Podcast July 7, 2021

How Fintech Powers an Internationally Distributed Workforce

powered by Sounder

The pandemic may be in its final stretch, but it’s changed the world forever — especially how we work.

Now, an internationally distributed workforce has become more attractive.

But that can be a major challenge without the right tools.

Our latest guest, Matt Drozdzynski, CEO and Founder of Pilot, is one of the people helping to provide those tools, offering businesses ways to deal with everything from payroll to compliance across borders.

He joins the show to discuss:

  • How COVID transformed how we work
  • How Pilot is helping to power the shift in international work
  • The future of distributed work

Crisis to opportunity

Perhaps you are tired of hearing about COVID after the past year — a year most of us might want to forget — but it has shaped our present in profound ways.

When it comes to the workforce, the lockdowns obviously forced companies’ hands. If they wanted to stay in business, they had to be distributed.

But it also made one thing abundantly clear: For many businesses, being tied to a physical location is more of a burden than a necessity.

“It’s becoming very hard to justify drawing arbitrary lines for where people can work. ” — Matt Drozdzynski

That leads to a few important considerations. If working from homemade no difference to the majority of businesses — or was an improvement — why pay the exorbitant fees for an office in San Francisco? Why pay the exorbitant rent?

And if you want to hire the best workers…

Why not search for talent from an international pool of workers? The less we are tethered to our geography, the better, right?

Well, only if we have the tools to meet the challenges of an internationally distributed workforce.

Tools like Pilot.

Rising to the challenges of international work

“It’s a no-brainer to take this infusion of talent and absorb it into our companies — as long as we have the tools in place.” — Matt Drozdzynski

While many of us may have learned that our companies function equally well over Zoom, that doesn’t mean there aren’t hurdles to overcome in the coming distributed-work utopia.

And they’re some pretty tall hurdles to leap.

Take compliance, for example, Many countries define contracted employees differently — some even forbidding the practice at all. Many countries have year-long paid maternity leave instituted into law.

Pilot helps companies navigate the complexities of different legal requirements — providing solutions for compliance as well as their bread and butter: payments.

This is another tricky hurdle because regulations and infrastructure concerns vary from country to country, but you still need to make sure your pay gets to your employees on time. At least, if you want to avoid running afoul of the law (or to make sure they remain employees).

That’s why Pilot partners with a variety of local financial institutions, who are often better equipped to distribute money reliably and on time, as well as specialized international payments companies.

“Getting money to people on time is table stakes, but it’s not easy. ” — Matt Drozdzynski

Many companies have a patchwork of solutions for these types of problems, but what Pilot and their competitors offer is a complete solution for an internationally distributed workforce.

Of course, the complexities of international workforces mean some issues can still arise, but that’s likely to change in the near future.

The future of distributed work

If we go back to the example of the San Francisco company learning to love remote work, you can see the future challenges yet to be solved.

Companies in San Francisco tend to pay higher salaries because the cost of living is one of the highest in the world. Does that mean they should pay less to people working outside of the city? What about in another country with a drastically different cost of living?

It may be tempting to assume that this is the logical path — after all, saving money is a huge component of a distributed workforce.

But think of the headaches this would bring for you and your employees.

If somebody spends part of the year in Manhattan and the rest in Mexico, do you have to change their salary every time they move? That seems awfully difficult to apply to the real world.

Now, take the maternity leave example: Do people in countries with a year’s paid leave get that, while others don’t have the opportunity?

In either case, you are creating two or more classes of workers in your organization — which, let’s face it, isn’t tenable in the long run.

Solutions like those offered by Pilot can help you navigate the legal and logistical hurdles of working internationally — and they do a remarkable job — but as more companies move towards international workforces, some standardization will likely need to happen across various industries.

One thing’s for sure, though: International remote work is here to stay — and while the business world does some soul searching to shape its future, companies like Pilot can make sure they don’t get bogged down by the concerns of today.

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Until next time!

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