Telemigrants are the future of work.

Nobody can know with any certainty what the future of work will look like in 5 years from now. But if there is one thing that the current crisis has proved, that’s agility and adaptability are paramount for any business or individual to survive now and thrive in the future.

I have been exploring people managers’ pain points for the last year. Something stuck with me in the process: the once called “Human resources” function is meant to become the most complex and instrumental role in any company. I might be stating the obvious but that function – whether standalone or embedded across the organization – is expected to build agile and adaptable teams, find the best talent, facilitate constant learning, reduce costs, manage diversity, ensure work-life balance,… all this at lightning speed in a quite regulated environment.

The good news is global employment – mostly remote – ticks quite a few boxes. It just needs to be supported by up-and-coming tech innovations.

Remote is here to stay

The current crisis has demonstrated in the last few weeks – even to the most reticent managers – that remote working actually works. This is not anymore the distant future state of work: change is already happening. The current crisis is just reinforcing and accelerating the trend.

  • Technology contributed to making remote working practical. Everybody – employers and employees alike – are now more comfortable, capable, and confident with remote-tech to deliver frictionless and efficient work.
  • Managers are improving their ability to lead based on objectives and outcomes rather than based on proximity management and presence.
  • Companies can significantly reduce their real estate cost.
  • Employees have experimented with no commuting time and stress, less non-important meetings and less overall bureaucracy. It increased their productivity and released precious time to improve their work-life balance.
  • Social distancing will hopefully be short-lived but may leave some lasting impact.

The remote workforce is breaking down talent barriers for innovative companies looking to attract autonomous high performers. It allows employers to throw the talent net much wider while helping with motivation, retention, diversity hiring and business continuity.

Telemigration is bound to explode

The global mobile workforce is set to reach 1.87 billion in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the working population according to Strategy Analytics research. That was before the current pandemic.

Once teams work remotely a few miles away from what was once the sacrosanct office and it works, why wouldn’t it work 10,000 miles away from it too? An equivalent work can be done for a lower cost.

Richard Baldwin – an economist at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva – coined the term Telemigrants in his latest book (The Globotics Upheaval – 2019), essentially defining skilled workers from developing countries who provide services sector work from abroad.

There is nothing they can’t do, except be in the room […]
Technology makes remote people less remote.
(Richard Baldwin)

The industrial sector moved work to seek competitiveness in lower-cost countries. But there has never been such competition in rich countries’ services sector. This is about to change.

Broadly speaking – North America and Western Europe are ageing, putting pressure on businesses and economies, whilst the workforce in the developing countries is growing in quantity and quality. Walls and borders prevent workers from physically seeking work in richer countries. There is no such thing with skills.

Local employment expectations

Although working for a company located in another country, overseas workers obviously have employment expectations in the country they live in. They need access to basic employment and social benefits. They do not want to worry about being tax compliant. They should be given paid time off. They might want to have access to a mortgage. Etc, etc. In summary, basic citizen expectations!

All this is conditioned upon having a local contract and run local payroll. Good employers also aspire to treat their team fairly and compliantly.

So what’s next?

Bessemer ran a survey with their portfolio companies this year: 90% of responding business leaders think today’s global HR and payroll tools are insufficient to support distributed work.

Innovation ought to help.

Enabling international employment with technology

Employing staff in other countries is incredibly painful: to be compliant, you need local resources and expertise. A local lawyer, local accountant, local bank account, local representative director and several 3rd party providers are necessary for things such as employment contracts, tax, payroll, cross-border payments and benefits just to mention a few.

People managers need a Legal framework and global HR/Payroll tools to efficiently grow their teams wherever competitive talents are located.

We launched Teamed to specifically address that problem. We enable growing companies to employ talent anywhere in the world, without the need to set up costly international subsidiaries. We combine on-the-ground structures and technology to efficiently handle all local compliance, payroll and benefits for our customers.

Employers can onboard employees in hours rather than weeks, sign dual-language compliant contracts from within the platform, access all records of employment and payments, manage changes and produce reports. All in one place, for all their international employees, regardless of their country.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to learn more about how Teamed can help you open up a global talent pool, compliantly and efficiently.