Episode 24 – work from anywhere… but what about borders? – with John Lee
Co-Founder and CEO, John Lee speaks 6 languages and has travelled to 60+ countries. Over the last 20 years he has lived in Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. His previous start-up, CultureMee, an intercultural communication platform, won “Best Travel Technology Product” at the Global Youth Travel Awards in 2018. Prior to CultureMee, John held senior finance roles in FTSE listed CRH Plc. There, he travelled to over 150+ locations over a 10 year period and got to see first hand the challenges of dealing with complex corporate tax, individual tax and employment law across multiple jurisdictions.
We’ve seen a dramatic rise in people working from home through the pandemic, but what about our digital nomads and remote workers, and others who wish to explore our world while they work. For organizations that wish to draw from a global talent pool and benefit from the diversity that it inherently brings, you’ll want to stay on the right side of the the law…especially as they are evolving.
Joining me today is the co-founder of Work From Anywhere and remote work compliance specialist, John Lee. Having already launched a startup related to cultural understanding, John now focuses on assisting organizations and individuals in assessing risk and ensuring compliance around remote work.
Tune in as John shares what individuals and organizations must consider when it comes to remote work, the demographic shifts that will influence our future - such as the confluence of remote work with global migration and AI - and learn how you can get a quick answer to complex questions about managing risk.
00:05:02 How John came up with the idea for Work From Anywhere
00:09:50 The evolution of remote work
00:10:50 Digital nomad versus remote worker
00:19:00 Elevated skill set
00:23:15 Balancing tax rates to attract both organizations and employees
00:28:30 Demographic changes and global migration
00:32:00 Who does "Work From Anywhere" serve?
IMAGE CREDITS (see images on Youtube video)
Cascais - credit Elements Envato
Work from Anywhere logo - credit website
Deloitte logo - Wiki Commons
CRH logo - credit website
World map - credit Elements Envato
Ribbon Cutting - credit Elements Envato
Digital Nomad- credit Elements
Map and Passports - credit Elements Envato
Son huggin father - credit Canva
Remote work - credit Canva
American Airlines image - Wiki Commons
Futurist Map - credit Elements Envato
Nick Bloom headshot - credit LinkedIn
Return to office - credit Elements Envato
Kids and dad - credit Elements Envato
John and family - credit John Lee
Learn more about and follow guest(s):
Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.
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Audio and Video Editing: To Be Reel
Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez
Song Credit: Cali by WatR. from Pixabay
John Lee: What are the ways to use these new operating models of hiring from anywhere in the world or being able to work temporarily in the world, which bring with it tax risks, for example, such as permanent establishment, income tax, and also employment law and whatnot, as, as well as the immigration challenges.
Clare Kumar: You're listening to episode 24 of the Happy Space Podcast. Today we're exploring how we need to consider borders when working around the world with Work from Anywhere CEO and co-founder, John Lee.
Welcome to the Happy Space Podcast, where productivity meets inclusivity, and everyone gets things done. Hello, I'm Clare Kumar, highly sensitive executive coach, speaker, and your host. Studies show that diversity leads to better business outcomes, so doesn't it make sense to invite everyone's richest contribution?
Yet, too many people are invited to burnout or opt-out, and we are squandering talent. On this show, we'll explore a two-part solution. Part one, cultivating sustainable performance, the individual design of work and life to preserve our energy so we can keep contributing. And two, designing inclusive performance.
The design of spaces, cultures, products, and services, which invite the richest participation. I hope you enjoy these conversations and find inspiration and encouragement for everyone deserves a Happy Space. Okay, Ellie, are you here for the intro again? All right, Ellie's joining me this time. You know, we're talking about really remote work.
We've seen a dramatic rise in the number of people working from home during the pandemic. But what of all those people who are working really remotely, ex-pats, and you've heard the term digital nomads, what's going on there as organizations who want to draw from globally diverse talent, this rich talent pool that looking broadly, will inherently bring to an organization. You've also got to be careful to manage the risk and stay on the right side of the law.
