Dec 20

​Rising Global Worker Mobility: Become a Digital Nomad!

The Current Scenario

One of the biggest trends to emerge from globalisation is the rise in global worker mobility. Today the globally connected technology, knowledge, trade and capital have created a major shift in the way businesses operate. A Talent Mobility study by PWC reveals 50% growth in international assignments by the year 2020 which means a significant surge in international projects and global mobile career. With the international business landscape evolving at a lightning speed, the global mobility management practices are also slated to change rapidly. Today the focus is turning towards moving the job to people, rather than the other way around.

So, what is the implication of this trend?

In this article we want to focus on the ​3 major group of people who are affected by this mobility wave.

1. The Self-Employed

Global mobility is not a new trend for the originally self-employed freelancers and has been prevalent in the oil, gas and engineering industries for a long time. Currently the trend is reaching many other industries and vocations as well. These are the skilled professionals who work as freelancers on assignments with employers anywhere in the world. They prefer working on a project basis with different clients.

A major chunk of expat talents follows their globetrotting partners when assigned to a new country. Apart from adjusting to a radically new life in a foreign country, there are several challenges that they may face as a relocating spouse.

  • ​One of the biggest challenges is to give up a treasured job and a considerably big source of income to become the trailing spouse. Most people today are dual career couples and relocation means quitting a career in which you have invested significantly in terms of effort, time and passion.
  • Another major impediment is finding employment that matches your knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications in the host country.

3. The ​Older Expatriate (The Silver Revolution)

​Ageing population has been a concern from the longest time not only in developed but also emerging economies. Today many older workers are ready to relocate to a new country on an assignment as they are considered more mobile compared to younger employees with families. They are often open to work even after retirement as consultants and share their valuable knowledge and expertise internationally as a freelancer. This helps in bridging the talent gap.

The current challenge is to promote an inclusive culture with all these kinds of globally mobile professionals. The world is changing and thanks to today’s digitally connected world, these challenges will soon cease to exist. This is where the concept of a digital nomad comes to the fore.

So, who is a digital nomad?

They are location-independent people who use telecommunications technology to perform their work and earn a living. They can work remotely from anywhere- foreign countries, co-working spaces, homes or even coffee shops. All one needs is an excellent ​Wi-Fi connectivity and a laptop to stay in contact with clients and employers.

You could be working in any field- IT, creative, media, consulting or even marketing and with a range of clients. The tech driven nature of the business ecosystem today has enabled people to build their career and carry it with them irrespective of where they live or relocate. This is one of the most sustainable solutions for seasoned professionals who are always on the move and don’t wish to compromise on their careers.

The key benefits of working as a digital nomad are:

  • ​You are always in the driver’s seat as far as your work is concerned. You are free to work from wherever you want at your own convenience.
  • ​You have flexible work timings and not a typical 9 to 5. You can also choose your shifts, holidays or whether you want to work in weekends.
  • ​You are always your own boss! So, even if technically you are working for someone, you have the freedom to shape and design your work life the way you want without compromising on family time. A portable career in its true sense!

​Let us dive into the ​3 potential solutions for the globally mobile

​A trend which is gaining momentum is that of remote employment. Companies often don’t want to let go of critical talents when they relocate, so continuing to employ them remotely ensures that the talent stays while the company benefits from their productivity.

There are many organisations that actually look for a remote employment kind of an arrangement as it is convenient for them. ​More and more organisations are not interested in stationing the employee on location but are more concerned with their output and efficiency. For instance, in the field of IT, project management, software development, recruitment or even language tutoring.

But like everything else, remote employment also has its own share of challenges:
  • ​Probably one of the biggest challenges is lack of communication and a feeling of isolation with no co-workers around.
  • ​Remaining undistracted while working from home sometimes might affect your productivity.
  • ​Lack of interaction can also affect team building and maintaining trust.
  • ​One-on-one meetings and regular feedbacks are crucial to keep up the morale at work, so sometimes as a remote employee, you may feel left out.
In spite of all these challenges, the benefits of working abroad in a remote employment set up are immense and they outweigh all the hurdles. For instance:
  • ​The freedom to work from any country no matter where life takes you. This flexibility is empowering!
  • No daily commuting to office, thus saving time, energy and resources.
  • There is no need to choose between work and family as remote employment gives all the benefits of a digital nomad along with staying close to family.
  • Focusing on life outside of work by customising your daily schedule

If you wish to enjoy the advantages of being a digital nomad but not give up on the benefits and security of an employee-employer relationship, then remote employment is a sustainable career solution. As a foreign talent, establishing such a career is the best possible solution when always on the move and at LinkFacility, we acknowledge the importance of your career and ambition.


​2. Umbrella Service Solutions

For the digital nomads, whether you are an expat spouse, a retired freelancer or self-employed, relocating to a new country and finding suitable employment locally is always a challenge.

