Corporate Growth Strategies Influenced by the Flexible Workforce

February 13th, 2024

Global expansion

A remote, agile, and flexible workforce is no longer an outlier, but a mainstream norm. In this article, we delve into how this paradigm shift is now influencing corporate growth strategies, particularly in the UK and the US.

Having spent the last 25 years thinking only about the flexible workforce, I have enjoyed recently exploring the broader economic impacts this paradigm shift has had on businesses.

We all know that in the wake of the global pandemic, the business world has undergone a seismic shift. A remote, agile, and flexible workforce is no longer an outlier but a mainstream norm. This thought piece delves into how this paradigm shift is now influencing corporate growth strategies, particularly in the UK and the US.

Global flexible workforce

A New Era of Work

The pandemic catalysed change, accelerating the adoption of remote work. A survey by Gartner revealed that 88% of organisations worldwide encouraged or required their employees to work from home as the virus started spreading globally. In the UK, the Office for National Statistics reported that 46.6% of people in employment did some work at home in April 2020, of which 86% did so as a result of the pandemic. In the US, according to a Pew Research Center survey, before the pandemic, only 20% of employed adults worked from home, but during the pandemic, that number rose to 71%.

Corporate Expansion and Global Reach

This shift isn’t stopping at just about where people work and how to tap into broader talent pools; it’s influencing how businesses are expanding their horizons and truly taking their infrastructures, presence, products and services globally. Enthused by the evolution of the workforce, business models and growth strategies are now undergoing a similar transformation.

According to the International Trade Administration, U.S. businesses are increasingly pursuing overseas expansion, with U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) stock increasing from $3.3 trillion in 2010 to over $6 trillion in 2020. In the UK, the Department for International Trade reported that British companies had increased their investment in foreign markets by 12.3% in 2019, emphasising the global expansion of businesses.

The agility initially provided by remote workers has spearheaded an attitudinal change to expanding enterprises globally.

The Fear of Global Expansion

Many businesses when considering international expansion end up de-prioritising the strategy through its perceived complexity. This is not just talking about how to payroll overseas workers through an #EOR, this is about actually expanding your business globally. Creating an international presence, and selling products and services to new markets, through a wider infrastructure, embracing broader cultures.

Global expansion

The Excitement of Building a Global Business

The journey to becoming a global business is not just a strategic move; it is an exciting venture. It opens avenues for innovation, cross-cultural collaboration, and a wealth of diverse perspectives that can drive businesses forward. The key to success in this new era is adaptability, openness to change, and a keen understanding of the global market dynamics.

The current business landscape is evolving, its appetite for global expansion is increasingly driven by the success of the evolving global flexible workforce.

I am proud to have played my very small part in supporting this flexible workforce develop over the past 20 years and excited to see how businesses follow suit.

Those companies who choose to remain static, clinging to traditional models, risk not only falling behind but becoming obsolete in an ever-evolving market. This era demands adaptability, innovation, and a willingness to venture into new territories.

Andrew Fahey

Andrew is the Briars Group CEO. He brings extensive experience in leading and delivering professional services both in the UK and Internationally. Having led accountancy practices, law firms, financial services and large-scale payroll and employment organisations, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge that underpins our International expansion services. A thought leader in the contingent workspace arena, Andrew brings an exciting blend of workforce strategy and innovation of professional services to the Briars.