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Gaining a Competitive Advantage by Employing Overseas Remote Workers

“Tele-commuting” continues to be one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace, due in part to the majority of the workplace belonging to the millennial generation. However, employers are realising that this shift towards more flexible work options can be hugely advantageous for all parties and not just for this generation.

Here are some ways how businesses are gaining a competitive advantage by employing remote workers:

1.    Access to the Best Candidates   

When geographic locations are factored into the hiring process, it automatically reduces the talent pool that a company can tap into. Imagine expanding this search to a global level by removing these traditional boundaries. Having access to, truly, global talent means not settling for a “best fit” solution for you or your employee thereby ensuring greater satisfaction for all parties.

As part of this shift we’re seeing more and more job advertisements be intentionally vague about job location in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. 

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2.    Reduced Employee Turnover

According to a survey by hardware company Owl Labs, companies that support remote working experience 25% lower employee turnover. Whilst being able to appeal to the best new talent within your sector guarantees a competitive advantage, being adaptive to changes in the lifestyle situations and choices of existing employees further strengthens this position. 

This negates the need to initiate the whole recruitment process, in order to replace the individual, and having to re-invest precious resources, both from a time and financial perspective, into new talent. 

3.    Increased Productivity with Remote Workers

One of the commonly mentioned shortfalls of having remote workers, is the perception of decreased productivity. However. removing needless meetings, office politics and general office socialising can be beneficial in improving efficiency and also job satisfaction. By removing distractions that are often present in an office situation, it’s been proven that remote workers can accomplish more in less time. 

All of the above “office” variables, can of course, cause stress to employees, especially when you also factor in commuting, which is both time consuming, costly and energy zapping, it’s no wonder remote working is increasingly seen as being a positive force in increasing well-being. After all, happier employees tend to be more motivated, which in turn can drive efficiency and further strengthen strategic advantage. 

Challenges of Employing International Remote Workers

As you’d expect with any evolution within the work place, consideration must be given to the short comings of such change. Not all employees will flourish with the new freedoms attributed to them, self-discipline, motivation and mutual trust are required to prevent a downturn in productivity. 

Equally, not everyone will thrive when working remotely, some struggle with feeling isolated, and an inability to properly structure their time and separating home from work. 

1.    Reliance on Technology to Communicate 

Large consideration should be given to the technological capabilities of workers and having an adequate framework in place for trouble shooting, support and ensuring access to shared platforms between colleagues. Here’re some tools companies can use to maintain communication with their remote employees. 

2.    Increased Risk of Non-Compliance when Employing Remote Workers in a New Country

Employing a remote worker in a new country can be an overwhelming process. While there is no doubt there are numerous advantages as outlined above, getting through the administrative hassle and understanding foreign jurisdiction can be a challenge. The burden and risk of non-compliance is all on you and your company and you need to be careful when navigating employment and tax laws. The information you’re looking at may be inaccurate, outdated or in another language.

The consequences of non-compliance are far too high to not invest time and money in thoroughly understanding the country’s jurisdiction. Payroll, holiday entitlement, social security, tax, visas and immigration may seem complicated, but you can remove these “barriers” by using an Employer of Record solution. By shifting the burden to us, you can focus on other priorities and be legally insulated from any risk that may arise from non-compliance.

There are pros and cons to having a remote workforce, and clearly this is not a one size fits all solution. Managers need to adapt to managing remotely, HR recruitment policies and candidate searches may need modifications. 

Businesses who wish to hire international remote workers should be aware that it requires work, and as discussed time devoted to investment in setup, systems and procedures. But with the increasing acceptance that remote working is a good thing for businesses can you really afford to ignore this global phenomenon?

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