The Anti-Anti-Remote Work Revolution: Using EORs to Hire Global Talent

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Atlas Team

Atlas helps innovative companies like yours to expand, onboard, manage and pay international teams in 160+ countries.

Published: 06 Oct 2023

As pandemic restrictions become a thing of the past, many companies are urging their teams to return to physical office spaces. But data suggests this is at odds with how employees want to work—with many preferring a hybrid or remote approach. 

The result? Companies embracing more flexible work setups are becoming increasingly attractive to potential hires. 

This article will dive into the recent resistance to remote work and the gap between employee and employer preferences. We’ll also explore how an Employer of Record (EOR) can help your company capitalize on this situation—making it easier for you to employ a remote workforce and attract top talent from around the world. 

The top-down increase in anti-remote sentiment 

There’s no doubt that many companies are pushing for employees to return to the office. One of the most recent examples to hit the headlines was Zoom, the video conferencing software that was so pivotal during lockdowns. Zoom now requires employees living within 80 km of an office to work from there at least twice a week. 

And they’re not alone—far from it. BlackRock, Chipotle, and Disney are among the many other companies rolling back remote-friendly policies, requiring employees to work from their offices at least four days a week. And the list goes on

In some cases, employers are taking extreme measures to ensure office presence, such as tracking attendance or threatening to terminate non-compliant workers. Last summer, Elon Musk made waves by giving Tesla employees an ultimatum: “return to the office or quit”—an approach he repeated at Twitter after taking over the company in October 2022. 

Reasons cited by business leaders for favoring an office-based setup are improved collaboration, a more robust company culture, and more opportunities for learning and development.  

The employer-employee gap 

But how do these changes align with the way employees want to work? To find out, researchers at Ipsos analyzed more than 540,000 survey responses revealing attitudes towards different working setups in 95 countries. The results pointed to a growing gap between leaders and employees. 

On average, fewer than 1 in 10 employees want to return to working in the office full-time. In the US, over a third (34%) of workers would prefer to work from home daily, and 57% would opt for a hybrid approach. But, senior leaders seem to see things differently, with just 10% showing a preference for full-time remote work. 

These workers appreciate the variety of benefits that a more flexible work setup offers. 54% of those surveyed said they enjoy having more flexible working hours. Around two-thirds (67%) mentioned that hybrid work improved their work-life balance. And 85% reported saving time and money by avoiding the daily commute. That’s before we consider the many benefits for those whose needs are often overlooked in traditional working environments, such as parents and neurodivergent individuals. 

Using the situation to your company’s advantage 

This contrast between company policy and employee preferences has already caused pushback. When told that they’d be expected to return to the office four days a week, thousands of Disney employees signed a petition asking their CEO, Bob Iger, to reconsider the policy. And the consequences could be severe for companies that don’t listen to these voices. A 2022 survey by Robert Half revealed that half of US workers would rather quit than return to full-time office work. 

The situation has a silver lining, though: companies that do offer remote or flexible work options will have the edge in attracting and retaining talented employees. In a world that values flexibility and work-life balance, providing adaptable work setups can strongly appeal to top talent, making your company more competitive in the hiring market.  

And by being open to an international workforce, you can widen this talent pool even further—tapping into an even more diverse range of people, perspectives, and skills.  

How an EOR can help you attract office-resistant talent from around the world 

While going global can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be when you use an Employer of Record. 

EORs are valuable partners for companies looking to embrace remote and hybrid work arrangements on a global scale. An international workforce usually comes with a spectrum of legal and financial considerations, but EORs help businesses navigate these challenges seamlessly—so you can reap the benefits without the hassle.  

There are three particular areas where an EOR can come in useful: 

  • Entity setup: To employ team members from other countries, you’ll usually need to establish a new entity there. Doing this yourself can be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. But EORs already have their own entities and systems in place (Atlas is present in over 160 countries), enabling you to hire, onboard, and pay global talent much more quickly and easily for a fraction of the cost. 

  • Compliance: Ensuring your company follows all local tax and labor laws—such as leave entitlement and termination procedures—is critical when working with an internationally-distributed team. The good news is that EORs like Atlas assume responsibility and liability as your global employees’ legal employer, meaning you never have to worry about staying up to date with changing rules and regulations. 

  • Local knowledge: Other challenges of international hiring include cultural and communication differences between team members in different locations. EORs will be able to offer valuable expertise on this matter, too—helping you better understand local culture and customs and enabling you to manage any cross-cultural hurdles effectively. 

Navigating the changing work landscape 

As time goes on, many employers are moving away from what potential talent desires by announcing back-to-office mandates. But by going against the tide and embracing remote and hybrid work models, forward-thinking companies can attract and retain top talent whose needs are not being met elsewhere. 

And by partnering with an Employer of Record like Atlas, you’ll be able to tap into top talent from around the globe, safe in the knowledge that we’re handling all the intricacies of international workforce management on your behalf. 

To find out more, get in touch with Atlas today.