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Embracing WFA, Leveraging EOR to Build Globally Distributed Teams

Work from anywhere (WFA) is a relatively new concept. It’s the idea that today’s technology means someone can work remotely, “from anywhere,” for any company.

WFA has gained traction recently, especially post-pandemic, and it has brought with it a new level of flexibility to your growing company’s ability to build global teams. WFA does not come without challenges: compliance and employee productivity are the most important among them.

But what are the benefits and implications of offering flexible work policies for distributed global teams? And how do employers of record (EORs) factor into the equation?

Old ways going away

There has been a recent high-profile return-to-office (RTO) drift led by several well-known brands and other large companies. Dell is among them.

How long the RTO trend will continue is unclear. Research by the University of Pittsburgh finds RTO brings “no significant changes in financial performance or firm values.” The same study finds RTO diminishes employee job satisfaction significantly.

Embracing WFA — Facing the challenges of compliance and productivity

It is tough to see WFA going away. It’s a competitive advantage in the war for talent.

Organizational agility is a benefit. Unrestricted by potential new hires’ proximity to your company’s physical spaces, the business can employ anyone, anywhere.

For all the benefits they bring an organization, globally distributed teams present a few significant challenges. One is the regulatory landscape. Another is productivity.


Complex tax implications and myriad laws governing data privacy and employment itself apply. These are a few examples:

  • Terminations: Some countries have strict rules governing termination, for example, while others may have more flexible arrangements.
  • Various rules: Every country has its own set of labor laws dictating matters, such as minimum wage requirements, maximum working hours, overtime pay, and employment contract regulations.
  • Data privacy: Some jurisdictions will have strict data protection requirements. Others may have laxer rules or laxer cultural attitudes toward privacy.
  • Workplace health and safety: Some countries impose strict regulations and enforcement mechanisms. Others rely on decentralized approaches.
  • Resolving disputes: Mechanisms to resolve disputes between employers and employees—e.g., via labor courts, arbitration, or mediation—differ considerably.
  • Discrimination: Regulations prohibiting discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality can vary widely in scope and enforcement.

The point is you are a business leader expected to grow your business: None of this depth and extent of compliance is necessarily within your area of expertise (or your team’s) as you shepherd your business expanding quickly on an international scale.


Common sense (and research) strongly suggests employees working for your business from wherever they want will be highly productive. This may be, but plenty of impediments to their productivity can stymie globally distributed teams:

  • Time zone differences: Coordinating work across multiple time zones leads to scheduling conflicts, delayed responses, and difficulty in real-time collaboration.
  • Communication barriers: Misinterpretation of messages, lack of clarity, and differences in communication styles create misunderstandings and inefficiencies.
  • Technological limitations: Spotty access to technological infrastructure, including internet connectivity, communication tools, and project management software, hinders collaboration and productivity.
  • Team cohesion and culture: Without regular face-to-face interactions, remote employees may feel disconnected from the company culture, leading to decreased engagement and motivation.
  • Managing workload and expectations: Managers might lack the visibility they need to provide proper oversight of remote employees’ work. As a result, remote employees struggle to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines effectively.
  • Cross-cultural communication: Misunderstandings and conflicts may arise to affect productivity and collaboration in the absence of awareness of (and sensitivity to) cultural differences.
  • Training and development: Without access to ongoing skill development, remote employees may struggle to adapt to changing job requirements. This and accompanying feelings that they do not belong impede their productivity.
  • Performance assessment: Without regular performance evaluations and constructive feedback, remote employees may feel disconnected and unsupported.

Embracing the EOR model to embrace globally distributed teams

As you can see, there are clear challenges to expanding globally. If you were to go it alone, the business would surely endure inefficiencies negating its advantages.

In fact, the drive to benefit from globally distributed teams creates a natural demand for employers of records (EOR).

An EOR assumes the legal responsibilities and obligations of employing your workforce. The official employer for administrative and other purposes, the service handles payroll processing, tax withholding, benefits administration, and compliance.

Put differently, an EOR spares your business from the pitfalls that might land it in trouble as it expands internationally. As your partner, a good EOR knows how to navigate hiring and employing your staff in any region new to your business.

Speak to an EOR expert to find out more.

Will Smith
Will Smith

Content Writer

Will is a Content Writer at Multiplier. With a background in technology journalism, he is passionate about busting jargon, getting to the heart of complex topics, and writing pieces you'll enjoy reading.

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Employ the best person for job, regardless of location

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