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A significant growth in remote work and dispersed teams has been one of the most obvious trends in the workplace in recent years.

Hiring Remote Workers
According to a recent Gallup poll, 43 percent of employed Americans work from home at least part of the time, with 3.9 million working from home at least half the time.

Globally, the figures are much more startling. According to a recent survey of full-time professionals from across the globe, 70% work remotely at least one day every week, and 53% work remotely for at least half of the week.

Companies may profit from employing dispersed teams in a variety of ways, including less rent, a larger pool of talent from which to recruit, and the ability to attract individuals who value this sort of flexibility.

The following are four criteria that firms should examine before employing a remote crew.

1) Employment Laws at the State and Local Levels

When a firm employs a remote employee in the United States, it must follow the local and state employment regulations of the state where the remote employee is situated. For example, if a Texas-based firm sought to recruit a remote worker in Los Angeles, the corporation would want to guarantee (among other things) that the worker:

According to California employment law, the employee was appropriately classified.

Paid sick leave was provided in accordance with the Los Angeles paid sick leave legislation;

Had a harassment policy in place that was in accordance with California law;

Breaks and overtime were provided in compliance with California law.

Paid a pay that met the minimum wage standard in Los Angeles; and

Any non-compete or non-solicitation restrictions were reviewed with a California employment law attorney.
In the above scenario, just complying with California law would not enough; the corporation would also need to comply with Los Angeles paid sick leave and minimum wage requirements, both of which are more rigorous than California state rules.

As a consequence, even for roles where employees might potentially work from anywhere, employers should still consider the employee’s city and state of residence. Additionally, businesses may consider include a condition in their employment agreements requiring remote employees to notify the firm before moving.

2) The culture.

Companies profit from establishing an atmosphere in which their employees may flourish. While remote work is becoming increasingly widespread, a recent research found that 62 percent of employees prefer to work in an office. Surprisingly, the percentage among younger employees (aged 18-24) was even higher, with 65 percent choosing to work in an office.

Aside from the fact that some employees prefer an office atmosphere, a lack of in-person contacts may make it difficult to inculcate business values in employees and can occasionally lead to workers feeling alienated from their organisation.
When in-person meetings aren’t always possible for remote teams, Harvard Business Review suggests hosting a “virtual water cooler” with the goal of establishing trust and fostering engagement for a longer period of time by recognising employees as human beings, learning about their lives outside of the office, and establishing trust.

3) Remuneration and benefits.

Companies should consider an employee’s location when choosing how much to pay the employee. For example, an offer that is regarded acceptable in a low-cost-of-living state like Mississippi may not be practical for an employee situated in Hawaii.
The same may be said for perks, such as paid time off. For example, if a firm wants to recruit a remote worker in the Bay Area, it may need to provide more time off than it would to an employee in Arizona, since large vacation packages are rather typical in Silicon Valley.

Companies will want to ensure that their offer is competitive in comparison to the local market, both to entice the remote worker to accept the job offer and to retain them when another firm attempts to recruit them.

4) Unexpected Business Expenses

Some governments are starting to tighten down on firms that use remote work to transfer operational costs onto their workers.

Section 2802 of the California Labor Code, for example, requires employers to “indemnify his or her employee for any required expenditures or losses incurred by the employee as a direct result of the execution of his or her responsibilities.” The California Court of Appeals relied on this Labor Code section in its decision in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services, stating that employers cannot avoid paying an employee’s business expenditures by asserting that the person experienced no marginal cost while conducting remote labour. In brief, employers may be held liable for their workers’ mobile phone, internet, and co-working space expenditures.
As a consequence, before making an offer to a remote employee, employers should contact with an expert employment law attorney or HR specialist to determine what business expenditures they should pay.


While remote work is growing increasingly common, it creates specific employment legal considerations that every employer should address before deciding whether to recruit a dispersed workforce.