As a remote freelancer, I found the discussion, “Digital Nomads’ Demand Speedy Cross-Border Payments,” which appeared on PYMNTS TV, intriguing to say the least. The discussion takes you through the digital nomad lifestyle, how cross-border payments affect the company and contractors, and how remote work effects the working environment.
In this article, I’ll address the main points mentioned in the discussion and continue the discourse. I believe the workplace is becoming more about what’s important to the worker than ever before and is what will make companies successful.
For those who have not yet watched the program, I will break it down for you:
Matt Nesto, the editor in chief from PYMNTS TV facilitates the conversation between important members in the cross-border payments industry, namely:
Michael Brooks - CEO of goLance.
goLance is an online marketplace that connects freelancers and clients together. The company assists with business growth and keeping payments between all parties easy and secure.
Eynat Guez - The CEO of Papaya Global.
Papaya Global is a “Compliance without compromise” payroll platform that focuses on payments across the globe. They ensure measures are taken to successfully pay independent contractors in different countries.
Frederick Crosby - The CRO of Nium.
Nium allows individuals to send and make payments across the globe easily and efficiently. Their headline, “Carpe Nium- seize the pay” is a great way to emphasize their focus.
It is without a doubt that Covid-19 has brought a massive influx of freelancers and remote workers to the workforce. I think the enticing aspect is more about the “why?”. With Covid-19, workers, for the most part, were sent home to complete their daily tasks. This spurred a mentality that continues to motivate the need for remote work. In the time that people spent at home, they realized a number of different things:
From the eyes of the worker:
- Heading into an office is not worth the cost of it AND is unnecessary. By cost, I mean in terms of money, mental energy and in time.
- Their home environment is comfortable.
- That the value of staying at home or in their chosen place of work is worth more than going into an office.
From the eyes of the company:
- There are many contractors/ freelancers for certain jobs that can be outsourced without hiring full-time.
- There are a number of locations to hire from that offer a competitive and affordable price for the work they provide.
- That workers are happier with more control in their lives.
One of the points that Michael Brooks makes in this discussion is, “one size does not fit all.” What I find compelling about this statement is that it works in both ways, for the freelancer/ remote contractor as well as the company.
This ties in with Eynat Guez’s statement that companies hiring individuals across the world is a romantic notion that is not afforded the necessary thought. She highlights that payments to cross-border countries emphasize some crucial questions, such as, do these payments meet the local requirements set out by the law of that country?
Frederick Crosby mentions workplace lay-offs and the Great Resignation occurring and that it is resulting in the need for more efficiency among companies. He says that despite the lay-offs or people leaving their jobs, there are multiple issues that still need to be done and solved, and people are still being hired. The point and focus are more about how to get the job done as effectively as possible.
The “one size does not fit all,” phrase rings true when you think of the individual. Some people thrive in a busy, office-like environment as perhaps their home is too distracting. Others may feel as though the office is more distracting and that they would rather be in the comfort of their own home, with the best conditions being met for productivity.
Some jobs may require individuals to come in frequently while others may be able to do their tasks at home. The company’s requirements play a role in this. Costs can be saved by not having to accommodate each employee, but they can also provide the option to meet with individuals if there is a universal meeting spot. The main part of this journey is to know and figure out what works best here.
Crosby is excited by what is to come with regards to remote work and the future of the workplace. He claims that the future will and should be filled with experimentation. Companies and individuals will need to find out what they can do and what works for them versus what does not.
The consensus amongst the panelists is that the world of remote work for both freelancers and companies, is to find what works and makes sense. This seems simple and may be taken for granted, but since remote work is becoming a common practice, there are needs and issues arising that we have not experienced in the past.
The human race has learned a lot about how to move forward from looking at the past, but every now and then, there is a curveball that we must adjust to and forge a new road. This is what I feel is occurring in the workplace currently. Companies and workers are finding this new way to work remotely and efficiently.
This is where “Digital Nomads” come into the conversation. With remote work becoming more prominent, workers have realized that if they’re able to work from home then they could work from anywhere in the world. This has led to a surge in remote workers becoming “Digital Nomads,” -- people who have their online jobs and travel the world at the same time.
This has resulted in an incredibly demanding need for cross-border payments. While individual workers are looking for better lifestyles, cheaper living costs and the ability to pay less tax, companies are finding the balance between where they are finding their talent, how to pay them and what makes the most sense for the company.
In the discussion, attracting the best talent and keeping them interested was a topic of need for companies. The answer, according to our panelists was not to offer more money, but to offer the money sooner. Brooks' comment on this was that contractor’s ideal payment timeline would be as soon as they have finished their work for that day, they receive their cash. Whereas Crosby reckons that by 2044, payroll will no longer exist, and that rather, payments will be a yearly reserve that the contractor can withdraw at their leisure.
I think that the conversation regarding where the workplace will go, the problems and the solutions is one that needs to be continued.
Michael Brooks said, “Businesses that can adapt and build their process around their people are going to do a lot better than businesses that push their people through the process.” In terms of remote work, I think this is a powerful statement that rings true for the direction of the workplace and a business’s success.
I would love to hear your thoughts:
- Where do you think the future of the workplace is going?
2. What do you think about the lifestyle of digital nomads?
3. As a contractor, does the idea of getting paid immediately excite you?
Let the discourse continue