17 June 2020 - Reading time: 5 Minutes
The COVID-19 lockdown forced international companies to switch gears overnight: remote working was suddenly the norm. In most cases, the transition happened smoother than expected and significant benefits have now become apparent. Therefore, it’s likely that remote working is here to stay. Are you planning to offer regular remote working to your international workforce? Don’t forget that this implies a set of written and unwritten rules. Here’s a basic checklist
A joint study by Cass Business School (London), IESE Business School (Barcelona) and SD Worx in six European countries showed that 57% of white-collar workers working during the lockdown period did so from home. More remarkably, for the vast majority (41%), this was the first time they had established a home office.
These numbers imply that, for many companies, remote working was a first-time experience. Initially, the focus was on the logistical aspect, as there was little time for a more comprehensive approach. However, if you plan to introduce regular remote working to your employees, it’s time to get your head down. Not sure what that means? Follow these 5 steps:
Jobs that are relatively "siloed" and thus don't require significant cross-functional communication are prime candidates for remote work. Those could include sales agents, technical employees, marketeers, financial profiles and administrative aids. The key is to determine whether working on site all the time is truly necessary for them. If it’s not, how many days a week could you station each employee at their home office without efficiency losses? Make sure you apply the same set of standards for staff working in different countries.
In most countries a home-working policy is not only recommended, but also mandatory when your employees work from home on a regular basis. These are the main topics in such policies:
In each country, you have distinct legal obligations. Make sure to get advice from a global HR and payroll service provider with strong local expertise to avoid fines and penalties.
A possible pitfall of remote working is that your employees will feel less connected. Counter this by optimising your internal communication channels, establishing a continuous feedback culture and organising meetings and events that require physical presence. Moreover, a lot of team managers will have to make a mindset switch and follow training courses to become better (remote) coaches. For your HR department, this probably means more work in some areas, so outsource or automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
The upsurge of remote working is difficult to ignore, but the trend towards more time- and place-independent work is not new. It’s part of a world where work has become fluid. Employers should adapt their HR strategies accordingly. A telling example is reward and compensation. Which perks do you give to remote workers? Do you pay for utility expenses? Do you focus on output or working hours? First, check what national labour laws allow and then work out an attractive remuneration policy.
Interested in customised remuneration?
SD Worx provides the smart reward solutions you’re looking for.
Virtual collaboration tools are the lifeblood of a successful remote working strategy, so invest in platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Slack. Besides that, you’ll want to look for reliable self-service solutions to ease the burden on your HR team. For example, an innovative time registration tool could be a great asset for workforce management, while a Digital Assistant can serve as an employee’s right-hand man. Last but not least, follow up closely. You should periodically check if regular remote working delivers the wanted results. Payroll and HR analytics can help you with this, from understanding how specific regions and countries are performing to real-time strategic reporting.
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What will 2021 bring? After such a turbulent year, it would be audacious to start making big statements. But one thing seems to be a given: ‘the old normal’ is not coming back. Even more, companies will quickly have to find a way to deal with the likelihood of ongoing changes. A good first step is building an agile workforce and valuing both internal and external mobility. To do so, you’ll need to embrace total talent management.4 December 2020
COVID-19 has a great impact on employees, with mass homeworking as one of the most remarkable outcomes. Many companies are pulling out all the stops to establish viable homeworking policies, implement digital tools and create a renewed organisational culture. What’s often overlooked is the physical workspace. Although traditional offices are on their way out, they can re-emerge as employee experience centres.17 November 2020
Care and hospitals go hand in hand, but this usually relates to patient care. At Az Damiaan in Ostend, they extend this care to employees with the same focus. Az Damiaan regularly appears in the press with original employer branding campaigns. Of course, just the image of a caring, creative employer with 'a twist' is not enough. Without a supportive and established HR policy, this reputation would be in danger. During the first wave of coronavirus, the hospital showed that they have a solid foundation in this area. Chief HR Officer, Dirk Van de Velde, explains.9 November 2020
American athletic giant Nike has a solid foothold in Belgium too, with five distribution centres in Ham, Laakdal and Meerhout. Together, they make up the Nike European Logistics Campus (ELC). From here, sporting goods depart around the clock, destined for wholesalers, Nike stores and online customers across Europe. This phenomenal logistics achievement relies heavily on flexibility. For that reason, personalisation, mobility and innovation are key elements of the HR policy.28 October 2020
As the adage goes, “the clever learn from their mistakes, but the truly wise learn from the mistakes of others”. With remote working here to stay in a post COVID-19 world, offering great experiences to remote workers is the key to high engagement, effortless collaboration and – in the end – higher performance. Familiarise yourself with the fails and learn how to win with remote working.20 August 2020
SD Worx is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Even in these challenging times in which the world is gripped by coronavirus, SD Worx does not want to let this occasion pass unnoticed.13 August 2020
Europe is home to millions of expanding businesses, which play an increasingly vital role in job creation, economic growth and innovative power. They have a lot to gain in the digital era – as long as their HR strategies keep pace with the dynamic needs of their employees. Explore three powerful HR trends that are poised to impact your international company, and learn how to tackle them.14 May 2020
Ramadan is from 24 April to 23 May 2020. Muslims all over the world fast for a month and there is no eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset. How do you, as an employer, take this into account in the workplace?6 May 2020
