Uncategorized


AI In The Workplace: Its Role In The Future Of Work

Whatever else the future of work holds, it’s safe to say that all trends suggest the increasing prevalence of assistive Ai. When looking to the future, it’s important to consider our current starting point, and the extent to which Ai is already deeply embedded within the workplace.

The growth of Ai in the workplace is a pattern that needs to be acknowledged and approached from a place of informed consideration – labor rights, OSH and ethical standards are all at stake.

Statista reports show that the global market value of AI technology grew to around $327.5 billion by the year 2021. Its value is on an upward trajectory, the market value of AI is expected to grow by $190 billion in the US alone by the year 2025. 

If the increased presence of Ai in the workplace is an inevitability when it comes to the future of work, what do we have to gain? Current evidence suggests, rather a lot. This is demonstrated by the sustained uptake of the technology, across all aspects of employment and industry.

AI, HR and The Future Of Work

Where does human resources fit into the picture? Ai is already part of the furniture for many HR professionals. 40% of human resources functions being applied across the world in companies (of all sizes) are already using AI-augmented applications.

In order to predict the future role that Ai will play within HR, it’s important to explore where we consider HR’s true role to be rooted – is it purely bureaucratic or analytical? Perhaps a combination of both disciplines? Our answer to this question will dictate the way that we approach the concept of Ai within the workplace when linked to HR and the future of work.

Let’s consider some of the key ways in which Ai is already influencing HR practice around the globe.

AI’s Impact On the Labor Market

Ever since its inception, the trope of Ai replacing traditional human labor has been a common theme tied to the development and spread of the technology. At this stage, it is widely acknowledged that Ai will certainly have a considerable impact on the labor market – but that this impact will manifest itself in ways that could be considered both positive and negative, replacing some roles but creating other opportunities.

With this in mind, what are the implications of the growing levels of AI replacing workers? And what this might mean for HR practices in the future? When we think in the most alarmist terms, the “rise of the robots” could suggest that requirements around recruitment might start to fall. However research suggests that the opposite may be true. The first Future Of Work report, issued by ZipRecruiter, claimed that in 2018 AI created three times as many jobs as it eliminated.

In fact, the demand for workers with Ai skills increased by 379% from 2016 to 2018, and ZipRecruiter’s follow-up report, published in 2020, noted that the growth of Ai had triggered something of a “gold rush” for skilled workers – AI jobs (those in AI companies or requiring AI skills) “grew spectacularly” – accounting for four in 1000 job postings in 2019, up from just one in 1,000 in 2016.

It’s also important to note how the pandemic accelerated the move towards a digital economy. HR has had a significant role to play in ensuring a harmonious transition towards more integrated AI in the workforce, during a period of increased uncertainty and change for employees.

What can we conclude? HR is one of the sectors that is set to see a lot of impact from AI automation – it’s up to the industry to embrace this and harness its benefits, rather than seeing it as a threat or competition.

AI and The Future Of Recruitment

Let’s dig a little deeper into the impact that Ai is likely to have on recruitment. The significant shift (and advantage) that is manifesting here comes in the form of increased access to big data – an amalgamation of statistically significant information that is increasingly being leveraged to aid hiring decisions, using objective as opposed to subjective factors.

A good example of the way that this is already working within established recruitment practice comes in the form of larger corporations leveraging filmed interviews. By filming early stage interviews, the resultant video can be used to highlight especially promising candidates, whilst eliminating some which do not meet the Ai imposed thresholds for suitability.

While this does appear to be a great way of efficiently whittling down candidates and speeding time to hire, as with all emerging technologies, it’s important to take a cautious and conscious approach. Ai learns from existing data. Where algorithms are used to completely replace human decision-making, there is a danger of existing bias and inequalities being replicated and amplified.

Evidence has already emerged that preferences from previous hiring managers are reflected in hiring, and heterosexual white men are, a report by Business Insider reveals, “the hiring preference ceteris paribus.”

There’s also been some particularly poor press around companies which have chosen to apply the Ai led interpretation of employee interviews to issue dismissals. Estee Lauder, for example, used an algorithm that assessed the content of employees’ answers and expressions in an interview, combined with their performance data, to issue redundancies. The women impacted have since received out of court settlements.

AI and The Future Of Performance Management

We also need to carefully consider the way that big data is also applied to performance management and monitoring. Traditionally, this has been a complex and inexact science for HR professionals – especially as businesses grow and workforces scale. The traditional system of quarterly or even annual performance reviews can be an inefficient way to measure impact and pick up on problems or opportunities.

A recent survey suggested that only 2% of HR felt that their current traditional system was capable of delivering the required outcomes when it came to performance management. This statistic suggests that some urgent overhauls are required when it comes to the future of performance management. Does AI hold the key to this?

While we’ve already seen an example of the kickback that can occur when Ai is the only factor at play when impactful decisions around performance are being made, this doesn’t mean the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater. Automated performance reviews and continuous real-time assessments, built into smart, responsive Ai workflows can help HR professionals to increase the effectiveness of their review strategy, helping to gather more data, and flag up issues that potentially require more consideration from their human counterparts.

When carefully applied, Ai also stands to be an ally to those pushing for more equality and opportunity in the workplace. Problematic patterns in performance linked to gender, age, race or health could be picked up upon, helping businesses recognise underlying issues in their own equality of provision for their employees.

AI and The Future Of Training And Onboarding

Ai also represents a promising solution to the simplification of the complex task of onboarding new hires. According to Glassdoor, companies with strong onboarding programs can help improve employee retention by 82% and increase productivity by up to 70%. However, all HR professionals recognise the sizable workload that onboarding represents – a process that only increases in line with the successful growth of a company.

Ai offers the chance to create effective and efficient onboarding workflows that can streamline the process whilst still retaining a sense of the organization’s values and personality. It also presents good opportunities for incorporating feedback early on. When this can be collected incrementally from new hires, at scale, again, common or repeating problems can be identified and action taken to avoid them in the future. This should go a long way in helping to mitigate the (common but considerable) expense of losing a new hire early in the onboarding process.

Beyond onboarding, Ai can be used to roll out training programs (for example, cybersecurity awareness) that adapt and flex to the individual needs and progression of employees on a granular level, whilst collecting cohesive company-wide insights. Wearable AI devices are also becoming increasingly common when it comes to the performance of practical or manual tasks.