Joining me today is the co-founder of Work From Anywhere and remote work compliance specialist, John Lee. John has already launched a startup. you'll hear him tell that story in our conversation, and so he brings this startup knowledge and expertise to an organization now that is going to help organizations and individuals assess and manage the risk around compliance and around remote work. His mission is to make work hire from anywhere. A possibility for as many people as possible and why you can hear in our story, our conversation that John talks about living his dream. Now, he's travelled internationally through work and personally with his family.
He's landed in Cascais, Portugal, where he joins us. You'll hear this, native Irishman's boundless energy and optimism, and you'll know that he has landed very much in what he has found to be his Happy Space. I hope you'll enjoy as John shares, what individuals and organizations must consider when it comes to remote work, the demographic shifts that will influence our future.
Along with remote work, we're seeing global migration, and of course, AI is very heavily on the scene and we're seeing how that evolves. You can also learn how you can get a quick answer to complex questions about managing the risk around remote work. Enjoy.
Okay, John Lee, thanks so much for joining me. Virtually this time. Not like we did eeting at the most marvelous little cafe and radio station in Cascais. When I saw you back in, I think it was February.
John Lee: Some of the best coffee in the stack of the woods of Cascais. It was great to see you. We had a really, really wonderful couple of days there.
Clare Kumar: I did luck out and it helped me understand a little bit. I mean, I followed you for some time before we met in person. I think we connected on LinkedIn in this conversation around remote work and I was drawn immediately to the subject that you dive into your energy in bringing people together in a series you were, you were doing on LinkedIn around working from anywhere, which is the name of your company, which is amazing, and it helped me understand a little bit more about you and your mission. I thought we might start a little bit there, just connecting your journey to what you are doing now as the co-founder of Work From Anywhere.
John Lee: Sure. So I guess you've got to go back through, you know, my career and even before I started working, I was in college and I remember going to a number of entrepreneurial talks and a lot of the entrepreneurs had talked about how for them, those that didn't have a finance background, it was like operating one hand side behind your back.
And so that kind of gave me the insight that in many ways, one of the key languages of business is understanding finance and so, for me, I was interested in going into business and, and so that's what I did. I basically did a master's in accounting after my commerce, let's say degree. Part of that commerce degree involved me living abroad journey for a year on Erasmus, which I kind of recommend highly enough.
But anyway, I did a master's in accounting in business school and then went straight into Deloitte to become a chartered accountant. So I spent three years there in Deloitte. And during that time, I spent a lot of time working for a company called CRH. They're Fortune 500 company.
And it was a wonderful experience getting to work with them. So much so that I ended up working directly in CRH for seven years. And then during that period I got the opportunity to do various different things from internal control, then moving over to business control, then, let's say, financial accounting, and ultimately work our way up through the different divisions and became the senior finance leader of a $4 billion division.
And so during all that period, that kind of 10-year period of Deloitte and CRH I got to visit over 150 locations across Europe and the world over that 10-year period. And it really got to see on the ground a lot of the challenges, you know, with operations, with different cultures, with tax, with legal, different aspects like that.
And of course, I moved abroad myself. I had done so multiple times already. I'd moved abroad, for example, to the Netherlands. So I'd been the expat. So all of those things, those challenges then afforded me a lot of the insights, a lot of the knowledge that I've been able to gain and deploy in Work from Anywhere, which is a platform to help companies get to the quick answers about what are the ways to use these new operating models of hiring from anywhere in the world, or being able to work temporarily in the world, which bring with it tax risks, for example, such as permanent establishment, income tax, and also employment law and whatnot, as well as the immigration challenges.
And so we, basically within 60 seconds, give companies that answer to those work from anywhere and hire from anywhere challenges. But I also, to go back then before Work from Anywhere, I did my first startup with my wife called CultureMee. I was an intercultural platform. I was very passionate and still am, extremely passionate about the beauty of cultural intelligence and dealing with different national cultures and how you can use data models to help you, you know, in a remote work context or whatnot, able to navigate these different cultures.
