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TOPdesk to allow working abroad

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
TOPdesk to allow working abroad

TOPdesk Australia is rolling out an initiative that will allow their employees to work anywhere in the world for up to 60 days.

The idea was sparked when an employee wanted to visit their family after they had been apart for some time due to the pandemic. As the guinea pig for this program, the employee worked overseas, satisfying their superiors that this could be a company-wide policy.

Robert van der Gulik, general manager at TOPdesk, recognised the potential immediately.


“Our people come from many different countries. We have people with family in Europe, Asia and across Oceania. The past few years of separation have been hard. This policy is exactly what our people need right now – the ability to reconnect, in person, with loved ones far away,” he said.

With a shortage of employees impacting the workforce at the moment, this could be a great way to attract staff.

“The flow-on effects of the pandemic include a recognition that continuing flexible work arrangements enable companies to leverage productivity gains achieved through remote working and achieve a competitive advantage in an increasingly tight job market,” stated Mr van der Gulik.

“In the context of Australia’s large population born overseas (30 per cent) and current labour shortage, policies aimed to facilitate remote work overseas have tremendous potential, allowing people to reconnect with family and broadening the pool of prospective talent.”

With two employees already taking up TOPdesk’s offer, Mr van der Gulik believes it will create a happier work environment.

“The ways in which many of us think about work have undergone a permanent shift. Companies have a great opportunity to consider how to bring out the best in their people,” explained Mr van der Gulik.

“We know providing flexible workplaces, which allow people to integrate their work lives with their personal lives, create happier, more fulfilled team members. This can only be a good thing: for our people, our customers and our company.”

HR Leader does note that there are concerns around working abroad that employers need to be mindful of. The UK is currently facing this very dilemma, and the government has announced a review of overseas working. One issue with working from another country is the tax implications, as each country has different legislation, creating confusion for employers and the government.

In conversation with HR Leader, Mr van der Gulik commented: "Obviously decisions such as these need to be made in line with tax and operational requirements and these were considered and addressed in developing the policy. What we have introduced is a creative way of providing great work conditions for our people while at the same time meeting our fiscal obligations and delivering outstanding service to customers. This policy is a win for all."

With the UK review underway, it will be interesting to see what direction the Australian government follows regarding this issue.

Note from the editor: This article has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as tax, legal or other advice.


Remote working

Professionals can use remote work as a working method to do business away from a regular office setting. It is predicated on the idea that work need not be carried out in a certain location to be successful.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.