AI Impacting Labor Rights and OSH

Now that we’ve explored the many ways in which Ai will affect and evolve the practice of HR – one final world around the impact of Ai on labor rights of workers, and OSH practices.
The two main labor rights that Ai is commonly acknowledged to touch upon are “freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining” (in other words, it’s hard to unionize with robot coworkers) and “freedom from forced or compulsory labor” (a positive impact, where Ai can help in the fight against modern slavery.)

Ai has also been shown to have an impact on OSH in the workplace. As ever, there is a positive and negative side to this coin – Ai can make workplaces safe by removing menial tasks, or replacing the need for human interaction with dangerous or damaging machinery or substances, especially impactful on high-risk industries such as mining. On the flip side, performance-focused Ai runs the risk of a negative impact on the mental health of workers who feel “under surveillance.” Work opportunities for some may be reduced or even eliminated, and wages and labor rights also stand to be impacted.

What’s Next For Ai in the Workplace and The Future Of Work?

AI in the workplace is inevitable and set to increase. The best and most successful HR teams will be working with the ethics of its implementation at the forefront of their minds, to create positive outcomes, improvements in worker conditions, more efficiencies within their workflows and a happier, healthier workplace for all.

5 Ways To Build a Healthy, Happy Remote SaaS Team

The trend of remote work has gained significant momentum in recent years. What once was an outlier in terms of staffing practices, managing remote teams is now firmly established in the business landscape, with multiple benefits enjoyed by employees and workers alike. 

For companies, one of the most meaningful benefits of enlisting a remote workforce is the access it gives to a wide talent pool. In the case of the SaaS industry, this is especially valuable as niche products require specialized skills. By casting the net wider, companies enjoy far greater success with the caliber of talent available. And not only considering the access to talent, but a remote workforce also saves considerable amounts on overheads, while allowing for greater flexibility and autonomy for teams.

However, it is understandable that building a positive work environment with the goal to retain this specialized remote talent is paramount. A happy, healthy remote team is also not built by magic but requires research, strategy, and careful implementation. 

Keeping the well-being of your remote SaaS team in strong form requires ongoing nurturing, and while this can cause some challenges in managing remote teams, there are actually effective ways to achieve this desired result.  

Here are 5 top ways to build a healthy, happy remote SaaS Team:

It’s all About Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is certainly the ideal, but also a concept that is more easily spoken about than put into practice. In short, work-life balance refers to the effort to achieve equal time, attention, and energy for both work and personal life. While work time should be busy and productive, time off should equal a complete break with undisturbed downtime.

Understandably, in a situation where your home is also your place of work, as in the case of most remote workers, the lines between being on and off duty invariably become blurred. This is also the case because, in these modern times, we are so digitally connected, with work email and notifications popping up on our phones any time of day or night. The temptation to attend to issues as they arise is strong – and in a competitive work environment, being attentive can go a far way in being extra valued. 

However, it is up to management to change this mindset, and instead of expecting on-demand responses, should actually encourage the complete downtime that is actually needed to achieve work-life balance. Boundaries should therefore be encouraged, not seen as something problematic or negative. 

Further measures that can help create a better work-life balance include apps that help with organization and focus, such as time-tracking and productivity apps. These too can easily be provided by management to assist remote employees in better managing (and protecting) their time.

Managing Remote Teams Requires Communication

A significant challenge the remote workplace presents is a lack of spontaneous communication. The option to congregate and converse around the office coffee machine simply does not exist. 

But the impact of good, open communication can not be underestimated. Not only does communication assist with the task at hand, but in general, it also is extremely necessary for the prevention of distrust and frustration growing within a team. In fact,  as much as 86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration being the main culprit in workplace failures.

In the absence of a physical space to share, a certain ingenuity is needed to put in place online measures that make communication easy – without the need to schedule a formal meeting each time. This can be achieved by implementing software and apps that allow for team collaboration and virtual ‘meeting rooms’ that are always open – making communication more spontaneous and less rigid and prescribed.

Encouraging two-way communication with remote workers also does wonders in boosting team positivity. This is because effective two-way communication makes an employee feel safe, valued, and supported – and as a result of this, greater trust between team members and management will grow. 

Importantly, open communication also instills a sense of community and belonging in a remote team – all factors which do ultimately contribute to overall happiness.

Provide Access to Training and Skills

The opportunity to upskill or fine-tune existing skills will always be an attractive option for employees. In fact, a survey has shown that 76% of employees expressed that companies that offer additional skills training are all that much more appealing. 

Importantly, it is another benefit that works for the company and its employees. For the company, employees will be enabled to do their jobs even better – leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

For the team member, the skills training will actually work as a morale booster too. Not only will they feel more motivated and empowered, but they will also feel more valued by the company. It is also highly motivating from the point of view that learning new skills or improving on current skills means more work opportunities, chances for new roles, and promotions. 

In addition, keeping staff trained and up-to-date with all current skills means a company will have the edge over competitors. Understandably, it is motivating to be working for a forward-thinking, successful company.

Cultivate a Positive Workplace Culture

A positive workplace culture refers to more than just Friday beers and bingo. Workplace culture actually refers to the values, beliefs, behaviors, and customs that shape the social and psychological environment of an organization.

Cultivating a positive workplace culture is essential for team morale. Not only does it create a sense of belonging, purpose, and positive energy, but it also leads to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and engagement. 

But one might now be wondering how to build a strong culture with a remote team? It actually is a construction based on several key pillars, each as important as the other. These pillars include workplace collaboration, inclusions, well-being, rewards, clear goals, and lastly, showing appreciation. In essence, following the tips in this article will also go a far way in ensuring a solid foundation of a positive workplace culture.

Promote Health and Well-being

As we know, remote work is particularly sedentary and isolated. Neither of these is good for one’s health. Therefore, increasing the focus on mental and physical health for a remote team can have a significant impact. 

Notably, remote workers often experience an increased level of stress and burnout due to a lack of separation between work and home life. Also, the lack of spontaneous collaboration and team camaraderie is proven to be detrimental to mental health. In fact, one survey has shown that 60% of employees have expressed interest in making use of mental health programs. 

