An unintended consequence

A recent Future of Work survey highlighted the growth of remote working and addressed how large MNCs are implementing policies to support employees transition, We now know that a likely consequence of COVID -19 will be a hybrid working model. In a recent CNN interview, Bill Thoms, Chairman of KPMG summarized the future of work as one where employees will work between ‘home, hub and office’ stressing that people want to ‘interact, collaborate and innovate’

An unintended consequence of remote working has been the lure to global remote working locations.

Countries like Barbados are attracting talent and offering warmer climates and tax incentives. The “Barbados Welcome Stamp” allows you to live and work there for up to 12 months and be exempt from Barbados income tax.
The opportunity is further strengthened by the option to pay zero taxes here in Ireland. Marianna Hunt recently wrote an article in the Telegraph detailing ‘destinations tempting remote workers with tax perks and cheap visas’, it is a definitely worth a read.

Many MNCs have implemented policies requiring staff to return to their country of employment citing in part ‘tax and legal reasons’ for their decision. Colm Gorey recently wrote an article about Google’s decision to bring employees back. The impact of global remote working on attracting talent to MNCs here in Ireland is yet to be determined, as one MNC recently explained ‘we are currently reviewing our HR policies ‘to accommodate team members who want to live and work from Spain, it could mean ‘less tax for them and for us’

In addition, many of our indigenous startups are also considering making a break for the border. Over the last six months, Galway City Innovation District has seen 5% of its PorterShed members take advantage of global remote working.

Global remote working is in its infancy and this is the tip of a potential iceberg. In addition to the obvious loss of income tax and impact on the economy, there is also a direct negative impact on our startup ecosystem, the need to interact, collaborate and innovate is fundamental to the growth mindset. If we lose innovators to the world of global remote they will interact, collaborate and innovate somewhere else, many will permanently stay remote and Ireland will lose talent and the potential to create high-value sustainable jobs.

We have two options, watch the exodus or become part of the global solution. The government should consider policies to incentivise startups and employees of MNCs to choose Ireland, we need to encourage people back to our hubs and communities and amplify the platforms we have created to interact, collaborate, and innovate. Nurturing talent needs to be high on the agenda.

If you are working remotely from home and considering a global remote move, why not check out the many Tech and local hubs around Ireland before you book that flight, we promise an engaged community of like-minded peers.

MaryRodgers

Chief Executive Officer at Galway City Innovation District Published
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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