Remote work is here to stay. At least, that’s what numerous researches suggest. When The Adecco Group surveyed 8,000 office-based workers, managers, and C-level executive in 8 countries, the results were striking: 74% of workers would like a mix of office-based and remote work in the future and 79% of C-Suite leaders believe that business will benefit from allowing increased flexibility.
Yet, implementing remote work and hybrid work models does not come without challenges. From a risk of rising inequalities, drop in productivity and uncertainty around taxes, costs, and wages, the transition toward hybrid work models will not be a success-story unless accompanied by the adequate policies.
Some countries have walked the talk and have put in place legislative framework around remote work. The Adecco Group’s White Paper “How to make remote work, work for everyone” offers a comparative overview of the state of the legislation around remote work in 16 countries and outline a set of recommendations for employers to take action and governments to implement policies to successfully accompany this transition toward the future of work.
The Challenges of the Remote Work Model
The long-term implementation of both remote work and flexible types of work in a post-pandemic reality does not come without challenges, both from an organizational point of view and a regulatory point of view.
Some of the main challenges include:
- Inequality: if unregulated, remote work could worsen inequalities, as not all workers enjoy the same access to this model. Inequalities may also arise between workers who decide to return to the workplace and those who do not.
- Productivity: to ensure that remote work goes hand-in-hand with an increased productivity, a strong focus should be put on workers’ physical and mental wellbeing.
- Cost, wages and taxes: working remotely implies new costs and new ways of calculating wages and taxes. On the company level, employers should make clear which costs are incumbent to whom. In addition, governments should adapt a new tax system to assist this new way of working.
- Cybersecurity and IT tools: the spread of the remote work model has made businesses even more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Investments in IT tools are crucial. The reskilling and upskilling of the workforce will also enable employees to embrace the full potential of the remote work model.