So how can a company help with this? The answer lies in providing access to employee assistance programs, counseling services, and mental health support groups. Managers can also be trained on how to recognize and support employees who may be experiencing mental health challenges – also through organizing regular one-to-one check-ins. After all, they are the people who regularly deal with all members of the team. 

Companies can also help encourage health and well-being by providing access to fitness classes, wellness programs (such as mindfulness or meditation apps), and healthy food options. 

Additionally, further creative ways that not only help build team spirit and collaboration (vital for mental well-being) are to host remote team building activities. Whether these be hosting walking meetings, game sessions, setting the team individual challenges (such as walking 10 miles in a week, etc.), setting goals, and hosting sessions like this are fun and motivating and a welcome distraction too from ongoing work matters.

Nurturing Future Success

There is no doubt that building a happy, healthy remote team requires ongoing commitment and care, but it is ultimately essential for the success of a business. This is especially true with health and well-being being such important elements to have in place to achieve good productivity. 

Well-being factors that were ignored in previous decades can now no longer be. Simply speaking, you can’t afford to be that company that is not focused on building a strong culture and happy, healthy remote team. 

When specific skills in the SaaS industry are so much in demand, fine-tuning a company’s focus toward nurturing its people is a dependable way to retain valuable talent. 

What Are Global Mobility Services?

Expansion is the next logical step for any company focused on growth. Expansion of this nature can often take businesses across international borders, offering the chance to tap into foreign markets, ripe with opportunity and promise. In this article, we’ll ask “what are global mobility services?” and explore some of the ways that they can aid friction-free international expansion.

The establishment of a ‘global village’ is more pertinent than ever – with an increasing number of businesses becoming digitalized, and international expansion being a focal point in the growth plans of many companies.

That being said, there is no doubt that managing international teams and employee relocation comes with considerable challenges, costs and effort, which can be difficult for companies to manage without professional assistance.

Caliber of employees acquired and retained is a significant component in any business’s ongoing success. With the international marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, companies clear access to a pipeline of top talent, more than ever before. 

To unlock maximum potential, the strategic relocation of talent into new territories ensures the most effective deployment of skilled workers – the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Global mobility services provide the expert assistance required for successful and compliant international deployments of this nature.

In this article, we’ll explore the way in which global mobility services can support and enhance this ambition.

Global Mobility Defined

Global mobility is best characterized as the ability to move a workforce seamlessly and efficiently across borders. The primary goal of the relocation process is to streamline the process of international expansion, and to make what can be a tumultuous time as frictionless as possible for all concerned. Global mobility services encompass all processes and activities that make relocation possible, in the most uncomplicated and efficient manner.

Relocation can consist of a variety of forms, depending on the specific circumstances and needs of the company. Whereas some employees might need to be permanently transferred abroad, others may relocate more temporarily for contracts of a certain duration. 

Some relocation activities may even be required for extended business trips, which can also see the need for certain visas, permits and acclimatization assistance being offered. However, no matter the duration of the deployment, it can be a stressful time for the employee that also carries a lot of additional admin for the company – both of which can be drastically reduced by partnering with global mobility experts.

Given the fact that the international mobility needs of every company will be unique, a dedicated strategy will need to be formulated to accommodate all of the specific requirements. Once the architecture of this strategy has been completed, the range of services offered will be clear, and this will form the basis of the company’s global mobility program. In essence, the program will be developed with careful consideration for the most efficient and streamlined method of relocating employees abroad.

Global Mobility is Key to Global Expansion

There is a good reason for global expansion factoring so prominently in the trajectories of so many major companies. Global expansion is the most widely used, dependable and popular growth strategy. As the next logical step in the growth plan of many companies, global expansion holds plenty of promise and possibility, not only via gaining access to new markets but also by increasing visibility to new investors and getting a foothold in the region before competitors arrive.

It is important to note that when preparing for global expansion, existing staff may well represent the most valuable assets to deploy. Staff that already work for the company already have extensive experience, training, and knowledge in regard to the company’s business plans, procedures, culture, and expansion goals. Therefore, it makes the most sense to expand the company across borders with the relocation of experienced employees who have the best interest of the company at heart. 

Not only is global mobility beneficial for a company looking to extend its footprint internationally, it is also an attractive drawcard for many employees, who see it as a way to grow professionally and forge a better future for themselves and their families.

A Solution For Any Duration

Establishing a global mobility program that is overseen by a global mobility specialist takes the pain out of planning and executing foreign deployments, no matter the duration. For example, if organizing a team member for a six-month contract previously seemed like more “pain than gain” for the company in terms of internal resources required and the risk of non-compliance, a different, and perhaps less effective alternative would have been found. With the support of a global mobility service solution, barriers and obstacles are removed, with relocations of any duration becoming simpler and more efficiently conducted. 

The flexibility regarding relocations is welcome, as there are many reasons why employees might need to be moved abroad – and as previously mentioned, for various durations. 

However, relocations can generally be categorized into three main categories. Permanent off-site relocation refers to employees who relocate overseas for longer than 12 months. Temporary off-site or on-site relocation refers to the relocation of employees for less than 12 months and depending on the nature of the work, the move can be on or off-site.  Then, an employee-in-place relocation means more of a local relocation, such as when an employee moves perhaps to a newer segment while offices are under construction.

A Closer Look at Global Mobility Strategy

Considering what is at stake, with staff being the key contributors to company success, their well-being is paramount. Because of this, there is considerable weight placed on having a solid global mobility strategy in place, as it can certainly be the “make or break” point of a cross-border transition. With a properly conceived strategy plan on hand, the move for the valuable employee will be as stress-free and comfortable as possible, which is a much sought-after result – especially when considering the importance of talent retention.  

It is also important to note that the best strategies typically evolve over time – and often through a fair bit of trial and error. A global mobility strategy needs to be periodically realigned with company needs and corrected where necessary, all with the purpose to forge onward more efficiently than before. It is also highly beneficial to keep the strategy up to date in relation to the offerings of competitors. 

Taking everything into account, it is important to understand what a good global mobility strategy fundamentally involves. Typically a strategy will revolve around the following key elements:

  • A carefully formulated triad of methodologies, policies, and procedures that can be applied globally – and also adaptable for any country, region, or location in which the employee will be placed.
  • A plan that is in close correlation to the company vision, values, and growth plan.
  • Detailing regarding workflows, relocation, and destination support, also involving what support looks like and consists of. 

