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About the Author:
Corey Greendale
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
Corey Greendale, with over two decades of experience at First Analysis, works with entrepreneurs as an investor and as an advisor on growth transactions to help build leading software and human capital businesses. He leads the firm’s efforts in the future-of-work area, learning technology, and the human capital sector, and his thought-leading research in those areas has been cited for excellence in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” survey, Forbes and the Financial Times. He serves on the boards of Amplifund, Learning.com, Netchex, SynergySuite, Visage and Yello. Prior to joining First Analysis in 2000, he was a development analyst at Systema Corp., where he designed training programs for several large pharmaceutical companies. He earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
First Analysis Future of Work Team
Corey Greendale
Managing Director
James Macdonald
Managing Director
Richard Conklin
Managing Director
Matthew Nicklin
Managing Director
First Analysis Quarterly Insights
Future of work
COVID-19 is a lit match in the tinderbox of workforce globalization
August 20, 2021
  • Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, no consensus has arisen on the extent to which workers who had previously worked on site will return to working in the office full time, work remotely full time, or do some of each.
  • However, one clear trend we expect to emerge is accelerated workforce globalization: Employers will seek to mitigate increasing labor supply shortages and upward wage pressure by tapping the larger global talent pool, finding and engaging with talent well beyond their local presence.
  • Building a global workforce brings a wide array of challenges, including dealing with myriad cultural practices, labor laws, compliance requirements and tax regulations. Helping employers address these challenges represents a substantial growth opportunity for a new cohort of tech companies that make employing a nationally diverse workforce fast and efficient. We highlight a number of these companies.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Includes discussion of ten private companies

18 months into the pandemic, employers taking diverse workforce approaches

Fundamentals underpin a shift toward a distributed workforce

Investments in workforce flexibility favor globalization over traditional office

Trend toward workforce distribution spurring adoption of globalization technology

Future of work index resumes lead over S&P 500 and Nasdaq

Future of work Q3 M&A pace remains strong

Q3 future of work private placements on pace to 2-year high

18 months into the pandemic, employers taking diverse workforce approaches

In the early days of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic last year, we published a report with the self-explanatory title "The Future of Work is Flexible," highlighting our perspective on the likely lasting effects the pandemic would have on the workplace. Nearly 18 months into the pandemic, no consensus has arisen on the extent to which workers who had previously worked on site full time will return to working in the office full time, work remotely full time, or do some of each. Tech bellwethers like Apple, Google and Microsoft have pushed back their return-to-office plans as the Delta variant has taken hold, while others, like Shopify, have decided on remote work as the default (Shopify's CEO declared the end of the era of "office centricity"), and large investment banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are generally sticking to plans requiring workers to return to the office sooner rather than later. In our conversations with management teams of private tech companies, we anecdotally hear of some yearning for a return to the office as soon as possible for reasons of collaboration and culture, some expecting to adopt a more flexible approach than in the past, and some looking to get out of their leases and go fully remote as soon as possible to provide workers more flexibility while eliminating commute times and rent expense. In short, no single approach seems to be dominating.

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