In new research from Worldwide ERC, a panel of 600 global senior human resource leaders share their insights into the journey that their companies have taken developing a post-pandemic work model. The insights cover leadership, taxation, tracking, compliance, and compensation and benefits. 

The report notes that almost 81% of large organizations anticipate that 50% or more of their workforce will work remotely on a permanent basis from here on out. On the other hand, a little over 76% of smaller organizations anticipate 50% or less of their workforce will be remote on a permanent basis. While there is a difference between larger and smaller organizations, the primary point here is that everyone needs a remote work policy, no matter what percentage of time people are working remotely.

The factors that have prioritized this move toward a more distributed workforce are the goals of:

  • offering a better work-life balance to employees
  • increasing employee attraction and retention
  • creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce
  • expanding a company's talent pools
  • reducing labor costs for a company
  • minimizing real estate costs for a company
  • lowering carbon emissions

Despite the level of effort to determine the potential tax ramifications, over 55% of North American organizations and 83% of Asian organizations were willing to allow employees to work in locations in which they do not have a permanent establishment, while also recognizing they would need to look closely at tax treaties and specific situations. This then raised the question of  where specifically remote can work be offered and for which roles. To make that decision, employers looked at these factors (in this order of importance):

  1. employee responsibility
  2. employee function
  3. job level
  4. employee performance
  5. country or region
  6. tenure of the employee

The assessment of whether the position is best suited for onsite versus remote is a practice of contemplating impact and ROI. Per the report, "In other words, when creating a remote work policy, senior HR leaders must evaluate the level of required teamwork, client interaction, training, and the impact on the employee's current and future development."  

Tracking employees and properly adhering to tax requirements has been a major focus, and mobility teams are more valuable than ever to companies that now have more employees working from so many more locations. Mobility teams are also familiar with addressing compensation issues that are a result of employees moving to work in new locations. Another interesting insight from the research was that 60% of companies will adjust current remote worker compensation to match a location.

The research shares further insights into duty of care and the types of expenses organizations are willing to cover for remote workers. This research will be very valuable for those who are still working through the process of developing an updated work model.

This research is also part of a new Worldwide ERC insights series that shares perspectives on where work is going from professionals who are involved in each of the aspects of relocation and workforce mobility from around the world. There will be four reports with different perspectives — one for senior HR executives, one that represents the opinions of corporate mobility professionals, a third with service provider insights, and the last being a final summary report.