The range of services that the global mobility program ultimately offers is defined by the key objectives of the strategy. Then, the mobility program and associated services are overseen and guided by a GMS (Global Mobility Specialist) – who can best be defined as a person responsible for overseeing all duties outlined in the global mobility program. 

A solid global mobility strategy also needs to be built taking into consideration all the legal complexities that occur when managing an international workforce. In this regard, there are various external solutions to consider to lighten the load, while also assisting with keeping overheads low. Outsourced global human resource agencies have a variety of expert services to consider, and for many companies, they are fast becoming indispensable partners when it comes to managing a global workforce. 

For example, a company can decide if partnering with a PEO (Professional Employment Organisation) might be the best solution for it in managing an international team, as a PEO can hire an employee in that country on behalf of the company, which also means the company can avoid the heavy costs and time involved in creating their own legal entity abroad. 

Similarly, an EOR (Employer of Record) presents an excellent option for simplifying international employment by hiring and paying an employee on behalf of another company while also taking responsibility for all formal employment tasks. 

But ultimately, as every company is fundamentally unique in structure, business plan, ethos, and workflow, the services a global mobility program will offer will be customized to meet individual requirements – and to achieve the most effective result. 

What Are Global Mobility Services?

So, what do global mobility services typically consist of? There are a number of services that are frequently offered on a global mobility program – and that can be accessed based on the global mobility strategy.

Global mobility services commonly address and provide solutions for these various areas of concern: 

  • Employee Travel Arrangements
    Travel arrangements encompass everything relating to a smooth passage for the employee and their family as the admin associated with foreign travel alone can be stressful when undertaken without support. Travel arrangements can include the initial travel booking, passport and visa applications, to security assessments, and pre-move counseling. 
  • Local Compliance and Assistance
    There are a number of complex compliance-related tasks to complete to legally be able to work in a foreign country. Global mobility services streamline the process by assisting with all the necessary paperwork, from work permits to tax and insurance registrations – ensuring that the company and foreign deployment will not run into problems.
  • Destination Support
    Global mobility services also relate to destination support. For example, this support can include local language and culture familiarization, the organizing of healthcare, accommodation, transport, and schooling.

The Solution for any Company Serious About a Strong International Workforce

There is little doubt that global expansion can encounter many pitfalls, especially when not approached correctly. The process of international relocation is also a highly complex one, with many factors and moving parts to consider. Whether relocating experienced employees into new territories to strengthen the international workforce, or to fulfill an important function temporarily, expansion and relocation is a vital strategic move toward company success.

However, effective solutions are at hand, with many companies realizing that their internal resources are best used elsewhere, and therefore opting to outsource these necessary services to experts. By using a global mobility specialist to oversee the relocation process, the risk of the operation encountering problems is significantly reduced. And when the well-being of the very staff the company is set on retaining and placing into new international roles is at stake, mediocrity and substandard processes are simply not an option.

Explore the benefits of global human resource management in more detail. Read more here on How to Unlock the Key Advantages of Global Human Resource Management.

Top 6 Payroll Service Providers In Singapore

Happy to share that Agile HRO was listed as one of the best Payroll prodivers in Singapore by Mirchelley's platform.

What Does Global Payroll by Agile HRO Include?

We handle payroll processing of your global employees in accordance with all local and international tax and law requirements.

How Does Payroll Work with Agile HRO?

  1. Engage Agile HRO

Engage with Agile HRO to payroll your staff. We work with you to design and automate the most efficient payroll process.

2. Employee Onboarding

Your employees self-onboard to our payroll software allowing them to: track leave download payslips expense module submit timesheets track their accrued and used leave

3. Remittance & Invoicing

We calculate employees salary, taxation and social security and either; remit the salary from your bank account on behalf or; send you the bank file to upload your self We then invoice Agile service fee on a monthly basis.

Ready to learn more?

2023 Future of Work Trends

It can be argued that most businesses are a far way off target from being future-proofed. This notion is largely validated by reflecting on the past few years’ events, which undeniably proved that the future is wholly unpredictable. In a mercurial business landscape, some of the best future-proofing a company can invest in is agility. With this in mind, more businesses are reevaluating and ramping up their digital offerings while also taking the necessary steps to branch into international markets.

What Future of Work Trends Reveal

Future of work trends are clearly showing that the interest in global expansion is increasing to new heights, as is the rise in hybrid and remote work models. 

Analyzing and responding to these trends is essential, as they provide many answers to all-important questions on how to retain talent, stay relevant, boost productivity, and keep costs in line – all within a volatile global business climate. In this article, we take a closer look at some of these top global future of work trends for 2023 and beyond.

Strengthen Collaboration in Remote Teams

With all of the benefits that companies can enjoy by effecting hybrid or remote workforces, there are a couple of profound downsides to a physically disconnected work environment that requires careful negotiation to ensure optimal team performance and sustained morale. First of all, many companies have seen that the shift toward digital communications has resulted in a notable decline in spontaneous conversation and collaboration. With the ability to pop across to a colleague’s office no longer an option, most communication is dependent on calendar alignments and sessions that are scheduled well in advance.

While several companies have reported remote workers to be 35-40% more productive, spontaneous collaboration and consultation in individual and team projects are vital for innovation, overall morale, and work standards. 

With this matter becoming increasingly recognizable, solutions are swiftly being sought. Trends will be more focused on the deployment of technology in remote teams that is facilitative towards a more collaborative online workspace that also allows employees to connect at any time from anywhere in the world.

The primary intention is to create an online space that can be a reliable substitute for a physical office, thus providing employees with an alternative that allows them to enjoy all the aspects of remote work while keeping teams supported, connected, and functioning in unison.

Enhanced Employee Experience

Several factors over the past few years have resulted in a significantly competitive current job market. The hunt to find and retain talent has become a growing concern that is especially pertinent for industries such as SaaS and cloud technology roles in general – where an influx of startups has further hiked up the demand for specialized skills. 

At the same time, employees have become increasingly aware of the value of their skills, which has also put them in a more assured position to be discerning. This new-found awareness comes coupled with the ease of applying for remote positions – resulting in employees who will not hesitate to consider alternative employment if need be.  

