White Paper Details Benefits and Challenges of Cross-Border Remote Hiring

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Migration, in conjunction with Remote.co, announced the publication of “Mobile Minds: An Alternative to Physical Migration in the 4th Industrial Revolution.” This white paper details the benefits of, and challenges associated with, cross-border remote hiring. Led by Rajeeb Dey, Tolu Olubunmi, and Sara Sutton Fell, the goal of Mobile Minds is to explore the global impact of remote work as it relates to both the mobility of the twenty-first century workforce and workplace.


“The most commonly cited benefits of remote work tend to center around bottom line savings for businesses and better work-life balance for employees, which--while powerful--actually overlook the bigger impact this model of working can have on reducing global underemployment and unemployment,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of Remote.co. “By improving the ability to connect companies and workers on a global scale, there is great hope to make employment options more accessible to people who don’t have thriving local job markets available to them.”

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To support this effort, Mobile Minds has outlined actionable steps businesses, governments, and other organizations can take to implement cross-border remote hiring, and start incorporating a model of working that can have a sustainable impact on reducing global underemployment.

"With the 4th Industrial Revolution and the spotlight on global migration policy it's important we take a fresh look at the changing world of work,” said Rajeeb Dey and Tolu Olubunmi, co-authors of the whitepaper and members of the Global Future Council on Migration. “Mobile Minds provides an alternative perspective on the role of physical migration and our ability to not only fill crucial skills shortages but also help mitigate against some of the challenges associated with physical migration of highly skilled workers," they concluded.

Topics in the Mobile Minds White Paper Include:

The benefits of remote and mobile work for companies, including specific data regarding:

Cost savings
Improved productivity
Agility and scalability
Increased access to talent
Reduced turnover
Improved retention when implementing remote work options
Societal benefits of remote and mobile work:

Global traffic mitigation
Lessening environmental impacts
The social and cultural benefits of bringing people together from different locations around the world
Emergency and disaster preparedness

The challenges of implementing widespread cross-border remote work:

A complex tangle of taxation, employment issues, and labor laws between, and even within, countries
Worker pay and classification issues, such as minimum wages, part-time and full-time status differences, overtime compliance, background checks, employee versus freelance classifications, education and skills gaps, and compensation
Consistency and/or implementation of fair labor standards
Awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences
Action items to support and grow cross-border remote hiring:

For businesses: tracking and measuring remote work programs

For governments: enacting laws and policies that acknowledge and incorporate the changing landscape of work

For supporting organizations: Offer services that support remote work and cross-border hiring, including education and skill-building initiatives

To download An Alternative to Physical Migration in the 4th Industrial Revolution, please visit https://remote.co/mobile-minds-project/#whitepaper or contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner@flexjobs.com.

The World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils is the world’s foremost interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future. The network convenes the most relevant and knowledgeable thought leaders from academia, government, business and civil society to challenge conventional thinking and develop new insights and perspectives on the key global systems, as well as the impact and governance of key emerging technologies.

Remote.co is the definitive remote work resource. Designed specifically for professionals and companies interested in or already embracing remote work, Remote.co is the leading space for innovative conversations around remote work.

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