5 Global Workforce Trends to Foresee in 2021

The year 2020 will undeniably go down in history as the year that upended the world, and its long-term impact has yet to be seen. But short-term, we can look ahead to 2021 and project likely changes in global workforce trends that businesses should be aware of, and offer some practical solutions for weathering the turbulent aftermath of 2020.

So, here are the top 5 global workforce trends that you can anticipate in 2021:

#1 – Local Labor Law Compliance & Control over Global Remote Workforce

Back in the spring of 2020 when businesses closed their doors and sent their office staffers home to work remotely, most of us expected to return to our old routines in a matter of weeks. But as the year dragged on, it became clear that remote work makes sense in the age of technology.

But of course, remote working isn’t all just fun – there are pros and cons. How do you manage your employee performance? How do you ensure remote employees are working to your company’s priorities, are productive and engaged and how do you encourage them without micromanaging? Sustaining high employee performance and maintaining efficiency in the new reality is one of the key objectives on local scale.

Things get even more complicated when it is related to a global workforce: in addition to employee performance management, employer companies need to come up with the new ways to engage and payroll their key talent globally, which in its turn means one more trouble for a global employer – ensuring their global organization is complying with all in-country labor laws.

With the COVID-19 pandemic “avalanche” companies are forced to find the ability to engage them as if they were working in the office. This legal compliance is a permanent type of challenge which demands incorporating appropriate business practices and getting regular updates on these laws that inevitably change.

That being said, the “stay with us” working with remote global workforce trend has its risks – you will have to comply with local laws and regulations concerning terms of employment and compensation.

Acumen Solution

Acumen’s Global Employer of Record solution is the perfect way for you to engage and retain a loyal remote workforce with minimal risk, and in full legal compliance with local requirements, as well as sustain control over performance. We act on your behalf in 190 countries around the globe, to mitigate your risks and help you build and efficiently manage your remote teams.

Our GEOR service can help ensure that your company does not fall victim to capricious labor laws that undermine your business. We offer and provide official employment in every country we cover, which in its turn also gives you the ability to attract and retain key global talent.

#2 – Reshaping Companies’ Global Talent Attraction & Retention Policies

“Employees are the heart of the company”

Disregarding the size of a company, employers will come to consider their workers, who have critical skills that the business relies on, even more in 2021. Based on the recent research, more than half of companies from around the world experience difficulties in retaining their employees. So, how do you win the employee retention battle on the needed geo scene?

The things to unite workers across positions, age and geography are: the desires for having flexible workplaces and work arrangements, attractive compensation packages (benefits) and perks.

Along with the statutory benefits, many leading international companies would voluntarily supply additional benefits to enhance talent retention and this tendency is to remain and grow in its essence in 2021.

Acumen Solution

Acumen’s global EOR solution can help you navigate and take advantage of the fine points of official employment of your foreign workers, supplying them with the mandatory benefits in full compliance with local labor laws and regulations. We would also provide voluntary on-demand benefits and perks to result in your pivotal employees’ feeling valued and secure, which in its turn is the key to your company’s stability.

Being a global EOR with an international presence in 190 countries worldwide, Acumen International possesses the capacity and expertise to supply perks along with compliant global workforce onboarding and payrolling.

Moreover, SMEs can take advantage of our company’s global PEO solution to deliver an attractive offer for key talents they wish to engage. This very moment Acumen International steps in to assist our SME clients in providing the benefits and perks on their behalf similar to those a large corporation would come up with.

#3 – More Difficulties with Global Employee Classification

In recent years, the line between employees and independent contractors has become blurred. Many companies hire long-term independent contractors who function for all intents and purposes as regular employees, often to circumvent issues related to compensation and taxes.

However, many countries are cracking down on businesses who exploit independent contractors and deny them the benefits of full-time employees. This poses challenges for companies with short-term overseas projects that need to onboard temporary specialists, without registering as an in-country business entity.

Acumen Solution

Acumen’s global Professional Employer Organization (PEO) service can help meet your overseas hiring needs. A global PEO is a third party that acts on your company’s behalf to hire and onboard foreign talent, excluding any risks of non compliant employment, e.g. as in case with rideshare companies that we all witnessed in 2020.

Acumen’s global PEO takes charge of hiring and onboarding, payroll processing, tax filing and employment termination in the countries where you plan to do business. With our help, you can avoid the financial losses related to misclassification and won’t be paying fines and facing any other restrictions that can harm your business.

#4 – International Labor Laws and Regulations Will be Stricter due to COVID-19 and Brexit

The COVID virus has imposed widespread travel restrictions, and has stalled or limited immigration in a number of countries. To complicate matters, Brexit has officially kicked in as of January 1, 2021, impacting countries and businesses across Europe.

Prior to Brexit, EU member status made it possible for UK businesses to expand into other EU markets, and vice-versa, with the ability to relocate key expat employees and hire local workers. Now that Brexit’s 2020 transition period has expired, UK and EU businesses have to sort out the complexities of changing laws regarding employer-employee relations between the two entities, without disrupting business workflow.

Acumen Solution

Acumen’s Global PEO offers a convenient, compliant and time-tested solution for companies undergoing global expansion in volatile times. The uncertainties brought about by Brexit resulted in changes regarding the processes of employment from both points: UK nationals in EU employment as well as onboarding EU citizens in the UK. Acumen’s Global PEO solution lets you pursue your business goals with confidence, knowing your business interests in the EU and UK are protected from post-Brexit backlash, no matter what changes it brings.

#5 – New Technologies and Innovations will Reshape the HR Industry

To keep pace with rapidly changing global workforce trends, the human resources industry will have to be quick on its feet. Technological innovations will come to the rescue with new tools for the management, oversight, engagement and retention of remote employees.

Some useful branches of newly emerging tech tools for HR include:

  • Human resource management (HRM) software – the systems to let you store employee data, and manage payroll, benefits, scheduling, recruiting and training. You can use it to assess cost-effectiveness and forecast future HR needs.
  • Employee tracking tools – help you monitor the productivity of your remote global workforce, to ensure that your projects are moving forward, and everyone is doing their jobs.
  • Workforce planning software – helps coordinate and sync work processes and projects across your organization, for a more efficient and productive workflow.
  • Workforce collaboration applications – allow remote workers to connect with colleagues, for efficient communication and collaboration on projects, and to cultivate a cohesive corporate culture.
  • Employee self-service portals – allow your global workforce to access basic functions and information from anywhere in the world, on any device, to maintain productive workflow.

Acumen Solution

Acumen meets the HR needs of companies of all sizes, with the company’s international expertise to ensure open communication with your remote global workforce and uninterrupted workflow in 2021 and beyond!

Request a free quote now to get a customized employment cost analysis, if you need to hire the selected candidates anywhere in the world out of 190 countries that we cover.


Global workforce trends are rapidly evolving, and new laws and restrictions are emerging across the globe. To minimize your risks and optimize your global expansion, Acumen International offers state-of-the-art solutions for businesses of all sizes. Learn more about how Acumen can help you reach your international business goals, today and in the future.

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