Find out how to keep your international teams engaged and productive at all times.Find out more
In the past few years, we’ve seen companies move towards remote work with greater speed and enthusiasm.
In 2016, the number of companies offering remote work as a benefit was only 38%; by 2018, over 48% of organizations were offering remote work as an option—a 10% increase in just two years.
Even before the pandemic then, remote work was a growing trend in the job market.
Remote work will also be an integral part of our future; according to a recent survey, over 25%-30% of the US workforce, alone, expect to be working multiple days at home by the end of 2021.
To adapt to this new normal, your management and payroll systems need to be up to the task.
This not only includes compensating employees and dispensing the necessary benefits but handling all aspects of HR management from onboarding new employees to maximizing their productivity.
Managing remote employees comes with its fair share of challenges. Here are a few of them.
When hiring a new employee, especially one from a different part of the world, it can take some time for them to get acclimated to the way your organization works.
Remote working tends to make this process more challenging because new employees have to work twice as hard to adjust to the new workplace. Information is not very accessible across remote work settings, sometimes, and new employees may not know where to turn to have their questions answered.
What is the going rate for employees?
Unfortunately, this is not a straightforward question, and the lack of a direct answer eliminates most solutions that might have made deciding this any easier.
For example, you can’t refer to a particular country's cost of living, alone, to determine an appropriate wage because you would be ignoring several other factors, like job position and tax rates.
Along with appropriate compensation, employees are entitled to several benefits that you have to account for when managing them.
These benefits can vary from mandatory national holidays to paid-time-off unique to each person's situation, like parental leave.
Moreover, universal benefits, like sick leave, are handled differently in certain countries. For example, Germany allows six weeks for paid sick leave while the United States does not have a nationally mandated sick leave policy; it allows states to create their own laws.
You have to account for these benefits when managing remote employees, and doing so manually is a strain on any business.
Compounding these issues is the need to provide a competitive, flexible package for employees. Unless you are working with independent contractors, you have to offer an attractive package to attract employees and do it in a way that does not strain your resources.
Accounting for compliance across multiple countries is a huge issue; even if your employees are based in a single country, you may have to factor in different regulatory laws across different states.
Whether it’s tax requirements or labor codes, you need to meet these requirements when operating in different countries. A failure to meet these standards means hefty penalties that can hurt your business’ credibility and reputation.
So, how do you account for all these obstacles when managing a remote workforce?
While there are many elements to consider in optimizing remote employee management, get started by implementing the following policies and practices.
Onboarding new employees is a multi-step process.
You need to introduce the team to key players, show them the ropes across the tools you use, and get them acclimated to company culture. One option you can consider in this process is to open up the onboarding process.
This has the added bonus of helping remote workers become familiar with the administrative side of your business. What’s more, encouraging self-onboarding will inform employees about systems containing the vital information they need, like payslips, which can reduce your workload in the future.
If you are having problems accounting for benefits and compliance requirements, consider working with a local payroll partner and circumvent many of the problems that come with remote workforce management.
Local providers understand local laws and regulations better and can help you administer necessary payments and benefits without taxing your resources. Moreover, you only need to work with a single account manager in each country, simplifying communication and administration.
But there are certain drawbacks to consider, too.
For example, you may not have the direct line of communication you would want with your remote workforce. If your employees have any concerns or questions, you should, ideally, provide them with an answer instead of directing them to a third party they may not know.
Moreover, if you have employees in different countries, working with multiple local providers might become complicated over time.
If you have a remote workforce scattered across different countries or would prefer to have direct contact with your employees, automating your payroll and certain aspects of HR management is the ideal solution.
With the right systems in place, you can streamline many HR processes, eliminating several unnecessary steps that come with payroll and benefits rollouts and compliance, allowing you to offer an attractive package to employees without worrying about excessive administrative costs.
Not only can you distribute payroll more easily, but you will also have an easier time managing compliance requirements.
Labor laws and compliance requirements are changing across the world. Keeping up with these changes is all but impossible using manual methods. Automated platforms are designed with real-time features that can help you stay updated on global compliance laws so you don’t find yourself on the wrong end of employment regulations.
Automating your payroll and benefits system also adds another advantage—democratizing the HR process. If you are looking to eliminate the complexity of global payroll management, consider investing in an automated system today.
Creating a sense of unity when your employees are living and working in different parts of the world is no easy feat. One area that can support this process is automating the rollout of your payroll and benefits.
Paying your people team on time, managing their benefits effectively and maintaining a degree of transparency are all steps in the right direction.
Rivermate can help you do this; our platform eliminates the complexity of payroll and benefits management by bringing all your information onto a single platform to help you ease remote workforce management.
You can perform all HR functions like providing payslips, tracking leave, onboarding new employees, and reimbursing employees for office expenses, all on a single platform.