As a professional there can be several hurdles that you may have to confront. For instance:
  • ​Working Visa and permit challenges! This ​is the biggest roadblock in getting a local job as a foreign employee. From getting approval from the government to various other compliance requirements, it’s a lengthy process.
  • Finding relevant job opportunities and career transitioning!  Working abroad for a local employer means you have to redesign your profile and resume to find relevant jobs that suits your expertise and knowledge. Both branding yourself and your professional positioning plays a critical factor. 
  • Lack of networking opportunities and connections! As an expat talent, the right professional networking and connections with local head-hunters can create a world of difference in finding the best possible employment solution.
  • Language and cultural barriers! It takes time to understand the new language, culture and psyche of people in the host country and get acclimatised.

​As a foreign talent, there are employment solutions available to meet your need to find relevant job locally. An Employer of Record is one such solution.

​​The ​LOCAL ​Freelancer Solution: Employer of Record (EOR)

​To explain in simple words, you can legally work for a local employer but be on the payrolls of the EOR company. They are an intermediary between you and your employer and are specialised to ‘hire’ you legally via their entity in your host country.

So, an EOR is actually in charge of carrying out all the immigration regulatory requirements, international employment regulations and payroll/ tax functions, while the local employer is the ultimate decision maker regarding your job duties and responsibilities as well as on compensation, performance and termination. Our team of experts at LinkFacility can assist you and your local employer to seamlessly facilitate your employment.

  • ​This is a win-win solution for both the local employer and you. The benefits for the local employer are reduced risks and liabilities, freedom from payroll while getting the liberty to hire best talents from anywhere.
  • The benefit as an employee is that you can work for any local employer without having to worry about getting a permit or a Visa anymore.
  • You could choose to work for your dream company or something that matches your expectations with your knowledge, experience and qualification.
 ​The ​INTERNATIONAL Freelancer Solution (Umbrella Service Solution):

If you want to start your portable career and work as an independent contractor but not yet ready to commit to a full-fledged business set up, then Expat Freelancer Service is your solution.

  • ​From the contractual engagement with your client to the assessment to determine the most appropriate form of engagement, this is the perfect tailor-made solution for you.
  • As an expat freelancer, the Umbrella Solution ensures compliance and management of all administrative and necessary tax obligations for you.
  • This solution provider can keep you on their payroll and bill your employer for the work done by you by entering a contract for service with your client on your behalf.

​3. Incorporating an international company

As a digital nomad, to continue to thrive in your career with sustainability, you can look into incorporating a company in international jurisdiction.

If you want to work remotely as a digital nomad, you have to ensure that you are following all legal regulations and then enjoy the benefits of setting up a remote business anywhere in the world.

So, here is a checklist of things to consider for incorporating an international company:
  • ​A suitable name: You are representing a brand and are no longer just a person, so it is important to give it a name that is catchy to grab the attention of potential client and also easy to remember. A company secretary can assist in checking with the availability of the company name you prefer and also prepare documentation with company name, shareholders and directors.
  • ​Incorporating your remote company in the most suitable jurisdiction: Find the best option in terms of lower tax rates, ease of doing business, the currency for transactions, banking options and of course the nature of your mobile business.

A recent survey has revealed the best countries to incorporate a remote based company. They are Singapore, Labuan, Andorra, Cyprus, Malta, Hong Kong, Georgia, Estonia among others.

Each country has its own pros and cons that may impact your decision and with our global career expertise, you can be assured of finding the best possible solution that works for you.

  • Hiring professional services to do all the paperwork: Each jurisdiction will have its own laws, tax requirements, equity and share-holding structure, wealth building and management, residence and employment passes, regulatory compliances, etc., so it is important to rely on experts who can handle this and educate you on how to go about it from opening a business bank account with reliable e-banking system to long term insurances. LinkFacility provides comprehensive tailor-made solutions for such digital nomads seeking a sustainable option no matter where they live.
  • ​A competitive international positioning strategy: As a digital nomad it is vital to create a competitive international market strategy that would make you stand out. You need to create an identity and brand yourself - from building a website to designing your business cards. Professional experts who are specialised in creating portable business solutions can assist you in building the perfect marketing strategy.

​The Bottom Line

As a digital nomad, you no longer have to compromise on your cherished job or quit your firm. The days of moving to a new country as a trailing spouse leaving your career behind or giving up on your much-loved job post retirement is long gone.

With this solution, you can work from anywhere in the world as a freelancer or even employed locally and build a sustainable career for yourself no matter which part of the world you live in. To know more about our services, do contact us or ​download the brochure here (​automatic download - so check your downloads folder):

Learn more about how to become a digital nomad

About the Author

Nima is the legal affairs expert and co-founder of LinkFacility. Her decade long experience as a banker for the Credit Agricole in Djibouti, East Africa, helped Nima accrue invaluable insights about the challenges in emerging economies related to business set-up, commercial and jurisdictional risks. At LinkFacility, she shares her indelible know-how of the world of global entrepreneurship with a solution-driven mindset, analytical attitude and a globalist outlook. Having lived, studied and worked in 6 countries across 4 continents, she blends her solid financial background with legal insights from both emerging and developed markets to tailor make solutions for businesses from an international standpoint. While formulating entrepreneurship solutions, Nima approaches business risk management with due diligence, rigorous compliance standards and a thorough knowledge of the regulatory framework of the target market. Nima is a double degree Honours graduate of Bachelor of Law (L.LL) and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) with a specialisation in International Law from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

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