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Rethinking RTO, Declining Workplace Safety, and Considerations for Working Abroad

Published 2 months ago • 4 min read


News Spotlight

No proof that RTO mandates work: A new study found that companies with RTO mandates experienced no improvements in their financial performance and 99% saw a drop in employee satisfaction (Fortune).

Companies are adjusting how they do layoffs after social media backlash: Videos and recordings of poorly-executed layoffs are prompting some companies to rethink their approach (Bloomberg).

Workplace safety and well-being continue to decline: Nearly 2 million U.S. workers are victims of workplace violence each year, and 86% think employers need to do more to address their mental health needs (Forbes).


Stat of the Week

51% of U.S. workers would be willing to take a 20% pay cut in exchange for a better quality of life, according to a recent survey.

This supports the idea that today's workers value their well-being above all else. And not surprisingly, the findings were even more notable among younger employees.


Deep Dive Article

What to Consider When An Employee Wants to Work Abroad

Despite growing return-to-office measures, distributed hiring continues to expand and the demand for work visas is expected to continue its upward trajectory in the years to come. According to the 2023 State of Global Hiring Report from global HR platform Deel, which aggregated data from over 300,000 workers across 150 countries, the most popular countries to get visas for in 2023 were Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore. The top 5 cities for global workers included London, Toronto, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Madrid.

The desire to obtain work visas has been steadily increasing due to several interconnected factors shaping the modern global workforce landscape. One significant driver is the growing interconnectedness of economies and the increasing demand for skilled labor in various sectors across the world. As businesses expand globally and seek to tap into diverse talent pools, there is a corresponding rise in opportunities for individuals to pursue employment opportunities abroad.

Additionally, globalization has facilitated greater mobility and communication, making it easier for individuals to explore work opportunities beyond their home countries. The proliferation of digital technology and remote work arrangements has further accelerated this trend, enabling workers to perform their duties from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. As a result, workers are increasingly drawn to the prospect of living and working in different countries, attracted by the promise of new experiences, career advancement, and exposure to different cultures.

Economic factors also play a significant role in driving the desire to obtain work visas. In many cases, workers seek opportunities in countries with stronger economies or higher wages, where they can improve their standard of living and financial stability. Economic disparities between countries, coupled with limited job prospects in certain regions, prompt individuals to explore opportunities abroad as a means of securing better livelihoods for themselves and their families.

Moreover, demographic shifts, such as aging populations and declining birth rates in some countries, have created labor shortages in certain sectors, leading governments and businesses to actively recruit skilled workers from overseas. This has fueled the demand for work visas as countries seek to attract and retain talent to fill critical roles and sustain economic growth. In response, many countries have implemented policies to streamline visa processes and facilitate the entry of skilled workers, further encouraging individuals to pursue work opportunities abroad.

Overall, the desire to obtain work visas is driven by a combination of factors, including globalization, technological advancements, economic opportunities, and demographic changes. However, securing a work visa is a complex process that requires careful consideration and adherence to the laws and regulations of the destination country. When an employee expresses the desire to move abroad, employers should approach the situation with understanding, transparency, and a commitment to facilitating a smooth transition.

In today’s article, I’ll discuss some of the main considerations for employers and employees when it comes to pursuing a work visa. I’ll also describe what to consider when an employee wants to remain in the U.S. but work for an international company, which is another way people can gain exposure to different cultures. Let’s take a look.

Discuss the feasibility of global and/or remote work and explore ways to maintain a productive working relationship. Consider whether adjustments will need to be made to accommodate time zone differences, travel requirements, or changes in work hours. Clarify expectations for remote work arrangements, and provide information about the potential impact on the employees’ current position within the company.

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and procedures associated with employees obtaining a work visa. While employees should research their options and ensure they meet eligibility requirements, you may need to assist in gathering necessary documentation. Also, if the destination country requires employer sponsorship, you may need to complete forms, provide attestations, or liaise with immigration authorities on behalf of the employee.

Ensure that your company adheres to all legal and regulatory requirements associated with the employee's move. Compliance with immigration laws and employment regulations is crucial to avoid legal issues and potential repercussions. You’ll also want to discuss how the move could impact the employee's benefits, compensation, and taxes. Clear communication about these aspects will help manage expectations and prevent misunderstandings.

Recognize the potential challenges the employee may face during the transition and offer support. This may include assistance in finding local support networks, providing information on local amenities, or connecting the employee with colleagues who have experience living and working in the destination country. You may also want to suggest language training or cultural orientations that could enhance the employee's integration in their new environment.

Discuss exit and return plans in the event that the employee decides to return to their home country or faces challenges in the destination country. Having a plan in place for both short-term assignments and long-term relocations can provide clarity for both parties.

Navigating a global workforce

As individuals seek to capitalize on new opportunities and pursue their career aspirations on a global scale, employers should demonstrate a supportive and proactive approach. This can contribute to a positive work environment and strengthen the employer-employee relationship, even when geographical distances are involved.

However, employees don’t need to move to another country to get exposure to different cultures. For example, as a U.S. citizen, you can work for an international company so long as you carefully assess the tax implications as well as other considerations around remote work feasibility, time differences, etc.

Of course, international companies also benefit from hiring in the U.S., which offers a vast and well-educated workforce. However, U.S. employment laws differ from other countries, and global companies must follow both federal and state employment requirements. This can be challenging if your company is looking to hire from different geographies within the U.S. But for workers and businesses alike, it can be immensely rewarding — and companies like Deel can help both parties navigate these complexities.

Thanks for reading — be sure to join the conversation on LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts on this topic!


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