Future of Remote Work: the long-term potential and the role of global mobility - Tax Blog

Header GES working from home series
The pandemic has accelerated thinking on the future of work. Virtualisation of the workforce is taking place in many organisations and there are many implications to be considered. Employees and employers want to evaluate the long-term potential for remote work.

Global Mobility functions are taking the opportunity to lead from the front and to evolve their organisations’ thinking and approach.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased remote working, as we are all aware. Organisations are considering making some elements of remote and virtual work permanent for all or parts of their workforce.

Organisations that had not previously adopted remote work are seeing it either as a short to mid-term business imperative or as a longer-term change to where work can be done. In all cases, organisations have noticed the following:

  • Cost savings through reduced office space and resources
  • An enhanced ability to attract talent and retain a broader, more diverse workforce
  • A better employee experience through flexibility and work-life balance.

As a result, organisations are actively considering how to integrate remote work into their workforce strategy. But they are seeing that compliance is crucial to a successful remote work strategy. Deloitte are helping clients who are looking to accelerate their domestic and international remote work programmes as they consider the potential compliance implications for the business and the employee of:

  • Tax: individual employment and corporate tax compliance risks (including social security)
  • Intra-company agreements: adjusting when costs are borne by one entity but the employee is employed by another
  • Nexus and Permanent Establishment: when an employee is in one country and working for an entity in another
  • Employment law: review of contractual documents and assessment of further employment law topics
  • Tax: review of taxability of benefits in certain jurisdictions
  • Payroll/Reporting: registration in the location in which the employee wishes to work, tracking of employee location
  • Benefits: changes to global rewards programmes for remote workers
  • Risk profile: company tolerance for legal and compliance risk, “no-go” locations for risk reasons
  • IP & Data security: network security, safe location for intellectual property,

Deloitte’s view

Leveraging its multi-faceted nature and understanding of multiple aspects of the organisation, Global Mobility is playing a critical role integrating remote work into policies and programmes. It is beginning to solve some of organisations’ greatest challenges and opening doors to significant talent opportunities.

Global Mobility can lead in assessing the organisation’s immediate needs and in putting a plan in place for future next steps, especially by advising on country compliance considerations and legal requirements, analysing possible remote work locations from the compliance point of view, determining how to use remote work in the global mobility pipeline, and by building cross-border remote work guidelines into the policy suite.

Deloitte GES is uniquely positioned to help organisations and Global Mobility professionals with the complex issues of remote work. Our assistance can consist of:

  • Reviewing specific compliance issues created by remote work, such as potential tax, social security and immigration issues
  • Helping organisations put in place tracking of their employees’ place of work for reporting and compliance purposes
  • Preparing employer certifications for cross-border employees who have been working from home in 2020 and assisting with relevant communications
  • Opening a broader conversation with an organisation to help determine their future strategy on remote work and put in place new remote working policies taking into consideration all the relevant issues. This can be in the form of webinars explaining the applicable rules for employees doing remote work or a review of potential scenarios for allowing employees to work remotely.

If you would like to discuss this topic further, please reach out to our key contacts below.


Key contacts

Richard Goodwin_110x110.2

Richard Goodwin - Partner, Global Employer Services 

Richard is a Partner within the Global Employer Services team of Deloitte in Switzerland. He is based in Geneva and specialised in Global Mobility. Richard has 20 years of experience in expatriate tax consulting with Deloitte across 5 countries. In addition he has a solid experience in leading an in-house major global mobility change project for a leading company from the Technology, Media & Telecommunications industry, including the review and implementation of the process, systems and technology required for a world class global mobility operation.


Jacob Higgitt_110x110_2

Jake Higgitt - Director, Global Employer Services

Jake has 12 years’ experience in the field of Global Mobility, working with clients in all industries and of all sizes. He is the global engagement lead on two of the Swiss firm’s largest tax engagements, responsible for coordinating the provision of services globally. Jake leads our Business Travel Services offering in Switzerland. 


Séverine Morel 110x110

Séverine Morel - Manager, Global Employer Services 

Séverine is a Manager in our Global Employer Services practice in Geneva. She has 10 years of experience with all aspects of international tax and social security matters for employees and employers. Séverine is specialised in assisting Swiss based multi-national companies with mobility and relocation projects. She has recently joined the Global Workforce team and is now specialising in Global Workforce topics as well as on our partnership with Equus, delivering Assignment Pro implementations to Swiss based clients. Séverine has a very broad experience in cross-border environments and speaks French, English and Portuguese.



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