The rise of the global remote workforce

by Carlos Ruiz

This year Portas Global was to be attending multiple remote workforce summits, conferences and “Nomad” seminars around the world. There was a good reason for this. During the last twenty years, there has been an explosion in the number of companies shifting their recruitment strategies to focus on remote workers. Survey released last year stated that over 70% of employees around the world are now working remotely at least one day per week. The world is a different place today due to COVID-19 but the momentum of the remote workforce has now been amplified.

HR Business Partners are key strategic contributors around the boardroom table. Their skill set extends beyond merely setting talent retention and acquisition strategies. They now need to understand business financials, marketing strategies and operational management. It is no wonder that HR professionals identified that by implementing a remote workforce strategy they were able to find the solution to a lot of business challenges that have been unique to the last 20 years;

  • the never ending search for talent
  • reducing employment costs
  • greater employee engagement
  • accessing a global talent pool
  • increasing employee retention rates
  • reducing a company’s carbon footprint


Global remote employment is here to stay

As a Global PEO, we support businesses when they have decided to embark on this journey. Over 99% of the employees we engage on behalf of our customers are remote workers so we need to understand the opportunities and challenges the new world of work presents. Remote workers are not part of the gig economy or freelancers. They are employees who want a choice of where and how they deliver their skills to their employer. Positively, large corporate employers have embraced this changing mindset and have accepted the many benefits that remote employment provides. Remote working is disrupting the workplace as we know it today.

HR leaders recognise that today’s working culture is more receptive to agile working practices and management techniques. Having a remote working infrastructure is necessary  to support employees and there are a myriad of technology solutions already available. This is not a business challenge. The real challenge is remote workforce management. Setting boundaries to a borderless workforce requires some thinking. As well as establishing designated touch base events for global teams, remote employees will benefit and thrive with the correct performance management policies being put in place. Freedom of choice where and how to work does not mean that performance metrics will be taken for granted. On the contrary, our best performing global remote teams thrive in an environment where their results are measured.


Things to look out for with a remote workforce

As with all aspects of running a business, there are key considerations for HR professionals to put in place from the outset to ensure a positive remote employee experience. These are just to name a few;

  • Tax and Social security registration
  • Country specific employment contracts (bi-lingual if required)
  • HR Portals for secure and GDPR compliant exchange of employee data
  • Local technical support in the same time zone and language
  • Insurances (Health, Travel and Accident, Workplace Injury)
  • Accurate Global Payroll management
  • Remote communication and system logistics for global teams

Getting any of these wrong can contribute towards a dream remote employee engagement turning into a nightmare - but the good news is that these obstacles are easy to put in place with the correct Global PEO specialist on board.

Whilst it’s exciting to move a business forward and expand into other territories, it’s not always easy – and that’s where our expertise comes in. We’ve been helping companies to grow teams globally for many years and have the knowledge and reputation to make it a seamless and exciting process, rather than it being a business headache.

Our comprehensive global coverage ensures that wherever you’re looking to expand to, we have the knowledge, experience and reputation to ensure you’re fully compliant with your global remote employment obligations from the outset.

Remote global working is here to stay. Today, an adaptable employer that embraces change will set the groundwork for better-performing remote teams – and putting the steppingstones in place to ensure these teams are ready to hit the ground running when they start work is imperative.

Growing a business globally is no longer seen as visionary. It is the new norm and understanding the services and benefits a Global PEO presents to HR professionals will ensure you reduce your business barriers to entry.


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