Additionally, some recent findings have shown that many companies are simply not getting the remote work environment right, with data from one survey revealing that just one in four employees is confident about their futures in their current companies.

This, in turn, has made HR professionals and employers acutely aware that extra needs to be done in order to retain valuable talent, especially by offering an enhanced employee experience. Measuring employee experience is also proving to be a helpful way to gain insight and better understand the needs and goals of the team. However, a recent poll revealed that only 16% of HR professionals are satisfied with their current approach regarding this, proving that there is plenty of room for improvement in this regard – and the extra focus on employee experience is much needed. 

The goal for companies will be to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of employee needs to be better able to adapt to them. This in turn will be of great value in the efforts to gain employee confidence in terms of employee priorities, support, training, and team collaboration. 

A few ways this deeper insight can be gained will be via more proactive methods of collecting team feedback, as well as increased meaningful connection time with employees that encourage transparency and open conversations.

Managing ‘Change Fatigue’ More Efficiently

The unprecedented events of the past few years have understandably caused a great deal of upheaval and uncertainty for employees. While solutions and methods to adapt to the challenges have been deployed, the disruptions are set to continue well into the future – specifically regarding the looming recession, digital transformation, globalization, and political unrest. The result is and will continue to be, a workforce that is becoming less tolerant to change. 

This ‘change fatigue’ is continuously being researched and monitored, with one recent study reporting that 45% of workers are weary from the ongoing change, and with a significant 43% experiencing high levels of change fatigue. 

Experts however have realized that the old approach of simply informing employees about change and expecting them to manage the consequences thereof, simply will no longer do – especially in a business and employment climate that calls for a new human-centric approach.

With change management being a complex theme to navigate, a new strategy is being deployed that shifts the discussion around change into a collaborative process. No longer will employees just be informed about company changes, but the discussion will be inclusive, taking into account the needs and views of all of the employees. This open-source change strategy is cited as being a remarkable 14x more effective.

A Keen Focus on Upskilling and Reskilling

When skills are the make-or-break of a successful career, it is little wonder that they hold such great value. Any chance to become equipped with new skills can also be considered an investment into the employee’s future – and this can be achieved by either reskilling or upskilling. 

Firstly, reskilling offers employees the chance to shift roles in their current company to a slightly different one that is possibly better suited to them. This is beneficial for both the employee and the company because it can avoid incurring the costs and time of hiring externally to fill a role where someone might not have been entirely suitable for the position – and where an existing employee can take over after some additional training. 

In companies where automated processes replace jobs, the need for reskilling also presents itself. By making new roles available to employees, the company is not only retaining talent, but also a loyal worker already familiar with the company’s business model and goals. In fact, companies with internal role transitions are reported to retain employees for almost 2x longer.

Similarly, global trends show that upskilling will also be high on the priority list of HR professionals and companies. Investing in employees’ skills is multi-beneficial as firstly, it shows the employee that a company values them while also building confidence and company loyalty. For the company, an investment in upskilling also gives it a competitive edge, as improved knowledge undeniably equals improved efficiency.

The prediction is also that there will be a significant adoption of on-demand skills training, enabling employees to develop new skills whenever and however most convenient to them.

Prioritizing Organizational Health

Future of work trends are also showing a shift toward a more holistic approach to organizational health. Whereas before the focus has been solely on employee well-being, the new strategy tends to the health of the entire company. Research has consistently shown that a healthy company provides a better environment for all levels of the workforce, plus a more positive experience for customers. 

But with this knowledge, what does a healthy organization offer? Organizational well-being extends across multiple facets of the business, and has been defined by this guide as relating to:

  • The physical well-being of the workforce with access to fitness programs
  • Mental well-being with support offered through various coaching processes
  • Financial health through fair compensation practices
  • Social health that provides a chance to give back to the community
  • Workplace safety focusing on a secure and compliant environment and practices
  • Healthy work culture with leadership that focuses on the human element
  • Tech solutions that offer accessible well-being tools and services

By focusing on these elements, and executing them effectively, companies can experience a broad array of benefits, from boosted team morale and productivity to greater workplace alignment, and improved long-term company performance.

Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Work Environment

In current (and certainly future) workplaces, there is unquestionably no room for any instance of discrimination, with it already being a burning issue and topic of conversation in 2022. There is now an even stronger focus on embracing a diverse workforce, inclusive of all genders, religions, cultures, races, and backgrounds. One study has actually found that companies that support diversity have a 19% higher innovation revenue.

It is important to note that the trend of globalization and global expansion has also resulted in many different cultures working together, each with its own norms and practices, for example, daily and weekly work patterns and religious requirements. While tolerance has always been incorporated into company guidelines, before diversity largely referred to different races and religions working for the same company within the same area, but now the new global remote work trends clearly add a new dimension. 

What has been recognized is the need to make provisions for various local customs and practices, wherever in the world the employee is based. Instead of the previous norm of  companies expecting global teams to adopt their own practices, the trend will include partnering and consulting with local cultural experts, who can provide valuable advice and knowledge for everyone to feel acknowledged and included.

Partnering With an Outsourced Global HR Agency

With more and more companies finding a multitude of benefits in operating remote workforces plus an ever-increasing number of businesses looking to expand globally, so too increases the compliance requirements and administrative duties. 

And for any business looking to manage a remote team, there are several things to pay careful consideration to.  From constantly changing local employment regulations to running a global payroll across different time zones and in foreign currencies, the undertaking is no simple feat.

For many companies, HR support becomes a necessity – and rightly so when considering the complex and importunate tasks that need constant attention. 

Future of work trends have also shown that more companies will opt to partner with an outsource HR company, skilled in dealing with international employment compliance – a measure that will drastically make these processes more manageable. 

Outsourced global HR agencies offer a number of practical services that streamline international employment admin. One such service is the support of a global mobility specialist who coordinates relocations abroad by handling all associated tasks, such as organizing visas, work permits, tax filings, and accommodation, to name but a few examples. An EOR (Employer of Record) also greatly simplifies the hiring of a remote workforce, by hiring and paying the foreign employee on behalf of a company, also taking care of all formal employment tasks. 

Similarly, a PEO (Professional Employment Organization) acts as the legal entity employing the foreign employee, meaning that a company does not have to spend the time and money establishing its own legal entity, while a global payroll service takes care of paying the international workforce – accurately and compliantly.

