Why Businesses Should Not Be Afraid to Allow Employees to Work Remotely from Abroad

June 3, 2021

The global pandemic has accelerated and normalised the concept of remote working.  Previously, remote working was considered mainly by those companies that had a forward-thinking flexible approach to employee working hours and schedules. However, the forced closure of offices has meant that historically conservative industries are having to accept and implement remote working quickly and without complaint.  

With evidence mounting that remote working can actually improve productivity, and with businesses realising that they no longer need to hold on to expensive city centre real estate office space, it looks like the remote working revolution is here to stay.  A predictable offshoot of remote working from home is remote working from abroad.  

In fact, the phenomenon of ‘stealth expats’ is emerging more as employees relocate abroad whilst working remotely. As employees have developed cabin fever whilst working from their homes, more and more of them have chosen to weather the inertia by working abroad.  Companies should not be worried about employees that choose to work abroad, instead the focus should be on facilitating remote working from abroad and ensuring that their company policies are updated to reflect true agile working. 

Many employers will not notice if employees have relocated abroad, but ensuring there is transparency and open communication is key for businesses who want to ensure that their policies are implemented to create a win-win situation for both the business and the employees.  Landthere.com offers businesses support with local knowledge, comfortable accommodation options, workspaces, insurance, and visa support, making the transition to cross-border working easy for both employee and employer.

Policies

Businesses should expect that the trend for working abroad will continue post-pandemic. In order to be prepared to deal with employees working from abroad companies should take steps now to evaluate their policies and remote working practices.

Remote working abroad can be beneficial for both companies and employees.  Employers will be able to retain key employees, and workers get the flexibility they need to travel and work.  Companies will benefit from healthier, happier employees and lower office-space costs.  More companies are facilitating cross-border working arrangements, with up to 28% allowing international remote working.  Flexible infrastructure and policies will enhance the overall employee experience, resulting in more flexibility and lower recruitment costs as employees develop a sense of loyalty to their employers. 

Ultimately, the policies and the individual circumstances need careful consideration and those companies with the most flexibility will be the ones who retain key staff.  Talent acquisition and staff retention go hand in hand, companies do not want to spend valuable time looking for and training up talented employees.  If they do, they want to be able to retain that talent, and being inflexible with remote working policies will definitely lead to a higher staff turnover.  

Ten years ago remote working was almost unheard of, office presentee-ism was part of office culture and deemed to be an acceptable part of working life.  Advances in technology and digital innovation have meant that businesses can now function efficiently at the cutting edge of agile working.  2020 was a real watershed moment for businesses across the world, with the concept of remote working embraced by all.  The new normal for employers and employees is remote working, and digital transformation means workers can be as agile as they want to be.  

Potential of Remote Working

In order to be ahead of the game organisations need to ensure that they level up and transform how their remote teams will operate.  They need to consider the following:

Geographically dispersed teams often thrive and are more productive than office-based teams, and this is down to them having a better work life balance. Organisations learnt how to manage remote working in 2020, and 2021 onwards requires businesses to learn now to maximise remote working and facilitate remote working from anywhere in the world.  Managing workers from different geographical locations well will ensure that the business is able to proactively drive success, and produce a healthier and happier workforce who have a real sense of loyalty to the company. 

Remote working employees often work harder and better than those working in offices with set hours. A recent survey found that over 74% of UK employees want to continue working remotely once the pandemic is over.  This means that most employees will be actively looking for remote working opportunities, and will want to maintain work-life balance going forward.  


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