Fluid workload - work can be pushed asynchronously: Embracing a global-first mindset means breaking free from the traditional 9-to-5 model. Work becomes a fluid concept, and tasks can be accomplished asynchronously.
Amanda says: “Gone are the days of rigid schedules. A global-first approach acknowledges that talent operates on its own rhythm. By embracing asynchronous work, your business adapts to the diverse time zones and working styles of a global workforce. This not only enhances productivity but also allows your team to operate at their peak hours. It's a shift from focusing on 'when' work gets done to 'how well' it gets done.”
Reduced costs — remote or in-office: One of the most tangible benefits of going global-first is the reduction in costs associated with maintaining a centralized office. By eliminating the need for a physical headquarters — or offering a hybrid environment — businesses can redirect resources towards strategic initiatives, employee development, and other areas that directly contribute to the company's growth and success.
Amanda says: “The traditional office often comes with a hefty price tag — rent, utilities, maintenance, the list goes on. Going global-first allows your business to shed these costs. With a distributed workforce, you can invest those funds where they matter most. Whether it's expanding your global reach, investing in employee training, or enhancing your technological infrastructure, the financial flexibility gained is a key advantage. A global-first ethos isn’t exclusive to remote environments, though — even if your company is office-focused, giving employees the option to work remotely part-time can result in reduced office space requirements — decreasing costs substantially.”
Accessibility and inclusivity: A global-first business is inherently more inclusive. The accessibility of remote work means that individuals with diverse backgrounds and abilities can contribute meaningfully. This not only enriches the work environment but also positions your business as an inclusive and forward-thinking workplace, appealing to a broader spectrum of talent.
Amanda says: “The perception of your workplace matters. A global-first mindset sends a powerful message — that your doors are open to talent from every corner of the world. This inclusivity not only attracts diverse skill sets but also creates a workplace culture that celebrates differences. It's not just about being a global business; it's about being a global community that values and harnesses the strengths of each individual.”
Implementing a global-first approach can present some challenges, Amanda Day provides solutions for overcoming common roadblocks to improve your efficiency:
Cultural complexity: Navigating language barriers, cultural nuances, and varying communication styles can be challenging!
Amanda says, “Cultural competency training might seem like a waste of resources, but it’s a worthwhile investment — especially for the globally-minded business. Alongside this. I’d always emphasize the importance of openness and curiosity — try to create spaces and opportunities for team members to share insights about their cultural practices, celebrations, and traditions. A sense of belonging and a shared company culture won’t form on its own — it requires intentional effort. Regular virtual team-building activities, open communication channels, and a commitment to inclusivity are key. It's about creating a 'virtual water cooler' where informal interactions can still thrive.”
Time zone management: Operating across different time zones is a double-edged sword. While it allows for asynchronous work and 24/7 operations, it also poses challenges for real-time collaboration.
Amanda advises, "Balancing global operations requires strategic scheduling and reliance on collaborative tools. It's about finding the sweet spot that ensures effective communication without overburdening your team with inconvenient meeting times, or bloating their browsers with bookmarks for a million different HR and communication tools, making a global HR platform to encompass all your internal running operations a game changer."
Legal and compliance issues: Going global-first can prove complex when it comes to legal and regulatory issues — especially if your business is on the smaller end of the scale.
Amanda emphasizes, "Different regions have different employment laws, tax regulations, and compliance requirements. Staying abreast of these changes and ensuring that your global workforce operates within legal boundaries is a continuous challenge. Fortunately, there are ways of managing these hurdles — if you’re keen on building an international team, for example, an employer of record service can handle all of these issues on your behalf.”
Security and data privacy: With a global-first approach comes the responsibility of safeguarding sensitive information across borders.
Amanda stresses, "With a global workforce accessing company systems from various locations, cybersecurity becomes paramount. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures, including secure virtual private networks (VPNs), multi-factor authentication, and regular security training for employees, safeguards your business against potential threats. It’s also worth noting that data privacy laws may vary per country, and ensuring compliance is paramount.”
Technology infrastructure: Relying on a global workforce demands a solid technological foundation.
Amanda notes, "Having a robust and scalable tech infrastructure is non-negotiable. At the very least, you’ll need to provide a communications platform, cloud storage infrastructure, and project management tools that facilitate remote collaboration, but above all, remember that simplicity is key. The tools you deploy will be useless if they’re not user-friendly and accessible to all team members.”
If the remote working revolution sheds the spotlight on where work happens, the global-first revolution asks how we can best align our work with the dynamics of the worldwide stage.
As we take our first steps into a new year, it’s often tempting to make wild predictions about how the business landscape may look in the future. And wild though it may not be, the continued growth of globalisation is a sure bet — by going global-first, you’re placing the foundations for ongoing success.
Talking about the importance of adopting a global-first mindset, Remote Director of People Enablement, Amanda Day concludes:
“The global-first approach is a holistic strategy that positions your company not only as a remote-friendly workplace but as a global player with a mindset geared towards innovation, diversity, and adaptability.
“We’re extremely fortunate to live in a time where the world is completely interconnected, and businesses, irrespective of their work models, should recognize the significance of a global-first mindset. It's about future-proofing your organization, staying ahead in the global race, and creating a workplace culture that thrives on the diversity of ideas and experiences from every corner of the world.
“In essence, if remote-first was the first step towards the workplace of the future, global-first is a true realisation of the future of work; an all-inclusive revision of a now antiquated rulebook — a new framework for an interconnected world.”
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