That was an interesting experience because that was, my first, let's say dive into technology. I'd never built an app and never built an API before. We ended up winning best travel technology product in the world. The W Travel Awards in 2018 pivoted to business travel because that's where the market was taking us.
I launched a product in the middle of 2019 in the US. Got a great reaction. We were in the middle of fantastic discussions, and then Covid came and humbled all of us. And so, that was quite a difficult moment to deal with that I needed to take six months to let the mind, body, heart and soul recover.
But then two and a half years ago, Work from Anywhere team. That whole business, that whole idea, that concept work from anywhere really took off. And that's where that journey came from. It kind of originated, let's say. And that's where we're today.
Clare Kumar: it sure did. And amazing. You know, we talk a lot about the word pivot and what I love in what you said is you took time for the mind, body, soul, and heart to heal and adjust.
And then you are ready to jump on. I mean, the startup world is, is pretty intense place to be. So to move from one to the other, with a bit of a break. I celebrate that. And you really, I mean, we've really seen a shift. I think before the pandemic we had about 4% of people working from home, nevermind really remotely, which is why I look at this as just personally connecting to this and your mission.
I'm someone who I worked for three years at Nortel and then I put everything in my friend's basement, God love her, and I backpacked around the world for 11 months because I had a real itch to travel. And I really thought, you know what? I want really want to combine my working life with my curiosity about the world.
I had an ex-pat stint, actually, no, sorry, I didn't, I was the follow-on spouse of my then husband in Tokyo for three years. So I've lived a little bit and I kind of thought we would continue doing this nomadic lifestyle and we would move from country to country. And then 2001 it happened. So I know what you mean about, you know, you're, you have a plan, you think something's going to go, and then things change.
But coming back to what you are noticing, so we had 4% of people working from home before. What are we noticing now in terms of… I'm going to say unleashed this, you know, whether it's millennials realizing that they deserve a fulfilling life, and it's about experience, not just paycheck. What are you think is driving this and what are you seeing in the trends for people to want to work really remotely?
John Lee: So if you look into the data, there's so many different kinds of subtypes or identities within, you know, international remote work and digital nomadism. And the first thing to say is that remote worker in a digital nomad, they're not the same. They get mixed up quite a lot and probably made worse by the fact that countries call, you know, digital nomad visas when they're not actually attracting digital nomads, they're actually going after remote workers. So, That's the first thing to say, but I mean, ultimately, if you look at the deep motivations…
Clare Kumar: Can I just pause you there and can just, because our listeners are probably going, “wait a second, I thought they were the same thing”. Can you could, before you go forward, can you just explain those two really quickly for us?
John Lee: Yeah, I can do. So, let's say I'm US and I'm working in New York and all of a sudden my employer allows me to work from home in New York, or it could be Massachusetts or wherever nearby. I'm a remote worker. Yeah If I decide to go work remotely abroad for maybe a month or two, I'm a remote worker who's working internationally, or international worker, whatever you want to do or call it a workcation. Digital nomads are very different. They tend to be people that are continually on the move. They tend to be location-dependent. They tend to be people that are going from country to country. Moving every 1, 2, 3, or 4 months.
Really depends. It varies basically. and if you think of the, the global market that's out there, people that are digital nomads, there's probably, maybe somewhere between 10 and 30 million of them globally at the moment. But if you look at remote workers, well there are, give or take, 500 million more depending on the different statistics that you take. So the order of magnitude remote workers is much bigger than, let's say, digital nomads. And remote workers are, if you look at from example, American Airlines, they published some data that, pre-pandemic 20 to 25% of their trips were what you called mixed trips, mixed between leisure and business.
Whereas now it's between, in, the last year it's, it's close to 50 to 55% so the original purpose of the trip is probably still the same. It's just that. On a business trip, you might tag on a couple of days of leisure, weeks of leisure, or on a leisure trip you might tag on a week or two working there as well.
Clare Kumar: I'm immediately thinking, how can I travel and write off the trip and have it be legit. That's exactly one of my questions. We'll have to talk about that too. Coming back because I interrupted you with that definition then. So coming back to then what you're noticing and this sort of misnomer of marketing to digital nomads, but really talking about remote workers, what are you noticing then now?
