Employer of Record: Managing Your Remote Software Engineering Workforce Part 1

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EMPLOYER OF RECORD: Managing Your Remote Software Engineering Workforce Part 1 – All over the world, the need for companies to work with a reliable employer of record to manage their remote software engineering workforce cannot be overemphasized, as the opportunity to work remotely has become one of the most in-demand job benefits requested by job seekers globally, since more employees now access reliable internet connections and desire remote working conditions for a greater work-life balance.

This article introduces the concept of remote work and outlines how Employer of Record (EOR) solutions can help businesses simplify the complexities that come with building and managing a remote software engineering workforce.

Remote Workforce Isn’t the Future of Work — It Is The Present!

Just about a decade ago, the idea of remote working was often seen as a futuristic possibility and was frowned upon by interviewers or by employers looking to hire software engineers and tech talents. Among many reasons given, was the belief that working from home decreased employee performance due to increased distractions and unmonitored performance.

Then, as the years went by, and more robust remote working tools and conditions surfaced, the idea became considered either as an added hiring benefit or a unique model which could be adapted to suit certain working conditions and was predominant with start-up ventures and companies whose management teams were abreast and up-to-date with modern work trends.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, and the need for work-from-home policies to observe the social distancing regulations imposed by governments became prevalent, a new switch was flipped on how business owners and employers of labor perceive remote work as most teams were forced to adapt and rework their entire business models to get more work done while also accomodating work-from-home scenarios, or face extinction.

Today, remote work isn’t just perceived as a futuristic idea, neither is it only about convenience or flexibility; it is a phenomenon that has come to stay! According to Global Workplace Analytics, in the U.S alone, remote work has risen by 173% between 2005 and 2018. Also, it was recently recorded that European, Dutch and Finnish workers led other EU states in the rate of adoption of remote work at 14% and 13.3% of their workforces, respectively.

To put in perspective, there are no signs of reversing its adoption as businesses continue to observe and embrace the value of building and managing a remote software engineering workforce. Even top technology companies like Google & Facebook have expressed their interests in making permanent remote work options for their software engineers and tech talents whose jobs and daily tasks can be completed remotely.

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The remote working model is, therefore, more than a just temporary solution to cushion the effects of a future pandemic, but a new way of life for many, and while Covid-19 may have hastened the acceptance of remote work policies around the world, the increase in its adoption has been gaining momentum within the previous years. From happier, more productive employees to be able to create a more positive environmental impact, the effectiveness of remote work is consistently being put on display.

According to the State of Remote Work Report published by Owllabs.com, employees with greater job flexibility were more engaged and enthusiastic about their performance. Also, co-researchers James Liang, John Roberts, and Zhichun Jenny Ying conducted a study to discover the impact of working from home on China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip located in Shanghai, with 20,000 employees and a market capitalization of about $20 billion.

They solicited worker volunteers for a study during which half worked from home for nine months, coming into the office only one day a working week, whereas the remaining half worked only from the office. After about two years. They discovered a significant performance improvement of 13% from people working at home. Also, resignations dropped by 50%.

In the United States, Airtasker also conducted a similar survey to gain deep insight into workplace habits and productivity and recorded that remote workers were more productive than their in-office counterparts, work-life balance also improved and they had more than average wellness scores.

The following shows some of their most intriguing data:

Remote employees worked 16.8 more days per year compared to their in-office colleagues.

In-office employees were unproductive for an average of 37 minutes whereas remote employees were unproductive for only 27 minutes.

Remote employees had healthier lifestyles as they had more time to engage in fitness exercises, clocking in 25 more minutes of physical activity than their in-office colleagues.

Remote employees took longer breaks on average than in-office employees but worked an additional 10 minutes a day.

Only 15% of remote employees admitted to being distracted by their manager as compared with an alarming 22% of in-office employees.

39% of remote employees found ways to avoid working compared to 56% of in-office employees.


The Rise of The Remote Workforce Era

The rise in the remote work era has led to the development and popularization of teleconferencing software such as Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft teams, etc., which has created an avenue for businesses to thrive in remote environments. Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Slack is also another example of the current demand for such collaborative tools that enable people to work remotely.

According to a report published by Fast Company, remote working software will grow to become the preferred method for all official and out-of-office communications replacing even face-to-face meetings. Our need for office spaces will also begin to change as physical office spaces will be utilized for more important meetings and other in-person functions.

Also, company culture will become more important than ever due to the loss of physical interactions between employees and teams, and companies will need to take further initiatives to build team spirit in all cadres of employees in their organizations. This will require team bonding activities, fun games, hangouts, and other activities that extend far beyond weekly meetings. Management teams will therefore be required to focus on introducing activities that will connect employees, keep foster inclusion, and access the information they need to work effectively and efficiently.

Remote working will furthermore give rise to the relocation of software engineers and tech talents from popular cities and tech hubs across the globe. People will make better decisions as it regards where they chose to live, solely based on the quality of the life they want for themselves and their loved ones, without it coming at the expense of their career growth.

Lastly, recruitment will no longer be hampered by geographical constraints, and this will prepare the way for remote teams to become an integral part of global companies. Companies will then have to work with an employer of record (EOR) to build and manage software engineers and other tech talents based exclusively on talent and not just location, thereby creating a global, more democratized talent pool of software engineering professionals.

As we advance in the remote work era, the employer of record (EOR) will therefore play a very crucial role in building and managing remote software engineering teams for workplace productivity.

In our next post, we will dive deeper into who an Employer of Record is, and why an employer of record is vital in managing you remote software engineering workforce

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