Whether a large multinational or a small business with fewer than 50 employees, investing in an HR and payroll offering can have a markedly positive impact on the business. In fact, small companies face many of the same challenges as larger organisations. From ensuring compliance to maintaining an efficient payroll procedure, there are a multitude of ways that small businesses can transform their HR and payroll operations. Here are four ways your business can benefit.30 April 2020
While governments around the world pull out all the stops to slow the spread of the coronavirus, businesses – both big and small – continue to look for the best way to emerge from the crisis with their heads held high. Obviously, HR departments play a key role in fulfilling this aspiration. How well is yours doing? Take the test and benefit from 4 rules of thumb first.16 April 2020
Human Resources has always played a vital role in organisations around the world. However, throughout the long history of HR, its place in the business has often been reduced to an admin function. Primarily focusing on people and employees, an HR professional’s role has a direct impact on people’s lives, but its effect is felt way beyond this.
With it’s integral place within employees’ lives as well as the overall business strategy, how can HR ensure it’s strategic role continues to add value to organisations for years to come?
Human Resources is a data driven industry. With so much company and employee information available, the challenge for many HR professionals is how to utilise it most effectively. No organisation can survive without data, and its importance within the overall business strategy only continues to grow as we enter a new decade.
So, how can HR departments embrace and interpret their data, and what should they be looking for when they analyse it?23 January 2020
From being healthier to digital detoxes, many of us adopt resolutions at the start of the new year. However, it’s not only personal resolutions that should be set in January each year - professional goals should not be overlooked either. Employees might focus on their work/life balance or wellbeing, or might embark on various training sessions to improve their skills.
There’s no doubt that the world of work has changed in the past decade. Organisations have been more focused on employee wellbeing and happiness than ever before, with some even considering the option of a four-day working week. Wellbeing was also a key topic at the CIPD’s annual conference in Manchester this year, which provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss and debate how to successfully manage mental health and wellbeing in international organisations.19 December 2019
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has left many employees on both sides of the English Channel in limbo – uncertain about how long they will be able to live and work in the country they’ve come to call home.29 October 2019
The clock is still ticking on the UK’s exit from the European Union and we’re still in the dark about the terms of its departure or what impact Brexit will have on employment both in the UK and the 27 remaining EU member states. With or without a deal and faced with this level of uncertainty, HR and payroll teams need to stay up to date with their HR Brexit planning and be ready for all scenarios.11 October 2019
A recent SD Worx survey revealed that over half (57%) of European employees have the freedom to take a holiday when they choose. Although this can improve the work/life balance and autonomy of employees around Europe, it can leave departments a little stretched over the summer – a popular time to travel and enjoy the sun with friends and family. This can particularly affect the HR and payroll department – a business function that never stops.5 August 2019
It’s vital that global organizations are run as efficiently as possible. With potentially easy access to a broad and detailed selection of employee data, the HR and payroll department can ensure that the organization’s staff planning is accurately informed to better control staffing costs and improve efficiency across the business as a whole.
So, how can the HR and payroll professionals ensure that they are maximising the potential of the valuable data that lies at their fingertips?
It is often said today that data is the new oil – it’s extremely valuable, especially in international business. But, as organisations expand, their databases grow and this can impact the workload of the HR and payroll professionals, distracting them from their vital roles and left to drown in never ending streams of data.11 April 2019
With winter coming to an end, the sun is coming out of hibernation and spring is rolling around. But as we prepare for the time of new beginnings, with flowers blooming and the leaves back on the trees, how can you use HR Tech to make the most of the new season? Rather than being stuck in the office, battling through endless admin and other time-consuming tasks, introducing HR tech into your organisation can put a spring back in the step of the payroll function.27 March 2019
The Christmas festive period might be over, but winter is certainly not. With snow thick and fast in some regions, it’s understandable that HR and payroll teams may want to pack up and hibernate for the next couple of months.21 January 2019
With the festivities over and the new year well underway, as we return to work, many may have already given up on their new year’s resolutions for 2019. However, when it comes to new year resolutions in the HR and payroll industry, there are many resolutions that HR and payroll teams should commit to which will ensure that their payroll is powerful and running efficiently throughout the year.10 January 2019
Much of today’s media coverage on the introduction of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the workplace express concern over the future of the human employee. Many fear their roles will be replaced by an intelligent robot that is more efficient and cheaper to employ. However, this is far from the case. SD Worx advocates the future of HR tech, but we also understand that you can never take the ‘Human’ out of Human Resources! In fact, introducing these technologies to the HR and payroll department can only reaffirm the place of the human employee in the business world.30 December 2018
The HR and payroll industry never stands still and is moving at a faster pace than ever. With frequent updates to legislation, increasingly global operations and swiftly developing new technologies, the future of HR is set to look completely different to the industry of today.28 November 2018
Every company strives to have effective working practices that allow employees to work together to get the best possible outcome. Many employers choose to organise Christmas team building activities to help boost workplace morale, increase productivity and collaboration between departments.But does team building actually work? 21 November 2018
Business Studies 101 tells us staff are the most valuable and expensive resource within any company, but how can your business create an empowering atmosphere within which employees flourish and morale is high?6 November 2018
Payroll is the lifeblood of an organization, so getting it right is crucial. When organizations branch out into new geographical locations, the risk of payroll mistakes heightens. It’s a scary thought for HR and payroll professionals.
