Is remote work fated to become a blip on the screen? For some companies, maybe, but for a growing number of others, no. Despite what we’ve heard about employers like IBM, Yahoo and Best Buy reeling in their telecommuters, remote work seems here to stay.
There’s research to back this up. The International Workforce Group (IWG) polled 15,000 people in 80 countries and found remote (flexible) work to not only be the “new normal” (which hadn’t been the case in previous years), but in many instances a deal-breaker. That is, if faced with two similar job offers, 83% of respondents said they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working.
The benefits to all parties involved — from greener companies and lower infrastructure costs to happier employees — have long been recognized, but another recent study by the ADP Research Institute quantifies this even further. It found that virtual workers are also more engaged than those who work in offices, which gives their companies a greater competitive advantage.
This being said, a remote and flexible workforce isn’t without its challenges, especially when workers are scattered around the globe either because they’re on assignment or business travel or simply because they and their employers are in different countries.
Due to the nature of the services our company provides, I’ve become quite familiar with these increasingly common challenges to organizations with remote-work flexibility. Some of the most frequent areas of concern include tax, immigration and statutory employer obligations.
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