Flexible working "key to global workforce"

Adapt or lose skilled staff, says new report, as 64% of workers in the study say they would look for a new job if required to work in the office full-time.

Topia 2022 Adapt study
Companies that reject flexible working will lose skilled staff and have difficulty replacing them, according to a study by Topia, an HR tech company specialising in global mobility.

Flexibility to work from home is key

The San Francisco-based firm surveyed almost 1,500 American and British workers, including 299 HR professionals, and found that 64% of employees would look for a new job if their companies required them to work from the office full-time.Topia’s 2022 'Adapt' report - based on a survey evenly split between US and UK employees - also found that 41% of those who had changed jobs or were in the throes of doing so, said flexibility to work from home was the reason.“Our study suggests that if companies say no to flexible work arrangements, they will lose talented people and struggle to replace them,” Steve Black, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Topia, told the Human Resources Director (HRD) website.Topia, which has advised the likes of Dell and Under Armour manage large global workforces, said that, over the past year, remote working had evolved from pandemic safety measure into an employee expectation.

Workers can be just as effective - or more so - working from home

The report said that workers had shown they could be just as productive - if not more so - working from home and that they now cherish their new-found flexibility and autonomy.
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HRD commented, "Employers who provide those two benefits will be successful during the 'Great Resignation', in which companies across the US and UK are experiencing historic turnover."For example, more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who responded to the survey ranked flexible work arrangements as the third most important attribute they look for in a new employer. That trailed high pay and a focus on employee wellbeing, but (not surprisingly) ranked above great culture, professional development opportunities and social impact."

Tax and immigration: what else to look out for if your employees work from home

This year's 'Adapt' report found "a major blind spot" among HR professionals. While most in the survey recognised the benefits of remote working, the survey found that the number who knew exactly where employees were working from had declined from 60% in 2021 to only 46% this year.“The messiness of where work is happening creates huge risk from a tax and immigration perspective for companies,” Mr Black said.“In the US, if you have people working across state lines, you have to withhold payroll and file taxes appropriately, among other challenges. In Europe, if you have people working from their ski home in France to get away from the pandemic in central London, all of a sudden, you’ve created tax risk for the company because of this hidden employment movement.”Mr Black said that, among Topia’s larger customers, last year saw the highest volume of relocations in the history of their businesses. If anything, he said the pandemic had led to an increase in employee desires to have international experiences as part of their career path.“We’ve proven we can stay connected to the people we love at home via Zoom, so it’s less scary to travel halfway around the world to take advantage of an opportunity,” he commented.

Learn about Topia’s remote work solutions at www.topia.com/solutions/remote-work

Topia, winner of the 2021 Relocate Award for Excellence in Technology was the winner for the 2021 Think Global People Award for Excellence in Technology 

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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