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    The Future of Work: The Impact of COVID-19 on Distributed Workforces in 2021 and Beyond

    iWorkGlobal and Upwork recently came together during a Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) webinar to discuss the future of work and the impact COVID-19 has had on the human capital management industry. More specifically, experts Maria Goyer, Senior Vice President of Strategy at iWorkGlobal and Eric Gilpin, Senior Vice President of Sales at Upwork discussed the impact COVID-19 has had on distributed workforces and how companies are evolving their contingent workforce strategies to adapt to the new word of work.

    With over 150 attendees, there were many questions from contingent workforce professionals and we’ve captured some of those questions and answers below:

    Q: ­How can a client be sure of compliance with law in both home and host countries? Specifically, how would a UK company ensure IR35 compliance while engaging a worker in Portugal? How would a company in US ensure compliance with WAB while engaging a worker in the Netherlands?­

    A: When looking at properly classifying your independent contractors (IC’s) you are mitigating the risk of local (in the IC’s country) tax authorities reclassifying the IC as your employee. Therefore, you must follow the regulations of the country where the IC is performing the services. For example, if you are engaging a worker in Portugal or the Netherlands, you would need to perform an IC compliance review specific to the laws in those countries. To ensure you are compliant, the best option is to utilize a partner like iWorkGlobal who can perform automated IC Compliance evaluations in over 170 countries.

    Here’s how it works:

    • Through our automated system, you (the client) and the contractor will each answer a set of questions pertinent to the assignment
    • Within 48 hours of submission iWorkGlobal’s team of experts will provide a final recommendation on whether to classify the worker as an IC or an employee.
    • iWorkGlobal takes care of all paperwork and your worker starts their assignment

    Suggested reading: What does IR35 Mean for Hiring IC’s in the UK?

    Q: ­What is the best way to ensure proper classification of 1099 resources and more importantly indemnify the end client?­

    A: When engaging 1099 resources, there are three key steps to ensure proper classification:

    1.Service Type – The most important step is to evaluate the type(s) of service(s) that are being performed in order to determine whether the services are unique and not in the usual course of your business.

    • How – Clearly scope the project to be defined and determine if this is a unique skill set for a defined period that requires an outside expert.

    2. Control – The next step would be to evaluate the control that your company would be exerting over the IC to ensure they are free from your direction and control.

    • How – Query the manager and contractor about the behavioral controls, financial controls and the relationship of the parties while performing the services.

    3. Establishment – Lastly, evaluating the IC’s business to ensure that they are customarily engaged in their established trade is key to proper 1099 classification.

    • How – Create a tax defense file by documenting not only 1 and 2 above, but include business registration, insurance certificates, and any other customary business documentation on the Independ Contractors business.

    Based on the assumptions above, a good employer of record will use its best judgment and experience to assess potential reclassification risks existing in the proposed working relationship and issue its recommendation accordingly. End clients understand that this analysis is not binding or a legal determination. The final decision as to classification rests with the end client. A reliable and trustworthy employer of record defends, indemnifies, and holds harmless end clients from and against any and all losses, claims, judgments, penalties, liabilities, damages, costs, and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, that the end client may suffer, sustain, or incur as a result of the employer of record’s negligence in providing an analysis that a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor.

    We know it can feel daunting to accurately tackle the above steps and find a reliable EOR partner, that’s why more and more companies are partnering experts like iWorkGlobal to take care of the entire classification process. In the U.S. and over 170 countries, iWorkGlobal makes it possible for you to engage IC’s quickly and compliantly, so you can focus on your business! Learn more about IC classification, here.

    Q:It sound that the EOR solution works better for opportunities to enter in new countries but not as an ongoing solution to engage talent on permanent basis. Can you clarify it please? ­

    A: EOR services are a key component to all contingent workforce (CW) programs. In fact, 25-30% of most CW programs are contingent workers who are self-sourced by their managers and require an EOR service. Regardless of the length of engagement, utilizing an international and domestic EOR provider gives you the ability to engage talent anywhere in the world, and also support your domestic needs.

    Whether you need to engage a worker in a different country, relocate a US employee to a new state or are simply looking to fast-track hiring, iWorkGlobal’s team of experts can get your workers onboarded in the US and 170 countries in a fraction of the time.

    Suggested reading: What are the differences between a PEO and EOR?

    Q: If relationships matter, how do you anticipate relationship building to change in a remote work environment?

    A: Great question! In order to maintain and build relationships in this new world of remote work, there are a couple of key elements to keep abreast of:

    • Trust – In a remote-first world, building trust is essential to maintaining relationships. This means prioritizing dependability, consistency, and transparency with employees, clients, partners and beyond. According to a Harvard Study organizations with higher trust positively impact the employees and lead to:
      • 74% less stress
      • 106% more energy at work
      • 50% higher productivity
      • 13% fewer sick days
      • 76% more engagement
      • 29% more satisfaction with their lives
      • 40% less burnout
    • Human First Approach – When you’re behind a screen, it’s easy to forget that the text you’re writing is being delivered to an actual person with emotions. That said, it will be important to carve out time for more informal conversation and activities that are focused on getting to know one another better. For example, at iWorkGlobal, all of our employees take a personality test during onboarding – this ensures that their managers and colleagues are communicating in a way that resonates and vice versa. Another example of how to lead with a human-first mentality, is to normalize chit-chat about each other’s remote lives – discuss the authentic challenges of working from home, tips you have on how to overcome them, and…welcoming the unexpected intrusion of your colleagues’ dog or toddler running around in the background!

    For more tips on how to strengthen relationships while working remotely, click here.

    How to Get Started

    Every contingent workforce program is unique, and this holds especially true in 2021. From hiring full-time workers in Dubai, accurately classifying IC’s in California or paying your talent in multiple states and countries, the experts at iWorkGlobal are here to make things easier. Backed by over 70 years of combined experience, our team harnesses deep industry knowledge, tech-enabled processes and world-class customer service to provide your contingent workforce program with the expert-level care it deserves.

    Ready to find out what’s possible? Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and discuss your unique business needs: Click here to chat.

    Still looking for more information? Click here to see how we’re building workforces of the future!




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