In summary, all of these services work together to ensure that businesses of all sizes can legally (and easily) employ global talent. By handing over these tasks to industry experts, companies are also more productive – all thanks to the significant cost and time-saving.

Future-proof by Adopting Future Work Trends

As it is commonly known, employees are an essential investment in a company’s future success. Keeping up with trends that will ultimately keep them secure, happy, and motivated, will do a lot towards ensuring long-term success.

Moreover, keeping up with global trends ensures that a company is doing what it can to remain relevant and agile, while the world around it continues to shift.  With employee and organizational health at the forefront, as well as a shift to a more flexible global workforce, companies have the opportunity to not only become more resilient to future challenges, but also acquire the tools to thrive.

Keep up-to-date and informed about all the latest in global human resource management and industry insights by signing up for our newsletter now.

Can I pay my employees in cryptocurrency? 5 things to consider

With cryptocurrency firmly entering the public consciousness, digital currency is no longer a fringe topic. Crypto holds a powerful allure for many, and is even tipped to become a default legal tender of the future.

While still sitting on the edge of the true mainstream (for now) an increasing number of countries are showing a greater acceptance level for crypto –– while others are already outright embracing it. This upswell of popularity is an excellent indicator of the way that cryptocurrency is becoming more established as a promising alternative to traditional tender.

Cryptocurrency has found its best match with the younger tech-savvy population – especially those working within technical industries (FinTech, Blockchain etc) – with many already confident traders. Attracted to the currency’s decentralized nature, these crypto advocates have a healthy appetite for progression and evolution. And importantly, this progress will likely become a need that companies simply cannot afford to ignore.

Time to futureproof your company

LA recent survey has shown that nearly half of professional investors believe that a mainstream future of blockchain and digital technologies is inevitable. In addition to this, one in five experts is confident that cryptocurrency can entirely transform the economy globally.  

Future proofing a company means keeping abreast of trends and being prepared to adapt and modernize systems to implement these changes. Gaining a reputation as a forward-thinking and progressive employer will also go a long way toward attracting fresh tech talent – and introducing cryptocurrency as a payment option is undoubtedly a bold way of staying ahead of the curve. 

Digital currency is more than an appealing option for employees. It is also becoming an increasingly convenient option for companies with an international team. It typically represents a much quicker payment method and avoids costly bank transfer fees, as well as the issues connected to making payments in multiple foreign currencies. 

 

Many companies might question if cryptocurrency payment is possible, and if so, how? In this article, we explore the key considerations for companies interested in adopting cryptocurrency as a payment option for their workforce.

Is paying salaries in cryptocurrency legal?

The answer regarding the legality of crypto salary payments is relatively complicated. In short, it largely depends on where the employee is located. Acceptance levels of cryptocurrency vary significantly from country to country. Some countries are showing a complete acceptance of cryptocurrencies. El Salvador and the Central African Republic have even adopted it as their official currency. 

 

In contrast, countries like Algeria and Bolivia have made their stance on cryptocurrency very clear, passing strict laws to prohibit any possible use of it. 

 

Many other countries have a slightly more ambiguous and complicated relationship with cryptocurrency. Some allow it to be held and traded, but do not allow it to be used as a method of payment within that country. In cases such as this, a currency that cannot be used for purchases is consequently problematic when being used to pay day to day salaries.

 

However, the good news for companies and remote teams is that the list of nations that do allow workers to be paid in cryptocurrency is steadily growing – with the list includes major countries like Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom. However, some countries do not make it completely straightforward, as in the US, where regulations regarding the payment of salaries in cryptocurrency even differ from state to state.

 

The most important undertaking for any company interested in offering cryptocurrency as a payment method is to do thorough research into the specific regional laws regarding this – to ensure it is a feasible method that can be compliantly implemented.

Should salaries be paid fully or partially in cryptocurrency?

Similarly, the answer to this also depends on the country or state where the employee is based. Different countries and states will have varying regulations regarding how much of an employee’s wages can be paid in cryptocurrency. 

 

In certain US states, the law states that a minimum salary has to be paid in USD – and only payments above that can be paid in cryptocurrency. 

 

It is also vital to consider the requirements of the employee in this regard. For example, not everyone might want (or feel comfortable having) their full salary paid out in crypto, in which case they may wish to opt for only a portion of their salary paid in this way. 

 

 

Some companies can also choose to pay regular wages in the employee’s home currency while paying out bonuses in cryptocurrency – an attractive option for those looking to invest on top of receiving a regular salary.

What are the tax implications of paying salaries in cryptocurrency?

In those countries where cryptocurrency is permitted to be used to pay wages, the usual attention to legal regulations and tax compliance applies. However, once again, this will require careful research into the individual laws governing the areas where the employees are located.

The classifications of cryptocurrency can be entirely different depending on the country. For example, in the US, cryptocurrency is regarded as property and, therefore, is liable for capital gains tax, whereas, in the UK, cryptocurrency is taxed as regular income.

But for some, depending on where in the world they live and work, getting paid in cryptocurrency can, in fact, have very favorable tax consequences. In countries such as Portugal, the approach to the taxation of cryptocurrency is remarkably lenient, with the sale of cryptocurrency being tax-exempt. Similarly, countries such as Singapore, Switzerland, and Slovenia, to name a few, do not impose a capital gains tax on cryptocurrency sales. One can therefore confidently say that for team members living in these crypto-friendly countries, getting paid in cryptocurrency would be hugely beneficial.

It would be important to do thorough homework on these various regimes to design a payment system that is most practical and beneficial to employees –  ensuring that they do not end up paying more tax than necessary while at the same time remaining compliant.

What goes up, must come down (and vice versa)

Cryptocurrency is known for its volatility, as experienced in recent years, with graphs displaying sharp spikes and dips across the board. Bitcoin is a perfect example of this, reaching an all-time high of $68,000 in November 2021 before plummeting to $33,000 only eight weeks later.

These fluctuations can happen quite rapidly, which can either leave an employee elated with a sudden salary increase or, conversely, experiencing an abrupt overnight drop. 

Having said this, the allure of the potential gains will always be there – even if that means a longer-term investment. And a smart way to reduce the risk of any excessive loss would be for a company to negotiate a percentage of the salary to be paid out in crypto. So while the employee can rely on as much of their salary as they need to pay their day-to-day expenses, anything above this could be paid in crypto and ultimately can grow into a healthy investment.

