time zone difference resulting in longer working days, adaptation to different corporate cultures, increased remote and virtual working and the need for even more thoughtful remote verbal and written communication.

02. The emergence of Roche China as a development site.

This introduced a new dimension to the global working environment and a greater complexity in terms of cross-border and cross-cultural working.

03. 38% of people in product development have direct reports at other sites.

With so many remote relationships between individual contributors and managers, there was a tangible need to support these individuals in becoming more effective remote managers.

Our solution.

TMA World carried out a number of stakeholder interviews, in order to further capture the needs of Roche managers. The PDR Managing Remote Workers workshop and learning path was then designed around our PEP framework to address the critical challenges of managing employees virtually and offer best practice advice and action planning for overcoming issues:


Bridging the distance of remote working with higher trust, motivation and communication.


Reducing uncertainty by having robust structures, information and measures in place.


Maintaining commitment to performance through effective coaching, delegation and feedback.

The results.

Managers participating in the PDR Managing Remote Workers Learning Path find that one of the key differentiators in this initiative has been the use of pre and post workshop activities to reinforce skills practice and the collaboration between internal and external learning expertise. This has set the foundation for the continuous improvement of remote managers’ abilities.