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The future of work: Harness the best talent, not just the nearest

The Covid-19 global pandemic continues to create disruption, most especially in the workplace as companies grapple with the balancing act of keeping people safe and observant of health and safety compliance regulations and the need to continue delivering goods and services to remain in business.

Employee management is made more complicated if one manages a diverse and geographically divergent workforce. Photo by Creative Commons

Employee management is made more complicated if one manages a diverse and geographically divergent workforce. Photo by Creative Commons

Remote working, often touted as one of the leading indicators of the ‘future of work’, has suddenly become the norm, with millions of employees around the world operating from home. Have there been productivity challenges? Undoubtedly, but these have in many instances been overcome with improved access to enabling technologies and the shift in thinking about what work looks like.

For some, remote working has tipped the scales in the opposite direction, with individuals working around the clock and with little to no boundaries. For others, the demands of the family and homeschooling, or lack of contact with colleagues, has created additional stress and strain.

What is required to manage this ‘new normal’, is the realisation that work is something you do, not somewhere you go, and that productivity and performance output are what matter, not where, how, or what time you do the work.

As more individuals realise the benefits of working from home, the saved money and time usually wasted in traffic, and the ability to balance their own unique lifestyle priorities, the more remote working will become a must-have from the best talent available. A report by Zapier.com published at the end of 2019 revealed that about 74% of the workforce would prefer to quit a job for one that offers remote positions, and one assumes this stat will have grown after Covid-19 has proven that work really can be done remotely successfully.

For organisations, savings realised through fewer expensive office spaces and facilities will be attractive, especially during economically trying times. Not to mention that harnessing the very best talent available no longer has geographical boundaries, including the ability to source the best skill at the most affordable price.

Challenges to the traditional employment model, includes revisiting contractual and relationship management expectations. Productivity-based ‘quasi employment’ models are becoming increasingly popular with both companies and individuals, however compliance management of such can be tricky, as individuals do not necessarily fall into the definition of ‘independent contractor’.

And, because not all skills can be outsourced, or contracted at arm’s length, HR professionals are left juggling a multitude of varying contractual arrangements, each with their own administrative and compliance requirements. This is made more complicated if one manages a diverse and geographically divergent workforce.

Temporary Employment Services (TES) providers offer several solutions that benefit companies and the individuals who deliver market-relevant services, managing scheduling, invoicing, payment, tax and benefits administration, and contract assignment management. Partnering with a compliant TES means that companies’ management can focus on their core business, leaving the complexities of labour law compliance and people management to experts.

The Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES), who drives compliance and advocacy for the TES industry, suggests that collaboration, proven to be critical during these uncertain times, provides the perfect opportunity for organisations to take advantage of all the best the future of work offers, whilst entrusting the compliant management thereof to specialist TES providers.