Could an employer of record help with remote workforce management?

December 11, 2020

remote work

Source: elenabsl/Shutterstock

Nearly a decade ago, remote working was something of a rarity. An added job perk often associated with start-ups and millennial-founded companies.
Or a special arrangement designed to accommodate unique working situations. Once frowned upon by nervous employers who believed that it would lead to productivity loss, a growing number of companies are starting to see the value in adopting work-from-home policies.  

As the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic travelled across the globe, companies were forced to adapt. Thus began the shift to remote working to keep their employees safe. Whilst still allowing businesses to carry on with some semblance of normalcy.

Nine months down the line, the paradigm shows no signs of reversing as businesses continue to embrace the value of a remote workforce. A Gartner survey revealed that 74% of CFOs have decided to implement remote working as a permanent possibility. Even Mark Zuckerberg has expressed that remote is the way to go. Sharing his plans to have at least 50% of Facebook employees work remotely in the next five to 10 years.

Our article identifies the anticipated remote working trends for 2021 and how Employer of Record (EOR) solutions can help streamline the processes that come with building a remote workforce.


Is the remote workforce effective?

The remote working model is more than a temporary solution to a global health crisis. It is very much a new way of life.
 

While Covid-19 may have accelerated the adoption of remote work policies, the rise in its acceptance has been gaining momentum in the last few years. From happier, more productive employees to being able to create a more positive environmental impact, the effectiveness of remote work is consistently being put on display.

flexible working enviroment statistics
Source: Staples

Research found that employees with greater job flexibility were more engaged and enthusiastic about their performance. In fact, a study conducted on China’s largest travel company where volunteers were required to work from home four days a week for a total of nine months showed major improvements in performance. Resignations dropped by 50% and findings showed that those who worked from home were able to properly utilise their full shift due to an increase in concentration.

In the US, Airtasker conducted a survey to understand workplace habits and productivity. They recorded similar results. Remote workers were more productive than their in-office counterparts. They also had better wellness scores. The following shows some of the most compelling findings:

  • Remote employees worked 16.8 more days per year compared to their in-office colleagues.
  • In-office employees were unproductive for an average of 37 minutes. Remote employees were unproductive for only 27 minutes.
  • Remote employees were healthier in terms of exercise. Clocking in 25 more minutes of physical activity than in-office employees.
  • Remote employees take longer breaks on average than office employees. But they work an additional 10 minutes a day.
  • 15% of remote employees admitted to being distracted by their manager compared to 22% of in-office employees.
  • 39% of remote employees found ways to avoid working compared to 56% of in-office employees.

Remote workplace trends of 2021 and beyond

remote workplace trends

Source:elenabsl/Shutterstock

From technological advancements to the rise in value for more holistic work environments, we look at some of the transformational shifts we can expect to see in the time to come.

Teleconferencing software like Zoom and Google Meets have paved the way for businesses to thrive in remote environments. According to Fast Company, remote work software will become the preferred method for all communication. Replacing even face-to-face meetings. Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Slack is an example of the demand for collaborative tools that allow people to work remotely.

Our understanding of the office space will also begin to change. The Kung Group predicts that physical office spaces will be utilised differently. Mostly as an arena for “important meetings that optimize alignment, innovation, and community building.

Additionally, company culture will matter more than ever. With the loss of physical interactions, companies will need to take steps to build trust and relationships across all levels of employees. It will require commitment and communication that extends far beyond weekly team lunches.

Management must focus on implementing initiatives that will connect employees with one another, keep them informed and foster inclusion. Companies must also provide employees with access to information they need to perform well.

Remote working will cause a redistribution of talent away from major cities and business hubs. People will have more say in where they chose to live based on the quality of life they want. Without it coming at the expense of their career goals.

Recruitment will no longer be limited by geographical constraints. This will set the tone for remote teams becoming a core strategy in global companies. Companies can make hiring calls based almost exclusively on talent instead of location. Creating a global, more democratized talent pool of professionals.

In response to this trend, global employment solutions will play a vital role in mobilising employees and streamlining the various processes involved. We look at how EOR can help navigate this terrain.


What is an employer of record?

An employer of record (EOR) is a service offered by global employment solutions providers that allows their client company to legally employ staff in a foreign location without an existing footprint.

While the client company is responsible for managing the performance and schedule of the employee, the EOR is regarded as the legal employer in the foreign location. An EOR’s responsibilities can include sponsoring work visas, managing payroll and taxes, immigration and making sure all labour regulations are being followed. 

Professional Employment Organisation (PEO) is another term that is often used. While in China, the term Foreign Enterprise Service Company (FESCO) is used to describe employer of record services. They all have similar functions but offer varying degrees of global employment outsourcing services.

To learn more about EOR, our Employer of Record service page features a comprehensive guide on what it is and how it works.


How an employer of record helps businesses manage remote work processes
Employer of record services

Source: VectorKnight/Shutterstock

We look at some of the ways an employer of record can help streamline the management of a remote workforce.

Manages all legal responsibilities on your behalf

An employer of record is legally responsible to handle of facets of compensation. This includes allocating company benefits and managing taxes. Protecting you from any risks involving employee compensation and claims management.

Manage your back-office tasks

Employee onboarding procedures, payroll processing and etc. An employer of record handles all of these on your behalf.

Maintain compliance

From overseeing a remote employee’s compensation in the country they are based in, making sure they are paid on time to withholding all necessary taxes, an employer of records helps your company comply with the regulations of different state and federal government laws.

Save time and money

From payroll to handling local regulations, an employer of record saves you time by handling all the bureaucracy on your behalf. By removing the need to set up a local entity in the location your employees are based in, EORs can save businesses thousands of dollars. It also frees companies from having to invest money into hiring internal teams to manage administrative functions ranging from finance to legal procedures.


Remote working challenges and how EOR can solve them

Manage pay disparities 

EOR can help remote employees manage payment issues to ensure that they are compensated fairly based on expertise, time, location and more.

Advise on confusion pertaining to notice periods and termination rules

An employer of record can help remote workers resolve these issues especially if there are no clear guidelines stated within their contract with the client company.

Legal status for remote workers based outside of their origin countries

An EOR can provide remote workers with the necessary documentation to continue working legally.


Focus on your business with Airswift’s employer of record services

Here at Airswift, we consider ourselves a global business with a local approach. With more than 60 offices worldwide, our goal is to help companies grow internationally. Whether you’re working with remote teams across the globe or are looking to expand into new locations, we work closely with our clients to provide employer of record services along with other global employment and mobility services. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help!

This post was written by: Leanna Seah - Content Marketing Coordinator