John Lee: So one of the things is that, is it kind of got to start for the very, very top of the hierarchy and essentially international remote work and digital nomadism is, well, certainly international work, in any case, is a subsection of remote work, more generally. So I guess, starting from the foundational aspect, where is remote work going? And if you look at the discussion, probably one of the best data points on this is from a guy called Nick Bloom. He's got wonderful datasets on remote work, and if you look at his data, he looks at transit data in the US and look at the metro, transit systems. And what you can see from that data is, it does appear to be that February 2023 was what they called peak return to office. So we went with literally went totally practicing 100% remote work with covid.
And then all of a sudden it gradually then as Covid opened up that less and lessened over time basically. And it really feels like we're now at a pretty stable platform where we'll probably be on the percentage that we're at for a little while. But what I expect to see happening is that, as you know, companies develop the organizational muscle and learnings to get better above, then that'll probably go up in tandem with the fact that other companies were tied into long-term real estate leases that they couldn't exit too quickly. So for them, you know, it was more or less, let's bring them back anyway. We have this office space, we need to use it, for example. And as well, I think that kind of knowledge of learning how to do remote work better.
If you think of pre-pandemic, were we all happy with how companies were managed? Probably not. And we had had hundreds of years of practicing it, so it's probably incorrect assumption to think that everyone would get remote work, you know, within the first year or two. It will be a multi-year, multi-decade journey to perfect us. But the great thing is, is there are companies out there that are setting a fantastic example. So whatever's right for you, be it hybrid, or in office or fully remote, there's really good best practices models out there to show companies how to do this right.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, one of the big challenges I'm seeing still, and maybe it's because of real estate is there, but it's sort of the status quo bias. There was an article in Vox this week about, about talking about that sort of just comfort with what we know already. Thank you very much. So the leaders, there are a certain number of leaders that are in place that are just like, can I just press rewind? Because I knew how that worked. Are you sensing A shift in mindset with an openness to this, or what are you noticing in terms of leadership mindset?
John Lee: There's a multitude of different things that are happening at the moment. One of the things that's happening is that some companies are announcing return to office as a way of making people leave your organization without having to pay them redundancy or other termination payments, for example. So that's something in, that you're definitely seeing is a factor, but I think fundamentally, you know, this trend, certainly I believe, this trend towards flexibility towards people. I mean, like I give you my own personal anecdote and, and we all have examples and I suppose you could use anecdotes whichever way you want, but from my own personal experience is for me as a dad, you know, having my kids be able to come in my two year old, be able to open the door, come in and give me a hug while I'm working during the day.
I mean that is absolutely priceless. Is there any job that any company could pay me anything to sacrifice that? For me personally, no. I'm sorry. You could put it the biggest check in the world. I'm like, no. At that time that I get, when I'm seeing my kids grow up in front of me and that access to them, you know, for me and my values, it's something that gives me a huge amount of energy. There are a lot of people like that, but also people with disabilities.
Me with disabilities or people that are neurodivergent, for example, or people that are have from different backgrounds. It can be extremely powerful enabler and I feel, I think there's really good data that Nick Gloom did, but basically said the countries that have the most flexibility for remote work, they tend to be the ones that have outperformed economically over the last number of years. So I think it's not just our sales individuals companies, but also countries, you know, are slowly but surely coming to that realization as well, I guess.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, I think slowly and it's great to make that connection. You know, I talk a lot about flexibility is inclusivity and productivity is personal. These kinds of thoughts that I hope are transcending. I've just seen leaders that I know personally in the last few weeks and months make decisions that are completely counter to this kind of openness to flexibility. So part of my mission is actually inviting conversations that need to happen to connect it and make people less fearful of really, truly understanding each other and what works, right?
