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Without a regulation of international telework

4 Enero - 2022

Mariano de las Heras, Director of the Master in Management and Direction of People in Organizations


The global intrusion of covid-19 caused an essential and necessary acceleration of automation and digitization processes in the business environment.

Where, among other aspects to consider, the exponential growth of a well-known work format stands out: teleworking.

This labor format has also been incorporated into the processes of international mobility of people, after the direct impact caused by the outbreak of the pandemic.

Its extrapolation to the international context has defined it as international teleworking and it will be present in the composition of any international mobility project of people in those assignments that validate their application in certain roles, where it is considered that part of its functions are capable of being carried out remotely.

Will international work replace the current figures of international mobility? No, presence will continue to be key in a significant number of processes (depending on kind and sector).

Teleworker ≠ posted worker

A new reality of assignments that organizations must take into account and also adapt since it will coexist with the current positions defined in the different international mobility processes.

Where, broadly speaking, we could define this new international format, as a new form of work that will allow the employee to perform work through information technologies through an employment relationship that has been generated from an other country different to the one from the company that hires the worker.

A flexible model that will allow hiring a worker from another country other than the headquarters where the company that hires him is located, to work remotely through computerized, telematic means, from his country of residence, without the need to join any business structure in the destination country.

Position that, among other advantages, can generate opportunities to attract talent at a global level.

And where, like any work format present in an international environment, you need to have a legal framework that protects and legal coverage to this change in work culture.

And where, today and despite the exponential growth of this new international figure, it lacks normative regulation in migration, labor and Social Security aspects, prevention of occupational risks and taxation, typical of the international mobility of people.

An example is the definition of the Labor Law (Royal Decree Law 28/2020 of September 22 on Remote Work), which does not contemplate or regulate the situation of international teleworking. At the European level there is no regulation either.

"Move the work to the place of the employee and not the employee to the place of work in an international context"

A reality that is already known and made known to the different competent administration bodies in these matters, through studies such as the International Teleworking White Book prepared and presented in 2021 by FEEX ( Spanish Association of International Mobility).

Given this, given the non-existence of specific regulations and with the maximum of anticipating and avoiding non-compliance with these regulatory aspects, it is advisable, at this time, to analyze the different cases identified in each of the non-regulated sections, based on the regulations defined by the countries of origin and destination.

Being very aware of the lack of regulations and the need to have a legal framework as soon as possible, it is also very necessary to consider other relevant aspects.

In the first place, this position requires a voluntary practice for the parties, where the company must meet specific organizational needs and the employee, meet certain obligations.

The figure of the person in charge or manager , will be a key piece in this new way of working, which must assume what we could qualify as a colder type of management focused on the task

Also, which tools or technologies will be identified and will be implemented, which must have strict and effective cybersecurity solutions in order to block and counteract any type of eventual internal or external threat in an international environment.

The definition of a remote teleworking policy? With all necessary security to collect aspectssuch as: & nbsp;

  • A definition of international teleworking, what the organization understands and what assumptions it will integrate.
  • Functions, legislation when applicable, labor, tax, and immigration framework in which the employment relationship will be sustained.
  • The identification of legal or functional factors that discourage or limit this format.
  • Remuneration model, fixed, variable, supplements.
  • Flexibility, working hours, digital disconnection.
  • Training policies, transmission of corporate culture, reception programs (objective: to achieve rapid integration).
  • The figure of the person in charge or manager & nbsp; will be a key piece in this new way of working, which must assume what we could qualify as a colder type of management focused on the task.

A management that will surely be based on trust and delegation and that will imply a definition of clear and precise objectives based on the achievement of productivity and compliance ratios.

Where to do this you must develop:

  • Cultural intelligence competence.
  • Ability to remotely manage multicultural teams.
  • Effective remote communication.

Regarding the employee's profile, such competencies should be considered:

  • A high level of autonomy.
  • Creativity / proactivity.
  • Time management and organization.
  • Planning (project management).
  • Adaptation to change.
  • Resilience, empathy.
  • Digital skills and competences in remote environments (digital mindset).
  • Open-mindedness and learning ability.

International teleworking is a reality with a remarkable level of complexity, currently lacking regulation and not exempt from risks, but which can generate various international opportunities for a company or organization.

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