What type of assistance is available in negotiating crypto salary payments?

There is no doubt that the popularity and interest in crypto payments are growing across many forward-thinking industries. With that, HR companies are discovering new ways to assist with the process. By partnering with an outsourced HR company, managing and paying a global workforce in cryptocurrency has been hugely simplified.

An outsourced HR agency can provide employers with an EOR (Employer of Record) service that, combined with advanced technology, can offer payroll to global employees in both fiat and cryptocurrencies.

This solution takes the burden off the employee to negotiate all of the regulations regarding crypto payments. An EOR is an organization that hires and pays an employee on behalf of a company, taking care of all formal employment tasks and ensuring compliance. So for any company looking to expand and modernize its offering, partnering with an outsourced HR agency provides ample solutions for this.

The way of the future? Very likely...

n summary, current and forecasted trends show us that evolution – no matter how fast or slowly it occurs – is guaranteed. Therefore, it would be foolish not to pay attention carefully to the potential of cryptocurrency, especially concerning future opportunities. 

 

With remote, globally distributed teams steadily gaining popularity for companies and employees alike, a global digital and decentralized payment method makes sense on multiple levels. Cryptocurrency is not influenced by the same issues that hamper traditional currencies, and is also not subject to issues such as international transfer fees and currency conversions.

 

With the business landscape becoming more digitized by the day, it’s just a matter of time before cryptocurrency takes a firm foothold in the mainstream. Now is the time for companies to sit up and take notice to ensure they stay relevant and keep their offering sharp. Future proofing starts today.

Stay informed and inspired by receiving all the latest industry news and insights.

3 Ways To Avoid Remote Hire Compliance Issues As Your SaaS Business Scales

As the acceleration of the SaaS market continues, its growth has had some significant implications for the job market. SaaS businesses require highly specialized skill sets, and the numbers of suitable candidates available are struggling to match the demands of this surging industry. 

 

The result has been a considerable shortage of the right skills, and companies are in close competition when it comes to pursuing available talent. The solution for many SaaS based businesses has been to hire remotely, unlocking access to a much broader global pool of prospects.

 

However, a remote team brings about some significant challenges, particularly regarding the management of multiple employees in a number of different countries – and ensuring they are (and remain) legally compliant.

 

Compliance is easily one of the most daunting tasks when managing a remote team. However, by understanding common problem areas, one is much better prepared to guard against them.

Compliance Simply Can't be an Afterthought

Needless to say, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that a remote worker is adequately taken care of. This care requires that all aspects relating to their employment, such as statutory payments and taxation, is in line with local requirements.

 

Compliance problems can be costly – not only in financial terms due to legal issues and fines but also concerning company reputation and workforce morale. And in the frenetic business landscape of the SaaS industry, it is paramount to retain top talent and to be recognized as a company that cares about its people. This is also an important quality when it comes to getting noticed and winning favor with potential investors. 

 

Essential to note compliance is not a once-off task but a time-consuming, complicated, and unavoidable long-term endeavor. In this article, we explore three ways to avoid the pitfalls of remote compliance issues as your SaaS business scales.

1. Never Get Complacent When it Comes to Local Employment Law

Managing local employment laws is a profoundly complex undertaking. The regulations in some countries can even differ between individual states or regions. Moreover, when managing numerous employees from all corners of the globe, the complications multiply, especially for companies that are onboarding at a rapid rate to support growth. 

Researching simple legal requirements for different countries, such as maternity leave or overtime regulations, can be an extremely time-consuming exercise that often leads to contradictory or outdated information.

In this regard, it becomes essential to have a reliable, current, and consistent flow of information relating to these laws. Falling behind on keeping this information up to date is not an option. 

 

This complicated and demanding administrative task requires a strategic and proactive solution to keep one step ahead. As a result, many companies opt to drastically simplify these issues and safeguard against penalties by partnering with a global PEO (Professional Employment Organisation).  

 

A PEO minimizes compliance risk by taking over the responsibility of all legal employment requirements. A PEO also assists companies with remote hires by legally employing the person on behalf of the company and, therefore, managing all employment contract details. This provides a dependable solution for any SaaS company focused on retaining a positive remote workforce that will not become impeded by compliance issues.

2. Stay on Top of Local Tax and Statutory Payment Regulations

Calculating the correct tax and benefits deductions from an employee’s pay can be a precarious operation, as once again, tax regulations can vary so much depending on where in the world the employee is based. Often tax deduction errors cause a shortfall which is then left up to the company to pay back, which is undoubtedly a costly mistake that should rather be entirely avoided.

Not only are there basic taxes to consider, but different countries may also have particular and unique tax requirements, such as tax to the church as enforced in Germany and Denmark, among others. However, the complexity deepens when even within a country such as Germany, the church tax is different in Bavaria than in the rest of the country. 

 

But location is not the only determining factor for tax laws. In many countries, different industries and types of jobs carry their own taxation requirements. Equally important are the various statutory payments required by different countries – and these can range from public healthcare to social security to superannuation. 

Thorough research into these specifics is vital to gain the necessary knowledge and understanding that is required, as too is meticulous record-keeping. And when multiple remote employees are involved, the challenge can become too great for an in-house HR team to undertake. As a result, at this stage, many companies opt instead for outsourced support, such as partnering with a PEO. 

 

By outsourcing the responsibility of this compliance, the risk to the company is significantly reduced – and the cost and time savings will also be considerable.

3. Leave No Room for Payroll Errors

The management of an international payroll presents another considerable challenge.
The data needs to be accurate and real-time, as payroll errors or delays can cause extensive problems for employers. 

Numerous factors also need to be taken into account – such as working with different currencies, time zone differences, dealing with foreign banks, ever-changing legislation, and potential language barriers.

Another concern is the management of sensitive online data, where the protection of confidential employee information is paramount. This requires a watertight platform where the payroll is managed and data is securely stored.

 

But most importantly, a well-configured plan is the best way to approach a global payroll system. The strategy must factor in the need for highly efficient technology that also has the capacity for a degree of flexibility regarding individual remote employee requirements. 