John Lee: Well, yeah, a hundred percent. I think to be fair as well, we also got to recognize that, you know, some companies, they went to a hybrid or remote and maybe they didn't do a great job and instead of, you know, there's a great saying, Kate Lister gave recently and she said remote work doesn't create the problems. It reveals 'em. So there's no doubt about it that moving to a remote, let's say, or hybrid even, You've got two cultures you've got to manage. You've got the, the physical and office culture, and you've got the, in many ways, the remote or hybrid, let's say, environment as well. And, and, and how do you manage trust in that environment?
How do you manage flexibility? How do you manage those competing elements? It's definitely, it requires an elevated skillset. And I guess for some companies and some leaders, if they went, for example, to hybrid, maybe for them, they just didn't have the right training or capability in place, didn't do the right job. And of course they blame the concept of done hybrid or remote, for example, and then try and pull people back in. But then I think it's also, to be fair, I mean it shows better training companies can get this right. But then I think it's also fair as well that for some companies, you know, remote doesn't work and for them they want to be more limited hybrid or fully in office. And that's their right. I mean, for them it's a decision. But firstly for me personally, not in a million years would I work with a company that said, sorry, you're going to be in the office five days a week. I mean, those days for me, and I guess for many others are gone.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, absolutely. My own story talks about that and leaving because of sensitivity to the overwhelm of the construct of having to. Not only be in the office but get to the office. The commute and the commute that you're inviting people to consider, especially in the line of immune compromisation. The things like that is there's many layers to sort of acknowledge the ask that we're making people to make. And yes, organizations, you're right, they have, an ability now. And it's interesting though, as we see leadership change. You had Salesforce that was really like, yes, work from anywhere. We'll bring you together quarterly and now. We want you back in the office three days a week. So we see it, it's really leader driven and so it's, I'm keeping my ear close to the ground on the sensibilities that leaders have and the openness and trying to sort of say, the door's open, let's have a conversation to be not afraid of getting to know our employees and the complexity. Hybrid is harder and nuance is necessary. And guess what? In a hustle culture, we need patience.
John Lee: That's a thousand percent there. And one very very good example of that is, I think it's fair to say that when you're moving to hybrid or remote, how you manage and onboard you know, new employees, particularly younger ones. There's definitely a potential blind spot there that requires real intent and focus and discipline and effort to get right. And I think what also is clear is even the best remote companies, they place a lot of effort, a lot of emphasis and focus on meeting in person so it's not just because you meet remote. That's it. We're going through, they place a lot of effort. A great example, a lady from Europe.
She mentioned that onsite is a new offsite, so meet onsite, that's office. And actually, even if you're remote or hybrid intentionality of what you do in the office and how you use it and how you use it to connect the culture. But again, that means a completely different office experience and purpose and whatnot, you know? Yeah. So I think there's some of the gaps that as a community, we're trying to work towards seeing how we deal with that.
Clare Kumar: Yeah, absolutely. It's a redefinition of the space and what we do there and greater intentionality is required. And I just want to, you know, you said elevated skillset. Absolutely. We're not teaching our kids how to organize and plan and communicate around conflict. We need to, like, it needs to be done in the schools. It'll be time we get to the work world. We have a little experience with this. I only see it in, you know, individual education plans for people that have been diagnosed. You know, it's like everybody needs this skill. So leaders who are feeling like, “Oh my God, this is overwhelming and I need something”. There are, there are coaches out there.
It's the work I do, but there are a lot of people out there trying to build that skillset and so don't feel shame about it and don't let the fear of the conversation and the complexity keep you stuck in that bias that okay, I just want everybody back because it was easier. I talk about a leadership sort of quest for convenience and I think there's sort of the battle for not only convenience but that rich full life. So, I want to jump now because this is so interesting to me. What are you seeing now from countries and policies that are around there trying to say, “come work here, we'll make it easier for you from a tax perspective, from the country to go to”. What are you seeing now in terms of companies that, or countries that are saying, “Hey, look at us, we've got something to offer”?
John Lee: Well, I mean, I think what we're seeing now is some of the greatest disruption international tax systems in, you know, easily 20, 30 years, I suspect. We had a tremendous amount of disruption in the 1990s where a lot of countries used corporation tax to get companies to, you know, open up offices in different countries and then that would bring the talent.
