Jun 18 2021

5 Evolutions Spurred by a Remote Workforce

“The long-term effects of our remote reality on the workplace vary in severity, depending on a company’s line of work. ”

by  Charles Hamilton Ferguson , General Manager, Asia, Globalization Partners

The long-term effects of our remote reality on the workplace vary in severity, depending on a company’s line of work.

Fortunately, many of these effects were positive and opened our eyes to new ways of working: Cross-border teams are now no different to those tied to headquarters, and employee wellbeing has been forced to the forefront of business plans in a way that can only bring more benefits long term. Plus, greater demand for digital HR solutions is undeniable.

To your teams and your clients to better adapt, we gathered the five major ways in which workforces are likely to evolve.

1. New roles will emerge

Strategic workforce planning is ever more important in the remote work age. Companies are seeing the opportunity to hire talent in lower-cost, emerging markets, but where makes sense for the larger business strategy?

In people resources and management, roles such as Global Mobility, Remote Work Directors, and Remote Change Management are taking centre stage, helping to guide executive-level talent management decisions.

2. Nomadic culture will become more mainstream

Today, working where the Wi-Fi is, regardless of the country, has spread. Finance, HR, administrative, and other professionals are sparking the creation of remote work permits, known as Digital Nomad visas.

Each country has different regulations that employers must respect. The ruling on whether taxes should be paid in the host country or the employer’s country is also murky and depends on the individual country, length of stay, and even employment type.

For companies, it’s imperative to proactively assess business risk, and form workforce location policies that protect the company and its employees.

3. Digital upskilling will become a top priority

Technology advancements and new strategies for global expansion are creating different opportunities for innovation. Physical offices no longer represent a business absolute and remote, global recruiting opens doors for Human Capital Management (HCM) providers to guide clients through wholly digital candidate selection.

A survey by PwC found that 61 % of CEOs say their businesses will be more digital in the future. The findings indicated that employers will rely more heavily on technology that facilitates working from home, digital collaboration, and automation.

Internal HR teams are currently adopting technology to enhance all processes, and this requires upskilling on a personal level for many individuals.

4. Higher employee expectations will change how company’s form benefits packages

Standing out as an employer is no longer all about offering a good salary, and genuine work-life balance is no longer an expectation only held by Millennials and Gen Z. Boston Consulting Group called the Covid-19 pandemic a “people-based crisis.”

Today, internal HR teams around the world must quickly modify their long-established processes, and upgrade “quality of employee life” to obtain and retain the best talent.

A large part of this increased effectiveness can be attributed to enhanced productivity. In fact, an early pandemic survey found that working from home increased productivity. Employers should consider matching this higher output with more incentives or flexibility.

5. Closing the global legal knowledge gap will prove vital

Regulations and norms that already vary from country to country are subject to regular change, especially as priorities shift in our now virtual-first business world. Authorities expect companies to stay informed of local laws if their teams moved to another country while working remotely, or if they hired internationally to take advantage of remote work.

Remote work has normalized hiring wherever the talent is located. By partnering with a global Employer of Record, HR-specialized companies can facilitate their customers’ international expansion and grow alongside their clients.

Learn how we can help

Globalization Partners is a global EOR with an active presence in 187 countries across the world. Our local teams include HR professionals who understand the nuances of local laws and customs.

When you work with Globalization Partners, all you need to do is find top talent to join your organization, and our team will handle onboarding employees, payroll, and providing legally compliant and competitive employment terms. Learn more about our EOR solution to determine whether this is the right fit for your expansion strategy.


Find Globalization Partners on hrtech.sg Marketplace & 2021 Singapore HRTech Marketmap. 

Charles Hamilton Ferguson is the general manager of Globalization Partners (GP) business in Asia. In this capacity, he is responsible for establishing scale and efficiency for GP’s and their clients business expansion in one of the most dynamic markets in the world. Globalization Partners flattens barriers to global business by making it easy for companies to hire employees anywhere in the world within a few business days. The company delivers these capabilities through its Global Expansion Platform™, which allows companies to hire employees throughout the world without having to navigate complex international legal, tax, and HR issues. Beginning in 2020, as an acknowledgement of his impact in the HR technology space, Charles was appointed as a start-up advisor and mentor for the Workplace Accelerator, which helps to discover and incubate the future of HR technology from Asia and beyond, and joined Advent International, the private equity firm with over $54B USD in AUM, as an industry advisor for Asia Pacific.

Charles was most recently group chief commercial officer for Tricor Group, a leading business expansion specialist in Asia, with global knowledge and local expertise in business, corporate, investor, human resources & payroll, and corporate trust & debt services. With a vast network of senior executives across Asia, status in the market as a cloud computing expert, and reputation as a trusted advisor amongst his peers, Charles was responsible for designing and executing the global sales, marketing, and product innovation strategy for the Group. Prior this role, Charles was president and general manager for the Asia Pacific region at ADP, LLC, where he brought his experience and technology passion to the fore as the driver for delivering ADP’s employee engagement and human capital management (HCM) solutions to firms of every size in Asia. Charles moved to this role from his previous positions as division vice president of Asia Pacific, and vice president of multi-national corporation sales and marketing, leading these efforts across Asia.

Before joining ADP, Charles co-founded the management consulting and advisory services firm ReedHamilton, where he led the technology and innovation practice. ReedHamilton had a team of consulting associates and offices in Singapore and Hong Kong serving firms across virtually every industry, providing guidance ranging from talent acquisition to go-to-market strategy. Prior to co-founding ReedHamilton, Charles was regional vice president for SAP on demand, cloud services, and outsourcing, Asia Pacific and Japan. In this capacity, he was responsible for helping design, deploy, and general manage SAP’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) business and cloud computing evangelism for the region. Previous to this role he led SAP’s Southeast Asia and emerging markets and technologies marketing organization. In the early days of SaaS in Asia, he joined salesforce.com as the North Asia regional director where he built and led the team in new market penetration efforts for Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, PR China, and Taiwan ROC. Previous to SAP and salesforce.com, he held senior sales, consulting, and services roles at Microsoft Asia headquarters and Intel’s supercomputer and enterprise platform group.

In addition to his corporate career, Charles has had several other successes as an entrepreneur. He founded and managed the jazz club and bistro “Number Five” on the Bund in Shanghai, PRC which spanned a decade of service. Charles also founded several startups that burned brightly and failed gloriously, providing invaluable lessons on life and business. He speaks often on the topics of entrepreneurism and technology across the region. Charles is accredited with an EMP in international management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the National University of Singapore, holds a master’s degree in innovation management from the Helsinki School of Economics at Aalto University, and did his undergraduate studies at Bard College in the United States. He sits on the advisory boards for several firms serving the HR, cloud computing, and consulting industries and volunteers in his community as a Grass Roots Leader focused on new immigrant integration and new media advocacy. Linkedin


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