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Addressing the people and tax implications of hybrid and remote work

Working unleashed: Optimising your remote work infrastructure


Enable remote work for your people

The future of work is going to look very different from the present. The pandemic tested the flexibility and responsiveness of work and culture everywhere. Since the disruption, hybrid and remote-working models have become the norm more quickly than anyone envisioned pre-pandemic, for example, 78% of tax leaders say that they are here to stay1.

As you look beyond the pandemic, Deloitte can show how the tax function can play a bigger role to help protect and create value for your business. Our experienced tax and human capital professionals and innovative technology solutions can support you. Together, we can align your strategy, policy, and operations to address the potential talent and tax implications of hybrid and remote work.

    Seamlessly transform how your employees work

    Demand for remote work has been rising for years. But the global pandemic turned it from request to requirement almost overnight—and companies stepped up. Seventy-nine percent of respondents to a Deloitte survey1 reported that at least 75% of their workforce has been able to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. And 69% said their company’s ability to manage and support a remote workforce was good or excellent.

    Your teams are likely to have questions about going back into the office post-pandemic. It may be time to stop thinking about remote work as a special category. You need the right policies and infrastructure in place today to support them to take advantage of the benefits they present.

    Meeting the demand

    Across the world, more and more businesses are transitioning to a flexible work model. Doing so requires your company to track where employees are working today and where they want to work in the future. Your processes need to accommodate an array of remote working arrangements, such as permanent remote requests, hybrid schedules, and even workers who may want to regularly change locations.

    Establishing your remote work policy

    Requests will likely be coming from all parts of your organization: the sales professional who’s constantly on the go; the marketing manager leading a team; the IT associate providing tech support. Requests from different departments—even different levels of individuals—need to be evaluated individually based on their potential impact on the organization as a whole.

    Satisfying your obligations

    The potential talent and tax implications of remote work can be significant. A remote employee might work from home in the same city or region where the company office is located, or they may live and work in a different region or country entirely. Each situation can bring its own tax implications, and the onboarding of remote employees requires careful attention.

    For example, adding a new remote employee could require the company to file a corporate tax return in a new state or region, or register there to withhold payroll taxes. Tax teams need to ensure they can navigate the extra compliance involved with these situations—not just for the tax department but for the entire organization.

    Taking on the potential talent and tax implications of remote work

    Deloitte can help tax leaders evaluate and establish temporary and future remote work programmes. We can help analyse your current remote workforce approaches—including those implemented rapidly in response to COVID-19. We can also help your organisation develop and execute a future-forward remote work strategy that aligns with business objectives: Employees may benefit from increasing their well-being, job satisfaction, and work-life balance, and the business benefits from lowering overhead costs and becoming more attractive to top talent.

    We do this through the three major components of our remote work approach:

    Chart a long-term remote work plan that most effectively helps your workers thrive. Every company’s strategy is custom-built based on their industry, global footprint, talent needs, and company culture. Tax leaders must address questions around skills development and career progression in a mixed workplace environment.

    Key questions tax leaders must think about include:

    • How important is “physical workspace” to your company culture?
    • Is remote work an option for you based on the culture you want in your organisation and your vision for the future?
    • Which roles are you willing to make remote?
    • What are you willing to do to sustain high-performance teams in a virtual environment?
    • What support would your remote workers need and how much support is the organisation able to provide?
    • How can you strengthen team cohesion for power pairings and enable hybrid staff to act as strategic advisors to the business in a remote-working culture?

    Enable your strategy by establishing a policy or guidelines. Your remote work policy or guidelines address eligibility requirements, benefits and entitlements, compliance practices, expense management, and other related issues. It will help address considerations such as:

    • Which roles and seniority levels will have remote work options?
    • How will compensation and benefits change for a remote worker?
    • How can the company limit risk exposure and adhere to regulatory and tax compliance guidelines?

    Bring your strategy and policy to life. Your remote work operational plan addresses how you will implement this change in your organisation, as well as how you will provide ongoing administration of your remote work strategy and policy. Key questions for operating a remote work programme long-term include:

    • Which function and team will own the remote work strategy and policy going forward?
    • What roles do business and talent leaders, managers, and compliance functions play in approving remote work?
    • How will your organisation communicate with remote workers, managers and talent leaders on an ongoing basis?
    • What changes need to be made to the larger talent and HR operations processes (e.g., onboarding, productivity, performance) to support remote workers and a dispersed workforce?
    • What technology and tools does your company need to effectively enable remote workers?

    Our thinking

    The intersection of talent and technology

    Human insights, combined with cutting-edge technologies, can help you achieve the potential benefits of incorporating remote work arrangements into your organization. The process starts by identifying where your people are today, including allowing workers to preclear their desired work arrangement. Our proprietary, custom-built technology uses key employee and employer information to analyze remote work requests from various risk and cost analysis perspectives, enabling you to make informed decisions and determine if they fit the remote work plan your organization has developed.

    The intersection of talent and technology