That model is being upended a little bit at the moment because just because some company has, you know, cut the ribbon on a head up on an office space in a particular country, is it going to necessarily bring the talent from all the world there? Not necessarily. Not necessarily. And so what you find is that some countries used low corporation tax to bring the companies and then that would automatically bring the towns.
But the challenge now is, for example, some of those countries that have low corporation tax, they also have medium to high, if not very high individual income tax rates, for example. So the problem is when you actually have a truly mobile workforce, they can choose to work for you or for somebody else, and they can choose where they want to work.
In a market where there is structurally low unemployment, obviously heading to a recession, it's a slightly different ballgame, but in general over the long run, I think what it means then for countries and those ecosystems of taxes and how you manage that, is that ultimately it probably means a potentially long-term, more rebound taxation system in a number of countries, for example.
You may have to structurally increase corporation tax, you may have to bring individual income tax down, and we're already seeing this, but for example, digital nomad Visas, number of digital visas, they offer 0%, let's say income tax in that country. There are a couple of provisors with that. There are a couple of terms and conditions, for example, but then we're also seeing outside out, there's also some countries that offer tax incentives beyond that, for example, to get individuals to relocate to those countries.
And so I think this is one of the ones where, especially in countries that are very developed that have a high cost, particularly for real estate, seems to be a real challenge. That in those countries that have high real estate costs and also have a high marginal tax for individual taxes, they're the ones that there's got to be quite a high incentive quite quickly for people to relocate if they don't feel that they're able to get the value for money for that taxation system. So for me, I don't know where this goes, I don't know what the answers are to this. I think I'm not a believer that we should go the same route with individual tax as we did with corporation tax. A race to the bottom is not in society's interests.
We need to be able to pay for our schools and our hospitals and needs to be done in a way that's fair and equitable. But I, I am fascinated in this discussion trying to find that right balance, and for countries trying to find that right balance. But I do think with remote work, it definitely is a massive opportunity for those countries that can be the early adopters.
Clare Kumar: Fascinating. I hadn't thought about the dynamics have changed now that workers can go anywhere, at corporate tax advantage is no longer leverage. And it's interesting, we look at it even domestically, you know, a lot of tax incentives to build an office or a manufacturing plant and that will draw workers, wait a second. Depends what it is. Maybe? Yes. If they need to be in person, yes, it, it can be magnetic. But then the construct, I live in Toronto and real estate expenses are significant. We saw a mass migration out across the country and I always thought, this is where my plan got boiled, I thought. Just have real estate in Toronto, eventually, you'll be able to go anywhere you want. Not true. No longer true!
John Lee: Real estate is why I'm here in Portugal. And it's also a challenge here in Portugal for many people as well. So I was in Ireland, I was renting a lovely house in Ireland with the five of us, my wife and our three kids, and then the other wanted to move back in. That's no problem. Back at the time in Ireland, there was only 800 properties available for rent in a country of 5 million people. You wouldn't believe it. And you can imagine of the 800, there was probably four or 500 of them that had not been conditioned. And of course, now we're a family of literally five. And it was a really, really odd time. And they're working through those challenges and they'll fix them over the long run, but that's the case in a lot of different countries. We found with Covid there was a massive pullback in construction. So obviously the supply just wasn't there, pushed up the prices and so that we looked at basically moving everywhere in the world.
We said what would be a nice country to move to and be places like, for example, Thailand, Croatia, and then Portugal, and looked really, really good. And we moved here to Portugal. We've been absolutely loving, but certainly here in Lisbon, there's been some localized property price challenges as well. In, in, this part of the world to a degree. So it's one of those ones where property really has a major role to play in this as well, together with that whole tax incentives and structure.
Clare Kumar: Absolutely. Before we started the interview, we were just talking lightly around the demographic changes that are happening in the world. Immigration, the mass shifts, the aging of the population. Do you want to talk to that a little bit? I'm really curious about your insights as to how that's shaping things. I mean, you mentioned that we might be in going towards recession. I know different countries have different rather low unemployment rates here, South Africa has a high unemployment, so, can you talk to those bigger demographic shifts in detail?
