Remote or hybrid working is now the norm for many individuals and businesses. Though the flexibility this can offer employees is uncontested, many businesses are struggling to keep track of the new reality.
Even the terminology is not yet clearly defined. Remote work has become a catch-all phrase covering people working at home, from a friend or family member’s property in another state, in a different country, from a hotel between business assignments or one of many other situations. Some prefer to call it alternative work arrangements, flexible working or hybrid working.
All of these terms refer to a shift away from what was a common assumption: that workers commute each morning to an office they share with colleagues.
Workers Demanding Alternative Arrangements
Attitudes toward these new modes of working vary dramatically from one organization to another, and often within the same leadership teams. Many businesses accept remote work not because they want to, but rather due to the fear of losing talent if they don’t. The battle for top talent remains fierce, and in addition to increased salary expectations, there is an assumption among candidates that the opportunity to work at least partially from home is a requirement rather than a benefit.
Some believe a hard recession would drive people permanently back to the office, others say work will never revert to the office-centric activity it once was. So, what does this mean for teams taking on this additional responsibility of managing a remote workforce?
Technology Needed to Keep Workers Safe and Compliant
Businesses need tools and technology to track where their workforce is located. Even for a permissive company that wants to fully embrace remote work, it’s important to have a systemized way to keep you informed of where your employees are performing their duties.
It’s also imperative to track workers to ensure you minimize risk around compliance with international rules on personnel movement, taxation and safety. In addition, it’s a strategic advantage to be able to locate workers where they can add the most value to the organization.
What the Pandemic Taught Us
From the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned that it pays to know the location of your people and their circumstances in times of emergency. This applies to the many disturbances including not only health crises, but also war or political unrest, soaring interest rates, sanctions, rising labor costs, supply chain disruptions and offshoring.
In these scenarios, the ability to shift to remote working can be a significant advantage. It can support business transformation because a well-managed, internationally mobile workforce will adapt much easier to meet the new structure and needs of the business.
PinPoint for Remote Work Management
Technology such as Equus PinPoint simplifies the management of your workforce, wherever they’re located. It runs automatic risk assessments on employee requests for remote work, so your teams can intelligently analyze the outcome to either approve the request or seek additional support. It highlights any risks associated with taxes, permanent establishment or corporate policy.
PinPoint also allows businesses to easily adjust their tolerance for remote working risks over time, as company policies evolve. In this way, organizations can choose their own risk appetite for their workforce when the next challenge to business operations occurs, or when a company moves towards new markets and opportunities.