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In a survey of 150 C-Suite executives, consulting firm West Monroe found that more than a quarter of respondents are considering moving their operations to another cheaper location. This is one of the major implications of the overall shift to remote work, a key strategy to keep employees safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. However, for some companies, this shift away from the office has proven difficult. Respondents’ reasoning for considering a big move included high costs of talent and living in their respective locations, as well as taxes, real estate, and regulations.
Mobility professionals continue to lead the way in the overall navigation of employee taxation through this new normal of remote work. Already, millions of workers in the United States indicated that they’re considering relocating because of the widespread availability of remote work. With this comes the complexity of tax compliance, which mobility professionals have helped employers handle. Should major companies relocate to different locations as well, there’s sure to be even more tax paperwork to take on.
Other issues in the case of remote work continue to be the return to the physical office space and the vaccination requirements that may come with that. As vaccines become more readily available, there could be a potential shift back to the office. However, for the most part, employers are planning to split their workforce between in-office work and remote work. Forty-three percent of respondents said they will evenly split their workforce between the two options, while 38% will be mostly in-office with some remote work.
As for requiring employees to be vaccinated, employers are split there too: 51% lean towards requiring a vaccine, while 49% don’t. In another study, 90% of HR leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part time, even after COVID-19 vaccines are widely adopted and distributed. Whichever way employers decide to go, staying abreast of regulations around vaccines is critical. While guidelines for employers will differ around the world, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released guidance about what employers need to know about COVID-19 and how to remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other related laws as vaccinations become more frequent throughout the new year.
Aside from the continued focus on remote work and what it means for the relocation of companies and their people, the West Monroe survey found that employers are prioritizing social, economic, and moral issues in their organizational decision making. Fifty-five percent of respondents indicated that these will play an increased role in their organization, which coincides with research showing that senior executives are focusing on environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) priorities in business. Whether it’s developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) plan, engaging employees through employee sentiment analysis, leading on conversations around environmental sustainability or compensation best practices, mobility professionals are at the forefront of ESG strategy.
What does the future of remote work have in store? Worldwide ERC® Research partnered with Deloitte to find out, and we want to hear from you. Participate in our quick, 10-minute survey to let us know what you think. Let's get started!
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