 

A centralized solution can provide an effective system for managing and storing all data in one place. For many companies who have followed HR outsourcing trends, the best approach to this has been to hand over the reins to an outsourced HR company that is proficient in running a global payroll. 

 

The outsourcing of a global payroll not only saves money and time but also ensures accuracy and legal and tax compliance – freeing up the business to focus more on other important matters.

Investment in Compliance Pays Dividends

It can be of comfort to any business looking to expand its workforce internationally to know that options of support to ease the process are readily available. While it does require some dynamic strategizing and investment, the end results in terms of risk minimization and cost and time savings will be especially rewarding.

With the correct measures and partnerships in place, while paying close attention to HR outsourcing trends, a scaling SaaS startup will not be impeded by complicated employment-related admin but can instead focus on fulfilling major growth requirements such as finding the best specialized talent, fine-tuning product development, elevating the customer experience, and strategic marketing.

By using the resources available, such as by partnering with an outsourced global HR agency, the all-important workforce that is vital for company growth will ultimately be stronger and happier, thriving in an efficiently run international team.

Keep informed with all of the latest industry insights, trends, and information by signing up for our newsletter today.

Agile x Omnix Partnership: Pay Remote Teams in Crypto

Agile partners with Omnix to bridge the gap between crypto and the modern workforce

The way we work, hire, employ and pay are evolving at a rapid pace. Gone are the days where pool tables and free beer at a WeWork-esque coworking space was the main attraction to secure talent. Employees are now seeking more advantageous benefits packages to make their employment experience worthwhile. A modern workforce, requires modern perks, benefits and investment options.

We are excited to announce our new partnership and integration with Omnix to bridge the gap between crypto and the modern workforce. This new partnership means Agile now offers payroll to employees on EOR and freelancers, in both fiat and crypto currencies.

Pairing Agile & Omnix for a more modern payroll 💰

Omnix is the first omni-tool for mass crypto disbursements, this revolutionary integration allows Agile to integrate, manage and disburse crypto to employees globally, just how we do with fiat payroll.

 

How does it works?

  1. Engage Agile as your nominated EOR (employer of record) 😉
  2. During the onboarding phase, employees will receive access to the platform
  3. Employees connect their wallets 
  4. Voila 😎 – ready to receive their monthly disbursements just like normal payroll
  5. Agile fully manages all disbursements and customer support
bitcoin cryptocurrency
Ready for a demo?

Ways to build a strong remote team culture

🌟 When your employees are working remotely, you might be concerned that they won’t feel like a team. They can however still do things well together even when they are apart. For this to happen, you need to ensure you have a good foundation, with a strong remote team culture. 

Here are our top 4 tips to build a strong remote team culture

💬 Get Everyone Communicating Well When Remote

Figure out what works best for each member of your team when it comes to communication. Some may prefer to communicate via email while others value video calls. You can get the whole team together for regular chats so that they can get to know one another and have the opportunity to voice their opinions.

🤝Have Meetings To Keep Everyone Informed

Beyond the basic communication, you will also want to host meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. You can share any company news during the meetings and inform everyone about what is expected of them. The meetings are a good way for everyone to catch up on what is going on and to know that they are an important part of the company.

💡 Make It Easy For Them To Work Together

If you feel that it would be best for a few people to work on the same project, then you can set them up together. Make it easy for them to communicate and give them the virtual tools to get the work done together. They can accomplish a lot by being on the same team even when they are not in the same building.

❤️ Always Be Clear About What Is Expected

Let everyone know what time a meeting is going to be held and get it going at the exact time you say. Let your employees know what is expected of them so that they can accomplish a lot even when they are working remotely. Help them see the talents in one another and how each of them can benefit the other even when they are apart, and then get them working as a team so that they can accomplish a lot.

Make sure you give your employees the tools and opportunities needed to work well with one another. Have constant communication with them and keep them up to date with what is expected of them. Make sure they form connections with one another and know each others’ strengths and weaknesses so that they can help each other and be valuable to the company as a remote team.

🙏🏻 We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help you here.

How to Conquer the Three Main Challenges of Remote Work

People struggled with Covid-19’s compulsory adoption of remote work since it was primarily unstructured and unplanned. As a result, high-speed broadband became more widely available, businesses shifted to remote models, and consumers adjusted to a new normal. Even if some individuals want to go back to the old way of doing things, remote and hybrid work are here to stay. ✈️

 

This is a truth that we must embrace to shift our focus away from restoring things to their previous state and toward figuring out how to proceed with this new paradigm. Everyone has to maintain developing remote and hybrid work so that it continues to benefit people and businesses. The first thing to remember about remote work is the potential hazards it may bring to a company and how to avoid or manage them. These difficulties can be avoided by taking the steps that are listed below. 💡

Three ways of dealing with Remote Work Challenges

1. To Make Sound Judgments

Remote work needs a completely new communication framework. Companies that thrive in making solid judgments can execute them quickly, resulting in better growth rates and total returns. A lack of planned communication in a remote workplace can isolate data and individuals inside their respective departments, decreasing the time to make critical decisions. 💬

 

Even though departmental managers hold weekly or daily meetings to stay in touch with their staff, they may lose touch with other departments. Organizations should guarantee that real-time data is strengthened to avoid the activation of silos with cross-communication across several departments. Organizations should also provide their employees with high-speed broadband and the necessary resources to guarantee that communication is quick and easy. 👩‍💻

2. Get Employees Involved

While remote workers can be very productive, they can be challenging to retain and less successful if they are not engaged with the rest of the firm. Isolation has an emotional cost as well. While loneliness may be harmful to remote employees’ physical, emotional, and mental health, building professional buddies via increased involvement can make individuals happier and motivate them to work more. Make a conscious effort to remind everyone about their duties to one another to prevent employee engagement from being inhibited. ❤️

3. Create a Culture of Loyalty

 

If a great business culture fosters reciprocal loyalty, people are more likely to stay. Happy teams are more productive and have a lower turnover, which is one of the most expensive aspects of running a business. Organizations should put in place methods to monitor everyone’s activities and encourage employees to talk about personal issues and demonstrate empathy. 🤩

We at Agile HRO are no strangers to remote work or helping companies succeed, no matter how or where in the world. If you’re thinking about setting up a remote team, hiring employees around the globe, or simply considering expanding your business, feel free to reach out to us and tell us how we can help here. 🙏🏻