The numbers are in. The remote-by-force transition to remote-by-choice is here to stay. 

As many teams acclimated to working from home, CEOs saw productivity levels either remain the same or increase, while CFOs reported significant cost savings. Now that remote work’s effectiveness is proven, the topic of debate in 2021 will be whether and how to grant the power of choice to employees according to their preference, and how to facilitate remote team management.

Individuals’ personal situations may see them inclined to return to the office full-time or part-time, or work from home full time, even after relocation. Employers beware, however, as the latter is proving to be a complex challenge for CFOs regarding tax compliance, requiring the help of local experts.

In CFOs’ opinions, an operating model involving a hybrid or remote workforce will be implemented the most, as revealed by CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners:

Chart with Survey Results about Operation Models

 Source: CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners

Remote work will speed digital transformation: is your team prepared?

The pandemic sped up trends that facilitate remote work. This includes an explosion of e-commerce and virtual transactions, as well as a greater adoption of automation and AI. For company leaders, this means that to sharpen their competitive edge, they will need to integrate new technologies or risk falling behind.

Global technology penetration translates into a pressing need for reskilling. McKinsey’s Global Institute’s research anticipates 17 million workers may need to fully switch occupations, not just employers, by 2030.

McKinsey also expects policymakers to play a role in enhancing digital infrastructure. Case in point: Singapore injected US$352 million to nurture digital transformation efforts of local businesses.

What does this mean for your team? Leaders should understand the importance of reskilling their own teams and integrating technology into their remote finance department.

“It is imperative that finance professionals take the lead in integrating financial and nonfinancial performance through an enterprise-wide framework for value creation that embraces how crucial intangible assets – including talent, brand, innovation and culture – contribute to long-term value creation.” – Myles Corson, EY Global Strategy and Markets Leader for Financial Accounting and Advisory services.

How can leaders make digital transformation easier for their teams?

To further continue in their role as long-term value creators, CFOs are called to partner with HR leaders, either in-house or third parties. Together with employees, both teams can design the post-pandemic workplace.

Involving all those affected means change will be met with less resistance. New workplace policies and office space transformations can create an opportunity for growth, collaboration, and flexibility.

What is the key variable at the center of your reimagined workplace? Your employees.

Empowering them with the choice that best fits their preference will not only improve job satisfaction, but will also go a long way in drastically improving your retention rates. Not only that, remote flexibility will enable you to establish effective task forces wherever you want to take your business.

The remote team time-to-market advantage

In a world that is rapidly changing and where borders are dissipating, large companies with a healthy financial lung can continue to enter new marks via the traditional market research and entity setup process. For those leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset and an appetite for expansion, faster options are available.

Remote work granted access to a cost-effective, global talent pool almost overnight, much to the delight of CFOs around the world. Now, they can bypass the constraints of their local markets in terms of workforce availability and tap into highly skilled talent. International hires can be the catalyst to propel your business across different markets. CFOs strongly agree on the potential of global remote talent for expansion.

Chart About the Expansion of The Global Talent Pool

 Source: CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners 

By hiring local experts, market share capture through global expansion is more likely. However, this is true only if the local talent is hired and onboarded in compliance with local labor laws and employee expectations for benefits and working conditions are met. It comes as no surprise then that global expansion remains top of mind for CFOs across different markets.

Chart About Capturing Market Share Through Global Expansion

Source: CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners

How are CFOs leveraging partnerships to hire global teams remotely?

Remote work has removed the usually lengthy and costly factors inherent to global expansion. Yet, companies still have to navigate complex regulations that change on a daily basis, making compliance a constant challenge that can potentially hamper growth while managing remote teams.

Securing the best talent available will also prove difficult in a world where everyone has equal access to said skilled professionals. Companies must handle hiring, onboarding, and retention with care.

Global expansion in a fast-changing world may prove challenging, but remote work makes it easier. Strategic partnerships can prove vital in hiring remote, global teams and are anticipated to become commonplace.

For example, 31 percent of global CFOs on average are already working with specialists to secure speed, elasticity, and high performance on a range of finance responsibilities.

CFO Research of Industry Dive and Globalization Partners surveyed 166 senior financial executives from around the world and found that the top deciding factors that resulted in a company deciding to expand and/or hire internationally were:

  • Market share capture (50 percent)
  • Sales presence (45 percent)
  • Investment diversification (31 percent)
  • The ability to acquire top talent (29 percent)

Close to half of survey respondents planned to engage a global Employer of Record to support their market entry strategies, while 32 percent said they were already hiring internationally using an Employer of Record.

There is no reason for leaders to expand alone. Relying on a trusted partner with global teams of HR and legal experts, such as Globalization Partners, can help you pave the way toward your future growth. You steer the wheel; we take care of the engine. Learn more about our Global Employer of Record platform today.

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