John Lee: I definitely can. I'm just sharing a link with you that you might find helpful to share with the listeners maybe afterwards. It's basically a study from the World Economic Forum that talks about demographic changes and where the next billion educated workers are going to come from, and I think that's the one that really caught my attention.
And what you see basically is that over the next 20 years, a huge amount of new people coming into the workforce come from places like Africa, like Asia, like South Central America and the Caribbean. You see, in Africa alone, there's going to be 144% of increase in the number of people coming, let's say, that are educated workers coming from Africa.
So that's going to have a huge shift. If you talk about the biggest shifts, when you talk about the future of work, the ones that jump out for me are the intersectionality of global migration. Also, the fact that, for example, remote work, which is driving a lot of that, is having a massive impact. And then in looking at it from AI as well, the impact of AI, so the mixture of remote work, migration and sourcing of talent as well, and geo arbitrage, both for individuals and for companies.
But then linking that then to AI I think will be fascinating to see how all that plays out because that will bring with it a tremendous amount of personal opportunities, but also it's going to be an affront of the challenges, and I think in particular for governments to try and retrain and re-skill people as well.
Quickly, we could see what outsourcing of categories of work in the 1990s and 2000s did and how that led to indirectly, a second and third, let's say degree impact of political instability, 10, 20 years down the line. What will this mean for our world? How will we handle that and how will we proactively address that?
There's some of the demographic changes and you put then aspects like in a lot of the Western world, for example, developed world where you see a lot of the aging population trying to deal with that as well. That's, another aspect, but for me, I'm very much an optimist.
For me, I feel these are challenges, but I feel that we've also got the younger generation coming through some of the most capable people ever, like some of the most technology-savvy people that are coming through as well. So I see a lot of opportunities for countries to get this right, but at the same time, plenty of challenges for us to navigate.
Clare Kumar: And we haven't even talked climate. When I'm talking to leaders now, I'm saying, “so you've got your profit objective, so on. Where is DEI fitting in and what about the environment when you're saying everybody needs to resume their commute?”. We can't look at things individually now, we have to really look at things systemically. So, you know what, I think we'll close out with maybe a little bit of people understanding a little bit more about what Work from Anywhere offers and the kind of clients you're working with, so that if anybody's listening out there, if this is for you, definitely reach out to John or share with those in your network who are struggling with some of these questions, because John's got a lot of answers.
John Lee: Yeah, so typically we work with large, mid to large size companies between, you know, 1000 to 50,000 employees. They typically are companies that are struggling with, how do they adapt to these new operating models of wanting to hire somebody from a different country. Should you use an employer of record or not? Or hire somebody's independent contractor or open legal entity? And those challenges are complex. Or likewise, somebody wants to temporarily work in a different country. What about a digital nomad visa? Can you use it for example? So we have a technology platform that automates all of the risks for this and the decision-making of what you should do. And that's the major advantage of it. And it saves you from having to go to external advisors every time and gives you the decision point right at your fingertips again in less than 60 seconds. So that's what we do and if anyone wants to visit the website, they can visit us at wfa.team.
Clare Kumar: wfa.team and you'll find you'll get to meet John. You'll get to see a picture of him and one of the little ones and meet his partner as well. So yeah, I urge you to check that out. You could, you've heard from this conversation, John, as a wealth of knowledge and sort of looking very holistically at the challenge and the opportunity with total optimism, which is one of the things I absolutely love about you, John. Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you spending time and sharing your insights.
John Lee: Thanks so much. It was a pleasure, Clare. Thank you for having me on it!
Clare Kumar: Thank you so much for listening. You can find all of the Happy Space Podcast episodes over at happyspacepod.com. That is also where you'll find a link to our online community. Please leave a review over at Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you tune in, and if you liked what you heard, please share. After all, doesn't everyone deserve a Happy Space?