20 Overlooked Factors That Can Make or Break Your Remote Work Strategy

Remote working employee talking on phone while looking at monitor

By Nikki Gee, Assistant Manager, Recruit & Hire, GoGlobal 

As the debate over remote work continues to heat up, with companies grappling over whether to mandate a full return to the office or embrace remote and hybrid models, one point remains clear: remote work is not going away any time soon.  

Workers worldwide increasingly prefer the flexibility and autonomy remote work offers, as it allows for better work-life balance, well-being and personal fulfillment. At the same time, companies stand to gain competitive advantages in talent acquisition, engagement and retention by mastering the art of managing remote teams effectively. 

While many companies are quick to focus on popular topics like the ongoing productivity debate, there are several other critical aspects sometimes overlooked. In this blog post, we delve into some of these lesser-discussed factors that can make or break remote work success. 

Employment Regulations

  • Compliance with Local Labor Laws
    Ensure remote work policies and HR procedures – from recruitment and onboarding to payroll processing, benefits, tax contributions and termination – comply with relevant labor laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where your employees are based. 
  • Remote-Specific Regulations 
    In recent years, more countries have been developing specific regulatory frameworks for remote work, such as in Poland. If you have a cross-border workforce, it’s essential to be mindful of these local regulations. 
  • Eligibility
    Define which roles or employees are eligible for remote work. Some positions may require on-site presence, some may be better suited for hybrid models while others can be performed remotely. In a world where remote work is contested, it’s important to conduct a thorough assessment of job responsibilities, tasks and objectives to make informed decisions regarding remote work eligibility. 
  • Work Hours
    Specify the expected work hours for remote employees. This may include core hours when employees are expected to be available for meetings or collaboration. You may also want to set guidelines for how to handle meetings when team members are in different time zones. 
  • Remote Work Agreements
    Require remote employees to sign a remote work agreement outlining their rights and responsibilities, as well as any specific terms and conditions related to remote work. 

Risk Management

  • Mitigate Corporate Risks 
    Managing a global workforce can present various corporate risks, from protecting intellectual property (IP) to addressing global tax liability and visa-related issues. Drafting remote work policies to mitigate these corporate risks is essential for safeguarding the company’s interests and maintaining smooth operations across borders. 
  • Termination Protocols
    Terminating an employment agreement is a sensitive matter, especially in a remote work context where legal jurisdictions may vary. It’s essential not to approach termination without seeking expert guidance on how to properly proceed, as jurisdictions have stringent protocols for this process that can get companies in trouble if not followed correctly. 
  • Health & Safety 
    Provide guidance on ergonomics and best practices for maintaining health and well-being while working remotely. 
  • Go Global in Your Recruitment
    The race for talent continues to shape the world of work, with companies increasingly recognizing the need to expand their hiring efforts beyond borders. With hard-to-fill roles requiring specialized, niche skills, tapping into a global talent pool offers a competitive advantage. Embracing a global approach to recruitment enables companies to access diverse talent and fill critical functions more effectively. 

Communication and Collaboration

  • Identify Channels 
    Outline which communication channels should be used for different types of communication, such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, etc. 
  • Candor in Communication 
    Embracing candor – openness, honesty and directness – in communication channels cultivates trust and transparency among remote teams. This helps to foster a people-first workplace, where everyone feels aligned and empowered to voice their opinions and concerns. 
  • Set Parameters for Performance Reviews 
    Specify how remote employees will be evaluated and included in performance review processes, including mechanisms for providing feedback and tracking progress. 
  • Ongoing Policy Evaluation and Localization 
    Consistently reviewing and updating remote work policies is important for keeping them aligned with marketplace trends and regulatory compliance. Regular assessment of the effectiveness of remote work practices through surveys and feedback mechanisms allows companies to adapt and optimize their policies for maximum efficiency and employee satisfaction. 

Technology and Infrastructure

  • Providing Equipment and Resources 
    Determine what equipment and resources will be provided to remote employees, such as laptops, software licenses, internet reimbursement, etc. 
  • Security Protocols 
    Establish security protocols to make sure remote work is conducted in a secure manner, including guidelines for accessing company systems and handling sensitive data. 
  • Data Protection
    Outline procedures for protecting company data and confidential information when working remotely, including encryption requirements and secure file storage solutions. Be sure to follow any data protection frameworks that apply to your workforce, such as the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union. 

Employee Engagement

  • Performance-Focused Expectations 
    Set clear expectations for remote employees regarding productivity, deadlines and performance metrics. 
  • Flexible Work Arrangements 
    Consider offering flexible work arrangements, such as part-time remote work or flexible scheduling, to accommodate employees’ individual needs and preferences. 
  • Prioritize Benefits 
    Beyond statutory benefits, designing supplemental benefits that engage employees, such as equity compensation, is important for employee engagement. Offering attractive benefits packages not only enhances employee satisfaction and retention but also strengthens your company’s employer brand in a competitive talent market. 
  • Localized HR Support 
    HR is a people-first function and matters like payroll, benefits and tax contributions are personal. When managing a globally distributed remote workforce, localized HR assistance helps employees feel valued and supported in their unique geographical contexts, accounting for language preferences and cultural nuances. 

Cross-border HR solutions for remote talent management  

Managing a remote workforce comes with its fair share of challenges, particularly in talent acquisition and regulatory compliance.  

In today’s fiercely competitive talent market, companies must broaden their horizons beyond local borders to meet the demands of specialized roles. At the same time, they must also remain vigilant in keeping up with regulatory changes. On average, there are over 500 key regulatory updates each year affecting employer-employee relationships, ranging from recruitment to termination.  

Forward-thinking companies gain a competitive edge and drive innovation by embracing comprehensive cross-border solutions that allow them to seamlessly tap into global talent pools and streamline HR processes.  

An effective Employer of Record (EOR) partner plays a crucial role in mitigating risks associated with managing a globally distributed remote workforce and navigating complex regulatory frameworks. Acting as the employer on behalf of the company, the EOR partner assumes responsibility for HR processes, including payroll processing, administration of statutory benefits and designing supplemental benefits packages. By serving as the employer, the EOR helps reduce the risk footprint for companies operating in multiple jurisdictions.  

EOR hiring also eliminates the need to set up legal entities in countries abroad, opening talent pools around the world. Some EOR partners can also provide comprehensive expert global recruitment services, from crafting job descriptions to benchmarking compensation, screening candidates, arranging interviews and hiring top talent for your team.  

By combining the capabilities of global recruitment and EOR services, international companies gain access to end-to-end solutions for engaging the best remote talent – regardless of geographical barriers. 

Contact us to learn more about how GoGlobal’s one-of-a-kind Recruit & Hire solution can help drive your remote talent management strategy.