Whether your employees have been “working at home”, “remote working” or setting up a “home office”, significant challenges have arisen from the new working norms.
A recent article (co-produced by Deloitte with Worldwide ERC) highlights what this means for corporate HR professionals.
The article, which is based on input from 122 corporate HR professionals, suggests that the transformation to remote working will continue. The majority of HR mobility specialists are planning for half or more of their workforce to work from home even when the pandemic subsides. This will be a major change, as employees will no longer simply make occasional requests to work from home but will instead expect to receive support for doing their jobs and fulfilling their responsibilities from a location away from an official company office or workspace. HR professionals have already been reviewing policy in respect of “remote working” requests. Their efforts are typically focused on making the workplace, wherever situated, mutually beneficial to both employees and the company. However, the new working environment requires a review of how employees needs can be met whilst also achieving company and business objectives. There have been some surprising findings in terms of how companies, and specifically corporate HR professionals, should best respond. In particular:
1. Permanent establishment presence is a key deciding factor: 54% of respondents stated that they would not allow remote working arrangements in a location in which their organisation did not have a presence.
2. Compensation adjustment: 32% of respondents indicated that they would adjust total rewards on a case-by-case basis for those employees working in lower cost areas.
3. Tracking and risk assessment: 40% of respondents said they are in the process of developing and establishing arrangements for ongoing tracking of employees who work from home, and 34% are creating a process for ongoing risk assessment.
The extent to which organisations can or should implement a new policy which restricts or tracks remote working is currently one of the most challenging issues that mobility professionals need to tackle. To go further and seek to adjust compensation for lower cost areas will require input at a wider level and collaboration with both strategy, legal and reward professionals.
Although this presents them with a challenge, HR professionals, and in particular mobility specialists, have a great opportunity to make a significant impact on their organisation by supporting new working models but within a framework that manages the associated risks.
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