In March 2021, the People Mobility Alliance hosted a Lunch & Learn event, shedding light on the evolving “work anywhere” movement.
This phenomenon, accelerated by the unprecedented events of recent years, has transformed the way we approach work. We are now in an era where geographical borders are no longer barriers to productivity and collaboration.
This seismic shift in work culture has caused an increase in remote jobs that champion flexibility, autonomy and the liberation of choosing exactly where work happens.
In this article, we dive into the key takeaways and insights from our session and offer a deeper understanding of the rising “work anywhere” trend.
This article dives into key takeaways and insights, offering a deeper understanding of the rising “work anywhere” trend and remote work from a modern HR perspective.
Key Insights on #WorkAnywhere Trends:
The following key insights and takeaways from our Lunch & Learn session shed light on the main lessons learned during our discussion on remote work and the “work anywhere” trend.
1. Embracing Work Anywhere Flexibility:
The term “work anywhere” represents more than just a trend. It’s a cultural shift towards an entirely new way of working. More and more people have begun embracing the idea of working from a diverse range of locations and merging work, living and leisure spaces into one.
This newfound flexibility allows employees to curate their ideal work environments and gives them the freedom to choose where and how they work. More freedom, flexibility and choice means workers can personalize their space and unlock better productivity.
2. Global Talent Pools and Innovative Hiring:
In HR and talent acquisition, the “work anywhere” trend acts as a gateway for companies to access global talent pools. It also means they have to rethink their hiring practices to allow them to tap into this diverse talent worldwide.
3. Technology-Driven Service Provision:
The modern workforce relies on technology. Naturally, this also extends to HR practices. Technology-driven service providers that provide seamless tech integration are in high demand. The goal is to utilize them to streamline work processes, enhance employee experiences and bridge geographical gaps.
4. Consistent Internal Communication and Policies:
Organizations recognize the need for clear internal communication and well-defined policies in order to navigate the rising “work anywhere” movement. These guidelines outline the possibilities and limitations of remote work arrangments, ensuring a smooth transition for all stakeholders.
5. Holistic Regulatory Compliance:
Although the rise of remote work and global mobility is exciting, regulatory compliance remains an essential part of the puzzle that requires a comprehensive approach. Companies must consider factors such as employment regulations, immigration, personal income tax and social security. This holistic perspective ensures legal compliance and avoids potential pitfalls.
6. Sustainability in People Mobility:
With the world currently facing the climate emergency, and organizations embracing the “work anywhere” movement, sustainability is naturally a critical consideration for HR departments. Many now prioritize sustainability initiatives in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint associated with people mobility. This alignment with broader environmental goals exemplifies a forward-thinking approach to remote work and global mobility.
When looking at the “work anywhere” movement and global mobility, it’s important to explore how corporate landscapes need to adapt. Below you can find our Lunch & Learn insights on the strategic shifts companies are making to harness the full potential of remote work and cross-cultural mobility.
1. Flexibility with Diversity and Inclusion:
Embracing diversity and inclusion is a vital part of modern corporate success, particularly in the “work anywhere” era. Progressive organizations are redefining their policies to accommodate for more diverse and individual circumstances. They also have to maintain focus on core requirements like immigration compliance to ensure a good balance between global mobility and legal adherence.
2. Pay Scale Considerations:
One of the challenges employers face is determining the appropriate pay scale for remote employees. Companies are addressing the complexities of whether employees should adhere to home, host or global pay scales. For bigger organizations, establishing a Global Employment Company may be a viable and effective solution, providing a more standardized approach to compensation.
3. Leveraging Technology and Consultants:
Technology and local consultants are crucial in facilitating smooth #WorkAnywhere transitions. Digitalization simplifies workflows, empowering employees to identify their unique needs for remote work.
Seamless transitions in the “work anywhere” era rely on the fusion of technology and local expertise. The digitalization of workflows simplifies processes and empowers employees to identify and articulate their unique needs for remote work. Tailored support from local consultants in host countries, plus the implementation of HR tech solutions, really enhances the employee experience.
4. Lump Sum Benefits:
Lump sum benefits, traditionally used for international relocation costs, now find a new purpose – supporting remote work initiatives at a company’s request. But determining the appropriate amount of the lump sum remains an important consideration. Employers must effectively communicate a clear explanation of the purpose of the lump sum to ensure transparency and satisfaction among employees.
5. Tax Efficiency:
Employers must navigate the nuances of the taxability of the lump sum, which varies based on the method of delivery. To optimize tax efficiency, employers can consider managed caps. Although they reduce the tax burden, they also require additional administrative responsibilities.
6. Provider Integration for a Seamless Experience:
As companies expand their global footprint, they are adopting provider integration strategies with service providers, both vertical and horizontal, in order to build seamless experiences. This integration also streamlines the provision of “work anywhere” services.
“Work anywhere” is not only reshaping the corporate landscape. It’s also having a profound impact on individual aspirations and choices. Here, you can find insights from our Lunch & Learn experts on the world of remote work from an individual perspective.
1. Expanding Remote Work Opportunities:
Remote work and “work anywhere” opportunities extend beyond the realm of large corporations. Startups, digital nomads and freelancers have all embraced this newfound flexibility to create their ideal work environment. Office space boundaries no longer apply and people have the autonomy to choose where they work and live, redefining traditional work arrangements.
2. Cost of Living and Employee Benefits:
The choices that people are making when considering their possibilities in the “work anywhere” trend are shaped by many factors. Cost of living, employee benefits and the extent of company support for expenses like phone calls and internet access while working remotely all play into the decision-making process.
Compliance is the constant anchor running through all other considerations regarding “work anywhere” and cross-cultural employment. Here, you can discover what our experts had to say about the nuances of compliance as we move into a remote work-friendly world and digital HR era.
Companies find themselves at the forefront of compliance management and must establish new processes specific to remote work. There are many complexities here, including employment regulations, immigration, personal income tax, and social security. And they have to develop these processes to work in both international and domestic scenarios.
1. Navigating “work anywhere” complexities: An example.
Consider the scenario where an employee relocates from Germany to a foreign country and opts to work from home in their new location. Although a seemingly simple decision on the surface, underneath there are a lot of compliance challenges for the employer. These may include potential Permanent Establishment implications, wage tax obligations and social security withholding, and filing responsibilities in the host country.
At the same time, the employee may also find themselves subject to tax return filing obligations in their new country of residence. From a German perspective, this becomes complicated because the employee’s income may be exempt from payroll tax but still falls under the German social security system. This type of situation with multiple legal considerations thus necessitates a meticulous risk assessment and compliance analysis.
2. The Role of Employer of Record:
Within the labyrinth of compliance, an Employer of Record emerges as a crucial ally. These services offer flexibility, aligning individual requirements with corporate constraints. Employers of Records excel in effectively managing compliance.
The “work anywhere” trend is reshaping the way we work and live. It’s essential for both companies and individuals to adapt, consider all the factors, and leverage technology to successfully navigate this shift into a new, more modern way of working.