managemnet company strategy managemanet 5 Steps to Take Your Company’s Remote Work Ambitions from Policy to Practice

5 Steps to Take Your Company’s Remote Work Ambitions from Policy to Practice

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Remote work is here to stay. Eighty percent of organizations worldwide now have some form of remote work policy, according to Deloitte’s recent global remote work survey. More than half said they allow hybrid work, which allows employees to work outside the office regularly but still requires an office presence. Twenty-seven percent said they allow employees to work completely remotely without ever going to the office. Only one in 10 said they would not allow any form of hybrid or remote working.

For many organizations, remote work is an increasingly important lever in business and talent strategy. Most business leaders say they expect greater flexibility to provide employees with a better experience and allow their organizations to draw from an expanded talent pool. Leaders also hope that remote work will help them achieve their cost savings and sustainability goals. And many workers today regard the ability to work remotely as an inalienable right.

Key motivations for implementing remote work

Remote, controlled?

The shift to remote and hybrid work raises tax and compliance issues to consider and address. Every time an employee crosses a domestic or international border to work, their move can trigger human resources (HR), immigration, payroll, and tax ramifications. Organizations face additional risk management challenges such as legal, corporate liability, and duty of care considerations when individuals work under the radar in new and different jurisdictions.

As the risks become clearer, so does the gap between policy and practicality. Leaders struggle to create remote work policies that enhance their talent and culture strategies while managing their complex business and tax risks. Regulation, culture, and tax compliance are the top three barriers to remote work Deloitte’s survey.

Figure 5 – Top Challenges in enabling remote work (% of respondents)

Out of sight, out of mind

The results of the survey of more than 820 tax, HR, mobility, and payroll professionals from 45 countries revealed worrisome gaps. Many companies have yet to state any limits on their remote work policies. Almost one in three said they still consider their guardrails for remote work or not at all. Almost a quarter said they were still thinking about the time limits they might impose.

Figure 3 – Guardrails implemented to enable cross-border remote working (% of respondents)

Other critical risk areas have also emerged. Forty-five percent of respondents said they did not align their business travel policies with their tax and compliance standards. Less than half say they use technology to support their remote work policies, and most say they use home tools, such as spreadsheets, to expose their organization of legal and financial risk. Only 40% say they track every remote work request.

Figure 9 – Tracking remote work requests (% of respondents)

And while many say their remote work policy is part of their talent strategy, many struggle to achieve their ambitions. Only 23% of organizations surveyed by Deloitte said they have implemented virtual tasks; 69% said they would not allow long-term international remote work; and less than 10% implemented an alternative employment model, such as a global employment firm or third-party employer of record.

Activating ambition

Organizations are at different points in the remote work journey. Those in the beginning may be exploring the implementation of a remote work policy or a set of guidelines, while others may be designing and integrating policies that align with their overall talent and business goals. Those furthest along in their journey seek to identify and implement technology and tools to implement their policies, reduce compliance risks, and develop long-term agile talent strategies.

Organizations should consider taking five steps to move their remote work ambitions from policy to practicality:

      1. Align your remote work model with the organization’s strategy. Understand what your business wants to achieve, and design a remote work policy that makes it happen. To effectively implement a remote work policy, align it with business strategy and involve HR, mobility, and tax functions in the process. A triage process is essential to enable informed decision making within the business.
      2. Assess the risk. Companies should implement guidelines and guardrails around remote worker policies, including eligibility criteria and approval routes (for remote work requests), location identification , and due diligence. Adopt a holistic view to properly control and assess individual cases from corporate tax, employer and employee compliance, legal, and regulatory perspectives, and follow them up appropriately.
      3. Identify functional routes. Tax and regulatory compliance are complex issues, especially for organizations that want to leverage cross-border remote work. Well-designed policies with clearly stated objectives, eligibility criteria, compliance risk guidelines, management processes, employee rewards and benefits, and roles and responsibilities are likely to be successful in creating remote work.
      4. Determine how to manage your remote population. Increasingly sophisticated technology and tools can provide better insights and analytics—leading to more efficient programs, better enablement, and better employer duty of care—as well as better employee experiences. employees and stronger tax and regulatory compliance.
      5. Stay connected to the long-term talent strategy. The impact of remote work on people, their purpose, the work they do, and where and how they do it differs across sectors, businesses, and roles. This difference requires leaders to shift their thinking around talent and the nature of work itself to unlock the growth potential of remote work.

Having the future of work

Employers are increasingly looking to hybrid work models as central to their talent strategies, growth objectives, and culture. But every organization is at its own point in the journey, depending on business goals, role requirements, risk appetites, and talent strategies.

The shift from policy to practicality in remote work requires organizations to be agile, encourage continuous improvement, and remain prepared to update their policies as workforce needs and tax and legal requirements evolve. rules evolve. Is your organization ready to embrace the future of work?

read Deloitte’s Global Remote Work Survey.

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