30 October 2018
Business leaders are always searching for dynamic new ways to improve their business strategy, but there's one source of data which still remains largely untapped. There is a wealth of potential strategy ideas to be found in a place businesses already have unrestricted access to - their payroll system.
So, how can both large and small companies start utilising payroll data today to breathe new life into stale strategies?24 October 2018
Nothing turns your working world on its head quite as much as a big, sudden change in the way you need to work or the way in which the company you're working for is run. Whether it's due to changes in law, different leadership or any other reason, keeping up with big changes can seem like a difficult task, and it's easy to get off track. But when it comes to adapting to those sudden changes and continuing to meet the needs of your business, there are a few things you can do to help you adapt quickly and be back to 100% in no time:15 October 2018
In the digital world, ensuring that you have a healthy work/life balance has never been so important. However, in this ‘always-on’ environment, it can prove difficult to step away from the world of work and to take that all-important break from your seemingly never-ending to do list. Some HR and payroll professionals see the introduction of HR tech as another cause of stress, with many fearing that it will threaten the future of the industry. However, the introduction of automation and other technologies could be the answer to empowering the HR professional and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.12 October 2018
It sounds too simplistic to say that your workforce is the beating heart of your company, but it’s true. However, many businesses don’t practice strategic human resource (HR) planning. So why is staff planning so important?8 October 2018
With the growing importance of computers and technology in today’s world, the pressure for businesses to digitalise their workplace is rising. Although there are many benefits to be reaped, lots of people are still confused about what digitalisation is and how it will impact their employees.1 October 2018
Is your HR and payroll team feeling the heat this summer? With the weather heating up, most of us want to get out and enjoy the sun or escape on a holiday. However, with more staff members out of the office, this can mean that the payroll team might be running on reduced numbers. And, typically, less team members results in a higher workload for those in the office. This is where HR and payroll technology can help, giving HR teams a well-deserved summer holiday.3 August 2018
Summer is finally here—and before long it will be over. HR and payroll teams face various challenges over the summer months, from increased staff holiday to keeping track of summer interns and flexible working.16 July 2018
The HR and payroll industry is in constant change, with digitalisation, GDPR, and the gig economy effecting the HR and payroll department in organisations around the world. So, how can you ensure that both your HR department and employees are able to keep up with the pace of change? It’s time to unleash the flexibility of your HR.26 April 2018
PAREXEL provides best practice examples to international organisations.
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, all organisations who handle data of EU citizens will need to comply with new guidelines. By nature, HR departments hold personal and sensitive employee data, including payroll data. However, with an increasing amount of payroll and HR departments adopting automated payroll processes, the question arises: how do you become compliant in a digital world, especially if you are an international company?12 March 2018
The end of the payroll year is typically a very stressful time for payroll teams. With an extensive amount of tasks to be completed within tight deadlines, any mistakes can be costly.
However, the end of year process can be drastically simplified by engaging with tailored payroll software. This technology can be utilised to assist payroll professionals throughout the year, but how can it help payroll teams in April each year?27 February 2018
Businesses in every industry have been affected by the way that we now rely heavily on technology. Technology is now a part of everything we do – both at home and work—and in order to stay relevant in today’s world, all industries must continue to be innovative and remain up to date with technological advancements, especially in the workplace.19 October 2017
Big data and analytics have now entered numerous industries, including healthcare, financial services and retail. Despite many HR and payroll providers now using big data as part of their services, the industry has predominately been slow on the data uptake, in comparison to adoption within others. HR and payroll is largely an industry that relies on human intuition, rather than data and statistics, however, providers have started to see for themselves benefits of big data and analytics, and thus are beginning to implement these into their services.10 October 2017